English 184 - Spring, 2023

Literature & the Environment

Class Information

Instructor: Hsu, Hsuan L.
CRN: 42271
Time: MWF 11:00-11:50am
Location: 146 Olson
GE Areas: Writing Experience


Sensory Ecologies
How do we sense the environment, and how might we sense it otherwise? How can writers and artists retrain our sensory capacities so that we might perceive and attend to environmental injustices that often escape perception? And how might sensory experience lead us to experience ecological relationships in new and more embodied ways? This class will consider how colonial and heteropatriarchal sensory hierarchies constrain our environmental relationships, and how literary and cultural experiments with the senses critique and seek to transform our ways of sensing the world. Our focus will be on the ?lower,? embodied senses of taste, smell, and temperature, as well as alternative sensory capacities explored in speculative fiction.


attendance, participation, and informal writing (2-4pgs total): 35%
reading quizzes: 20%
shorter essay (2-3pgs): 10%
essay outline and longer essay (6-8pgs): 35%


My Year of Meats, Ozeki
Night is a Sharkskin Drum, Haunani-Kay Trask
Salt Fish Girl, Larissa Lai
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin
Dawn, Octavia Butler
Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer
M Archive, Alexis Pauline Gumbs