Literature and the Environmental Imagination: 19th to 21st Century Poetry and Prose
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
06 August 2019
Requisites for this module
MA W8F912 Wild Writing: Literature, Landscape and the Environment,
MA W8F924 Wild Writing: Literature, Landscape and the Environment
This specialist module investigates how literary texts since the beginning of the nineteenth century have developed ways of writing about the environment. You will be reading in a variety of genres, beginning with Romantic poetry and prose and ending with a prize-winning postmodern 'memoir' by a Canadian tree-planter. You will also explore how writing looks at exploration, extinction, and environmental justice. Texts to be read include a novel that controversially became a key text of eco-activism and essays by recent environmental journalists.
Aims of the module:
1. To extend students’ knowledge of the nature and impact of environmental literature from Romanticism through to the twenty-first century.
2. To develop awareness of the work of selected poets and prose writers as they explore the relationship between imagination and the natural world.
3. To develop a critical and evaluative understanding of the main theoretical and methodological structures for analysing such literature.
4. To evaluate and interrogate the academic issues posed by nature writing and ecocriticism.
5. To ensure an awareness of environmental writing by women and less well-known authors, as well by authors prominent within the literary canon.
6. To introduce students to potential further research into related topics.
After successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. demonstrate skills in analysing, evaluating and discussing literature and literary criticism.
2. formulate advance research topics and projects appropriate to further study.
3. find and use materials in databases, electronic archives and library rare books resources in addition to using regular literary sources.
4. demonstrate advanced skills in presenting and discussing literary and critical materials
Creative writing essay option available by consultation with module convenor
Abbey, Edward. The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) or Desert Solitaire. (1968).
Gill, Charlotte. Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe (2011).
Humboldt, Alexander Von. and Helen Maria Williams (translator). Passages from Humboldt's Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctal Regions of the New Continent During the Years 1799-1804 (1814-1815).
Jamie, Kathleen. The Bonniest Companie (2015)
Jeffers, Robinson. Selected poems (1920-1940).
Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac. (1949).
Ben Mauk. "States of Decay: a Journey Through America's Nuclear Heartland," in Harper's Magazine (2017)
Proulx, Annie. Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2. (2009).
Snyder, Gary. Turtle Island (1974)
Solnit, Rebecca. "Detroit Arcadia: Exploring the post-American Landscape," in Harpers Magazine (2007).
Thoreau, Henry David. The Maine Woods. (1864).
Wordsworth, William. Extracts from The Prelude and other poems; A Guide to the Lakes (1798 - 1850)
Wright, Judith. Selected bird poems (1960-1962)
Key critical works
Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter (Durham, N.C.: Duke UP, 2009)
Buell, Lawrence. The Future of Environmental Criticism. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
Cronon, William. "The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature," in Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. New York: Norton, 1995, 69-90.
Garrard, Greg. Ecocriticism (London: Routledge, 2004).
ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. (journal of the Association for Studies in Literature and the Environment.)
Morton, Timothy. The Ecological Thought (Cambridge M.A.: Harvard UP, 2012)
Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Cambridge M.A.: Harvard UP, 2013);
Satterfield, Terre, and Scott Slovic, eds. What's Nature Worth? Narrative Expressions of Environmental Values. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2004).
The module will be taught through ten two-hour seminars. Students will be asked to give short, non-assessed presentations during the course of the module.
This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Essay (5,000 words)
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jordan Savage, Dr Christopher Bundock
LiFTS Taught Team - email email@example.com.
Telephone 01206 872626
Prof Ian Charles Davidson
Professor of English and Creative Writing
Available via Moodle
Of 32 hours, 20 (62.5%) hours available to students:
12 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.
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