English 184 - Spring, 2024

Literature & the Environment

Class Information

Instructor: Hsu, Hsuan L.
CRN: 40359
Time: TR 1:40 - 3:00pm
Location: Resslr 55
GE Areas: Writing Experience


Speculative Ecologies
Why has speculative fiction become one of the most influential genre for representing environmental themes? What do speculative narratives have to offer when it comes to understanding?and imagining alternatives to?the environmental implications of capitalist modernity? Through readings of five novels and selected works of poetry, film, and criticism, this class will consider speculative narrative as a response to proliferating, generative, and often violent entanglements between human activity and the more-than-human world. We will consider multi-species intimacies, social impacts of climate change and climate migration, environmental transformation as both a site and a tool of colonialism, and how narrative ?worldmaking? can imagine alternative futures.


20% in-class quizzes
20% informal writing
20% shorter essay
40% longer essay (take-home final exam)


Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
Land of Milk and Honey, C Pam Zhang
The Marrow Thieves, Cherie Dimaline
Leila, Prayaag Akbar
Salt Fish Girl, Larissa Lai
Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler