Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG377H1S  L0101  T1-3, R2
Environmental Humanities 
Professor Andrea Most

Brief Description of Course: In this introduction to the field of the Environmental Humanities, we will explore the stories we tell about the natural world around and within us. We will engage with a wide variety of written texts, physical experiences, and material landscapes and objects in order to better understand how and why we enjoy, use and abuse the natural world. On the one hand, we will confront the hard facts about many of the stories we tell: that they have led us to the brink of environmental catastrophe. On the other hand, through a personal journal and an interactive group final project, we will begin the exciting project of writing new stories, imagining a new and healthier relationship between humanity and the earth which sustains us.

Required Reading: Works such as: Anthropocene (film); Rachel Carson, Silent Spring; Merchants of Doubt (film); Genesis 1-3; Thomas King, The Truth About Stories; Pocahontas (film); Robin Wall Kimmerer, selections from Braiding Sweetgrass; William Shakespeare, As You Like It; Henry David Thoreau, “Walking”; Barry Lopez, The Re-Discovery of North America; Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees; Carl Safina, Beyond Words; Rivers and Tides (film); Brigid Schulte, selections from Overwhelmed; Paul Bogard, selections from The End of Night; Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath; Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac.

First Three Authors/Texts: Anthropocene (2018 film), Rachel Carson, Silent Spring; Merchants of Doubt (film)

Method of Instruction: Lecture/Discussion

Method of Evaluation: Short reflection pieces (40%), final project (40%), class participation (20%)

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