Summer 2023 - ENGL 202 D100
The Environmental Imagination (3)
Class Number: 2992
Delivery Method: In Person
Course Times + Location:
Mo, We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
AQ 3149, Burnaby
Office: AA 6107
Office Hours: Monday 10:30-11:30 and by appointment
Prerequisites:12 units or one 100-division English course.
Explores how literature and language imagine the natural world and engage with environmental and ecological crisis. Topics may include ecocriticism: eco-poetics; approaches to the natural world; local, imperial, and Indigenous ecologies. May be further organized by historical period or genre. Breadth-Humanities.
Imagining the Nature in the Anthropocene
In this course we will explore traditional and contemporary literary works as they are shaped by the environmental imagination. Our perspective will be framed by the controversial geologic concept of the Anthropocene - the new name for the unintended by-products of human activity on the planet. The origins of the Anthropocene era are often located in the early nineteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution was gaining steam and the British Empire was rapidly expanding. We will begin by thinking about key concepts, not least of all nature itself, in foundational literature of the modern environmental movement as it responded in a variety of ways to the crises of the industrializing world and called for environmental justice. Our case studies will be the ecopoetics of William Wordsworth and John Clare and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. We will then turn to consider the role of the environmental imagination in nineteenth-century colonial writing for global audiences, even as that writing often opposed globalization. Our readings in this section of the course will include Indigenous authors Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and E. Pauline Johnson, and selected settler colonial texts. We will examine the relationship between local and global forms of imagining the natural environment while also considering what these voices from the past might have to teach us about our present moment. Finally, we'll also read some recent texts that write back to the colonial legacy with a heightened environmental consciousness.
- Participation 10%
- Discussion Posts 15%
- Essay One, 800 words 20%
- Essay Two, 1,200 words 30%
- Final Exam 25%
Mary Shelley Frankenstein, 1818, 3rd ed. Broadview
Tomson Highway, The Rez Sisters. Fifth House Publishers
Emily St. John Mandel, Sea of Tranquility: A Novel. HarperCollins
REQUIRED READING NOTES:
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Department Undergraduate Notes:
IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.
For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.
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