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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gary J Handwerk
ENGL 355
Seattle Campus

American Literature: Contemporary America

Works by such writers as Ellison, Williams, O' Connor, Lowell, Barth, Rich, and Hawkes.

Class description

For SPRING 2007: Living in Place: Literature and the Environment. Our focus for this course will be upon how literature deals with the environment, i.e., how literary texts represent environmental issues and why it matters that they be represented in this form. How, that is, does where we live and, even more importantly, how we imagine the place in which we live, affect who we are? How do our relationships to nature and our relationships with other people intersect? We will be considering a range of prose texts, including fictional narratives, non-fictional essays and journalism, primarily texts written or set in the Americas, but with one African novel included for comparative purposes. Course goals include: 1) developing the analytical reading skills appropriate to different kinds of literary texts, 2) working on how to formulate and sustain critical arguments in writing, 3) learning how to uncover the logic and stakes of specific attitudes toward the natural world, 4) understanding how environmental issues are linked to other social and cultural concerns, 5) seeing how those linkages are affected by particular historical and political conditions. The course will contain a significant writing component, both regular informal writing assignments and several medium-length analytical papers; it can count for W-credit. (Meets w. C LIT 396A; ENVIR 450A) Texts: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses; John McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid; Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire; Philip Appleman, Darwin; Octavia Butler, Wild Seed; Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams; Bessie Head, When Rain Clouds Gather.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional ENGL course descriptions.
Last Update by Sherry May Laing
Date: 01/30/2007