Candace M. Barlow
Overview of cultural studies with a focus on reading texts or objects using cultural studies methods and writing analytic essays using cultural studies methods. Focuses on culture as a site of political and social debate and struggle. Recommended: one 300-level ENGL course in the literary period being studied.
Auto/biographies of Environmental Justice.
In this course, we will read recent autobiographical and biographical writing in relation to the call to ““mandate awareness within the mainstream environmental movement to issues of race, class, and gender. . .as well as within social justice movements to the foundational importance of ecological integrity to a community’s sense of well-being” from the field of environmental justice studies (Adamson, et. al. 5).
We will chart the extent to which narrative depictions of experience within particular environments answer this call to action. Several key questions will guide us:
*How is environmental literature and experience connected to social justice issues and activism? *To what extent does environmental literature promote well-being and equity across social differences of race, gender, class, sexuality, and region? *Which debates are central to environmental literary theory and criticism, and how has the field changed over time? *How are human-environment relationships depicted in personal writing, and with which effects on contemporary literature, environments, and communities?
Readings from recent theoretical and critical work will aid us in responding to these questions as well as with expanding our initial responses to a range of texts: personal monographs, essays, and poems. While this course is not a survey of environmental justice studies, the scope of our work will be broad, including the following topics: pollution and industrial development, the wilderness movement, prison writing and activism, indigenous land rights, and post-industrial agriculture. This course will ask you to think about environments and environmentalism in potentially new ways as well as to engage in active discussion and debate during each class meeting.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Active class discussions of readings.
Class assignments and grading
Daily reading and writing assignments, a mid-term exam, and a final research project.