Professor: Nicole Seymour
Institution: California State University Fullerton
Course Number: English 429.01
American Landscape in Literature
Course Description and Goals
“Landscape” is both a noun and a verb. This course will explore this seemingly-simple point in depth, through a wide variety of forms, genres, and perspectives-–ranging from nineteenth-century classic nature writing to a twentieth-century African-American memoir to twenty-first-century documentary. We will also, with a nod to our sunny environs, spend some time thinking about Southern Californian landscapes in particular. We will focus on the idea that landscapes shape and are shaped; that they tell us who we are (and aren’t), and that processes of construction, whether physical or conceptual or both, help produce them.
Throughout the course, we will ask questions like: What constitutes a landscape? How do we know where it begins and ends? What sorts of trends/tendencies do we see in representations of American landscapes across time? How do different forms, genres, and perspectives convey different information about landscapes?
Full syllabus (PDF): ASLE_Syllabi_LandscapeSeymour