English 184 - Spring, 2022

Literature and the Environment

Class Information

Instructor: Hulbert, Annette
CRN: 42140
Time: TR 1:40-3:00
Location: 261 Olson
GE Areas: Writing Experience


This course examines literature that grapples imaginatively with environmental concerns, including Romantic poetry, scholarly essays, science fiction, and the realist novel. We'll discuss the difficulties of representing climate change and consider Amitav Ghosh's claim that climate crisis is a "crisis of culture, and thus of the imagination." We'll examine the definition of the term "nature" and the historical shifts in the word's meaning. We'll seek to define the term "ecocriticism" and the variety of approaches associated with the environmental humanities. Finally, we'll ask what is important about telling stories about ecological collapse- and what kind of stories about the environment we might tell in the years to come.


Short writing assignments and quizzes (25%)

One 4-5 page paper (25%)

One 6-7 page paper (35%)

Final (15%)


The Drowned World, J.G. Ballard
American War, Omar El Akkad
Gun Island , Amitav Ghosh
Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward