ENV 220 Ecocritical Approaches to Literature

This interdisciplinary, writing-intensive course will introduce students to environmental literary criticism, more commonly known since the 1990s as "ecocriticism." As a theoretical approach to literature, eco-criticism provides a secondary lens through which to analyze primary sources; an eco-critical approach focuses on how these primary sources have "constructed" our relationship to the natural world through writing and narrative. In applying eco-critical theory to a selection of primary fiction, students will examine some of the major environmental themes found in literature, among others: land use, speciesism, climate change, environmental apocalypse, and the post-human. Students will explore these themes using some of the basic critical tools and methodologies of ecocriticism, not only to explore how authors write about the environment, but also to examine how the environment itself is constructed through aesthetic discourse. Students should leave the course with improved critical environmental literacy skills that will enable interdisciplinary reflection about our interactions with the natural environment.




LC 100 or LC 110