LT904-7-AU-CO:
The New Nature Writing

The details
2023/24
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
20
28 March 2022

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

MA W8F912 Wild Writing: Literature, Landscape and the Environment

Module description

`In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is a story of the earth` (Rachel Carson)

The New Nature Writing approaches the movement in writing about the natural world that has emerged in Britain over the last decade with the work of authors such as Helen Macdonald, Kathleen Jamie and Robert Macfarlane. Field trips (if appropriate) will provide time in locales being written about.

Module Supervisor's Research into Subject Area

James Canton is a writer and lecturer who has written widely in creative non-fiction forms and taught on the MA in Wild Writing at the University of Essex since its inception in 2009, exploring the fascinating ties between the literature and landscape of East Anglia. His first book From Cairo to Baghdad (2011) explored the writings of British Travellers to Arabia from 1882 to 2003. Out of Essex: Re-Imagining a Literary Landscape (2013) is inspired by rural wanderings in the county. Ancient Wonderings: Journeys into Prehistoric Britain was published by William Collins in 2017 and tells some remarkable tales of life in ancient Britain. His latest book The Oak Papers was published with Canongate in July 2020.

Twitter: @jamescanton
Instagram: @jrcanton1
Website: jamescanton.co.uk

Module aims

The aim of the module ‘The New Nature Writing’ is for students to gain an insight into the movement in writing about the natural world that has emerged in Britain over the last decade with the work of authors such as Helen Macdonald, Kathleen Jamie and Robert Macfarlane.

Seminars involve close analysis of texts, spirited discussion and ventures into the outdoor classroom beyond the seminar room. There will also be the chance to explore archival materials.

Module learning outcomes

The module outcomes centre on gaining an understanding of the ways in which the natural world and the environment are being written about in these times of climate change and increasing concern for how our species is impacting nature. Students are encouraged to explore their own New Nature writing. In the final assessment, students can choose to evolve and extend their own written responses to the texts explored or to engage more fully with their own writing in the genre.

Module information

An indicative module outline is as follows (this may be subject to change):

Jamie, Kathleen, Findings; Sightlines, pp. 72-89
Deakin, Wildwood, pp. ix-xiii, 35-45, 151-170
Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, pp. 1-25;
Blythe, At The Yeoman's House
Macfarlane, The Old Ways pp. 59-81
Macdonald, H is for Hawk
Baker, The Peregrine
Mabey, Beechcombings, pp. ix-xiii, 1-98
Nature Cure, pp.1-74
Alice Oswald, Dart pp. 1-13
Pretty, This Luminous Coast, Preface, Chp1 and 2

Learning and teaching methods

Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly two-hour seminar.

Bibliography

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay (5,000 words)  05/01/2024  100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr James Canton, email: jcanto@essex.ac.uk.
Dr James Canton
LiFTS General Office - email liftstt@essex.ac.uk. Telephone 01206 872626

 

Availability
No
No
Yes

External examiner

Dr Tim Atkins
University of Roehampton
Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.

 

Further information

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