American Studies | Seminar in American Studies / Topic: Ecocriticism
G751 | 26575 | Christoph Irmscher

Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
4 credit hours
Instructor: Christoph Irmscher
Class meets with ENG-L780

Ecocriticism emphasizes issues of environmental interconnectedness,
sustainability, and justice in cultural interpretation. It borrows
liberally from those and other interpretive modes to produce a
polymorphous set of possible strategies, which are not united by a
single method but orbit around issues of cultural-environmental
concern. This course is conceived as a broad introduction to the
theory and practice of ecocritical work; we will not focus on any
specific period or national tradition. The basic narrative of the
course will follow Lawrence Buell's The Future of Environmental
Criticism (Blackwell), supplemented by essays from the ISLE Reader,
ed. Michael Branch and Scott Slovic (Georgia). I will also ask
students to purchase the Library of America edition of John James
Audubon's Writings and Drawings and Bill McKibben's American Earth
(Library of America). We will trace the stages of ecocriticism's
development, map the shifting theoretical terrain inhabited by
ecocritics and their alliances with other disciplines, and attempt
to define the relationship of the movement with ecofeminism,
environmental justice, and science studies.