This course will introduce students to literature that depicts ‘the environment’ in various ways: as resplendent landscape, as increasingly industrialized space, as ecologically compromised animal habitat, and as chemically altered agricultural swath. This course will read fiction, nonfiction, and film to explore how environmental depictions use ideas about nature, ecology, farming, and landscape in their representations of space. We will focus largely on how these ideas and depictions intersect with the real and imagined lives of animals. Readings will include works that take us beyond terra firma to see how environments of the air, land, and sea are depicted by writers who at the same time integrate concerns for animal life into their stories. We will finally ask how literary representations of animals ask readers to see the environment as something beyond what can be captured in art, and whether such artistic works nevertheless promote action and care that emerges from these circumscribed depictions.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.