In recent years, it has become impossible to opt-out of environmental consciousness. We are constantly asked by politicians, activists, and advertisers to take — or not take — the environment into consideration when making even the smallest daily choices. However, we are rarely asked to be conscious of our environmental consciousness, or to think about our environmental thinking. In this course, we will do just that: stepping back from scientific studies, political debates, and consumerist guilt-trips, we will use literature, not to understand what to think, but to understand how to think through what it means to be part of an environment. This course begins and ends with the notion that “the environment” is not a thing over there reserved for national parks, but rather, it is the place where we do, and always have, lived. Our readings include a wide range of U.S. literature from the past 200 years, a number of rigorous theoretical texts, and pieces on the practice of good academic writing. Assignments are designed to develop academic argumentation through literary analysis, although the goal will be to develop argumentative skills that apply to fields other than literary studies. They consist of four short assignments, three formal papers, and an in-depth revision, for a total of about 30 pages of polished writing.