ENGLISH 320 - Literature and the Environment
Fall 2022, Section 001 - Literature, the Environment, & the Art of the Journal
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Details

Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Other:
Sustain
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

This class will be devoted to studying the peculiar form of the journal, as a genre of writing that is and has been particularly helpful as we think about connections between literature and the environment. About half of our time will be spent on the journals of Henry David Thoreau, who wrote roughly two million words (give or take) in the nearly 25 years of his lifelong journaling project. But we’ll devote considerable time to studying excerpts and some entire journal-based works from other writers as well—some who were writing before Thoreau, and others writing in our own time. One of our primary sets of questions will be about the genre of the journal itself: How should we think about and understand this often overlooked and under-studied body of literature? What does it offer us today—as writers, thinkers, environmentalists, poets, activists, teachers?

Students will keep their own journals throughout the semester (I’m a firm believer in learning by doing) and formal required work will be a mix of both creative writing drawn and revised from your weekly journaling as well as critical work in the form of essays about the journals we’ll read together. Students will have a good deal of flexibility to determine just how much creative versus critical work they do for the class—though everyone will do a considerable amount of both.

Our class meetings will be largely discussion-based, since I think conversations, when they’re good (and we have to practice having them to make them good) are the best teaching tools. And: Whether you’re already a journaler or daily writing will be a totally new enterprise, whether you have a lot of practice being attuned to the world around you (natural and otherwise) or your interests and habits have led you elsewhere so far in life, your experiences and impressions—as the term moves along and also from memories of things you’ve seen and done and maybe written about previously—will likely be important tools for helping yourself and the rest of the class think about the ideas and the texts we’ll study. So come with an eagerness to get to know the people in this class, and, perhaps, to learn from them as much as you will learn from the books we read and discuss together.

Major Requirement: American Literature and Pre-1900

Schedule

ENGLISH 320 - Literature and the Environment
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
29998
Open
1
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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