Advanced (Seminar) Courses
Two sections of English 497 are the two Advanced Courses offered every fall. These are seminars designed primarily for English majors (although occasionally English minors enroll in them). The topics vary depending upon the research and teaching interests of the faculty. They demand a high level of student involvement in research and discussion. Several short papers and a long critical essay are required. Please Note: the two seminars are only offered in the fall semester.ENG 497 Seminar in English Literature
Ecocriticism and the Reading and Writing of News
The Greek philosopher Protagoras wrote, “Man is the measure of all things.” The past half century has brought that assumption into question. A whole body of literature and a science, ecology, have come into being, suggesting humans are not the measure, but that the earth is. In the past twenty years or so, a body of criticism has evolved to think about these earth-oriented texts as well as to ponder how our reading of literature and culture is, or should be, affected by our awareness of the fragility of earth's ecosystem's and the power of our technologies to subdue and destroy them. In this seminar, we will read widely in this criticism and consider how it illumines our interpretations of literary texts. Writing assignments will include several short essays and a final seminar paper. Our texts may be drawn from among the following: Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, David Abram's The Spell of the Sensuous, Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Robert Pogue Harrison's Forests, Linda Hogan's The Book of Medicines, Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, Gary Snyder's Backcountry and The Practice of the Wild, Terry Tempest Williams's Red and Refuge and selections from Glotfelty's Ecocriticism Reader. This course is offered in the fall semester.