Fall 2017 - WL 410 D100

Selected Topic in World Literature I (4)

Ecology & Aesthetic of Place

Class Number: 5079

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 4125, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units including two 300 level courses in World Literature, English, and/or Humanities.



Advanced seminar on a topic in World Literature. This course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered.


The word landscape can mean different things. We think of it as a particular terrain, a mental geography, or a view of the countryside as seen in paintings and photographs. In this course, landscape implies an aesthetic representation of a place, including not only an individual’s view onto it, but the way it feels – an artistic impression of what “being there” means in ecological and existential terms.

But landscapes are also impacted by cultural and ideological factors: they can imply systems of power and control, or underwrite powerful religious or community associations. From Virgil’s pastoral explorations of love & death in the countryside, through mystical evocations of the Australian outback to recent “topographies” of race & culture in southern Africa or the French Caribbean, we will watch how global environments become cultural battlegrounds while learning to construct an earth-centred perspective onto the aesthetics of place. In addition, watching Taylor Swift’s mock “safari” video alongside global cinema, students will learn to interrogate the natural & the civilized as categories pressed upon imperial lands.


  • Short Essay 20%
  • Project: Landscape & Art 15%
  • Midterm Quiz 20%
  • Term Paper 30%
  • Participation 15%



John Wiley, LandscapeRoutledge 978-0415341448

Virgil, Eclogues & Georgics, Oxford 978-0199554096

Wilma Stockenström, The Expedition to the Baobab Tree, Archipelago 978-1935744924

Patrick White, Voss, Penguin 978-0143105688

Simone Schwarz-Bart, The Bridge of Beyond, NYRB Classics 978-1590176801


FILMS: [provided]  Noirs et blancs en couleur / Apocalypse Now / Embrace of the Serpent / Tabu

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html