Language, Literature and Environment

Professor: Ruth Blair
Institution: n/a
Course Number: n/a

Language, Literature and Environment (semester 2)
Ruth Blair

This course examines a selection of contemporary fictions from the
perspective of current thinking about environmental issues. The works of
fiction examined portray a variety of interactions between people and
environments and demonstrate a range of attitudes towards the “natural”
environment as an economic and spiritual “resource”. Reading will be
informed by some key works in recent environmental theory and in
relevant critical theory and will be directed towards an understanding of
the way in which fiction both reflects and helps to shape attitudes and
awareness in the community. It will also contribute to framing questions
about the idea of “nature”.

Essential texts:
Margaret Atwood, Wilderness Tips
Beverley Farmer, The Seal Woman
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Rodney Hall, Just Relations
Gabrielle Lord, Salt
Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang

Readings in environmental and critical theory (these will be placed in
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
N. Evernden, The Natural Alien
L. Marx, The Machine in the Garden
F. Mathews, The Ecological Self
J. Meeker, The Comedy of Survival
C. Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women. Ecology and the Scientific
R. Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind
M. Oelschlaeger, The Idea of Wilderness: From Prehistory to the Age of
T. Todorov, The Poetics of Prose
A. Wilson, The Culture of Nature: North American Landscape from Disney to
the Exxon Valdez.

Copyright © 1996. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form, without written permission from its author(s). This document has been edited for electronic publication and does not appear in its original form.