Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG485H1S  L0101   W1-3
Professor Andrea Most

Brief Description of Course: In this course, we will read key works of ecocritical theory, as well poetry and narrative non-fiction, in order to explore the different ways in which we tell stories about – and imagine the human relationship to -- the environment around and within 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 will create a layered ecocritical history of a site at the very centre of our campus.

Required Reading: Essays by critics such as Lynn White, Jr., Robin Wall Kimmerer, Thomas King, Raymond Williams, Michael Pollan, Carolyn Merchant, William Cronon, Christopher Manes, Annette Kolodny, Stacey Alaimo, Barry Lopez, Ursula Heise, Aldo Leopold, Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, and Amitav Ghosh; Poems by Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams; Selections from narrative non-fiction by Carl Safina (Beyond Words), Rachel Carson (Silent Spring), and Sandra Steingraber (Living Downstream).

First Three Authors/Texts: Essays by Lynn White, Jr, Thomas King, Robin Wall Kimmerer .

Method of Instruction: Seminar.

Method of Evaluation: Class discussion (25%), written responses (25%), presentations (20%), final project (30%)

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