Spring 2024 - WL 330 D100
Special Topic in World Literature (4)
Class Number: 5793
Delivery Method: In Person
Seminar on a topic in World Literature. This course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered.
WL330 ST: ECOLOGY & LITERATURE: POETRY, FICTION, & THE POETICS OF THE NATURAL WORLD
This course builds upon the field of ecocriticism – the study of the ways in which NATURE is represented in art and thought. Open to students from an array of disciplinary backgrounds, and drawing its primary materials from global fiction, film, & visual art, this interdisciplinary course explores the poetics by which representations of nature animate themselves across historical and cultural boundaries.
Asking how the rhythms of nature impact human consciousness, our course materials range from the state of nature in the Australian outback (Walkabout), to humans escaping to an abandoned African game park (Tuner of Silences). We also read about a troubled island paradise in the Dutch East Indies (Ten Thousand Things) and environmental strife in China during the cultural revolution (The King of Trees). Foremost among the ecocritical models engaged in our readings will be the notion of the “performativity” of the natural scene – the ways in which natural phenomena do not just shape our cultural & personal responses to environments but syncopate them through images and language. It is in this latter sense that many of our conversations with begin from key examples of naturally focused world cinema and poetry.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
Ability to understand and compare cultural representations of nature
Basic comprehension of ecocritical terms and concepts
Understanding of World Literature as a field practice
Beginning ability to analyze environments as social discourses
- Short Essay 20%
- Presentation 15%
- Midterm 25%
- Term Paper 25%
- Participation 15%
Ah Cheng, King of Trees. New Directions
Maria Dermout, Ten Thousand Things. Vintage
Mia Couto, The Tuner of Silences. Biblioasis
Nicolas Roeg Walkabout (film) [Australia]
Werner Herzog Fitzcaraldo (film) [Germany / Brazil]
REQUIRED READING NOTES:
Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS
SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/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