Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG415H1S L0101

ENG415H1S     L0101    T3-5 
Advanced Studies Group 1: Ecocriticism and the Environmental Humanities
Professor Andrea Most

Office Telephone: 416-946-0828
Office Address:
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 827

Brief Description of Course: : In this course, we will read key works of ecocritical theory, as well environmentally-oriented fiction, poetry, narrative non-fiction, and film in order to explore the different ways in which we tell stories about – and imagine the human relationship to -- the environment around us. In most theory courses, students use a theoretical approach as a lens through which to read literary texts. In this course we will instead use ecocritical theory to tell stories about two pieces of land on the University of Toronto campus: the Back Campus and Philosopher’s Walk. Each class we will spend part of our time outdoors, learning stories about the land, and connecting them to the reading for the week. Students will develop these stories into final projects that may take the form of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction and which will ultimately create a layered ecocritical history of a site at the very centre of our campus.

Required Reading: We will discuss selections from theoretical essays by writers such as Leo Marx, Raymond Williams, Annette Kolodny, Jonathan Bate, Lawrence Buell, William Cronon, Carolyn Merchant, Ursula Heise, Timothy Morton, Paul Outka, Stacey Alaimo, Donna Harraway and Rosi Braidotti. We will also read novels, poems, and essays by writers such as Henry David Thoreau, Willa Cather, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Toni Morrison, Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Jane Smiley, Michael Pollan, Bill McKibben, and Robin Wall Kimmerer.

First Three Authors/Texts: Selections from Raymond Williams, The Country and the City, Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden, and Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

Method of Instruction: Seminar

Method of Evaluation: Weekly responses and class participation (30%); group presentation (30%); final project (40%).

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