Re-Imagining Nature: The Environmental Humanities in the 21st Century (C.E.)
This course is designed as an introduction to the environmental humanities, focusing on ecocriticism as a approach, but also dealing with works from environmental history, ethics, economics, epidemiology, climatology and other areas. Ecocriticism grows in part out of a longstanding critical interest in the topic of nature and its representation in literary texts; it differs in adopting a more contemporary sense of the ecological relation between human beings and the environments they inhabit. We will be surveying some of the critical literature in this field, beginning with selections from two collections of essays that attempt to define the field (The Ecocriticism Reader and Uncommon Ground), then looking at several topical areas (economics, religion, evolution, ecology, toxicity and climate), both through the lens of critical analyses and “literary” sorts of texts: Robinson Crusoe, On the Origin of Species, A Sand County Almanac, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and Arctic Dreams. Coursework will include individual papers on the primary texts, as well as a pair of group research projects (one small, one larger).
Comp Lit 596/English 559 (Spring 2011) Book List
William Cronon, Uncommon Ground (W. W. Norton: 1996)
Cheryll Glotfelty & Harold Fromm, The Ecocriticism Reader (U of Georgia)
Ramachandra Guha, Environmentalism: A Global History (Longman)
John McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid (Farrar, Strauss, Giroux)
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Broadview, 2010)
Philip Appleman, ed., Darwin (Norton: 2001); 3rd edition
Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac (Ballantine: 1970)
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams (Vintage: 2001)