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Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction: Ecology and the Environmental Humanities

 

Rachel Carson, “Flood Tide,” Under the Sea-Wind [1941] (Penguin, 1996)

Aldo Leopold, “Land Ethic,” A Sand County Almanac (Oxford UP, 1949)

Winona LaDuke, “Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Futures” (1994)

 

Week 2: Questioning environments

 

Raymond Williams, “Ideas of Nature” Problems in Materialism and Culture (Verso, 1980)

Kate Soper, from What is Nature? Culture, Politics and the Non-Human (Wiley-Blackwell, 1995)

Ramachandra Guha and J. Martinez-Alier, from Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and South (Earthscan, 1997)

 

Week 3: Anthropocene: A new approach to the humanities?

 

Rachel Carson, “A Fable for Tomorrow” and “The Obligation to Endure,” Silent Spring (Penguin, 1962)

Simon L. Lewis and Mark A. Maslin, “The Meaning of the Anthropocene,” The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene (Pelican 2018)

Françoise Vergès, “Racial Capitalocene,” Futures of Black Radicalism, ed. Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin (Verso, 2017)

 

Week 4: Commodity fictions

 

Sylvia Wynter, “Novel and History, Plot and Plantation” (1971)

Jason Moore, from Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015)

Sidney Mintz, from Sweetness and Power (1985)

 

Week 5: Ecologies of empire and slavery

 

Walter Johnson, from River of Dark Dreams (Harvard, 2013)

Alfred Crosby, from Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Cambridge, 1986)

Christina Sharpe, “The Weather,” from In the Wake (Duke, 2016)

 

Week 6: Extractivist imaginaries

 

Ken Saro-Wiwa, from A Forest of Flowers (Pearson, 1995)

Dominic Boyer and Imre Szeman, “Introduction: On the Energy Humanities”, Energy Humanities: An Anthology (2017)

Alice Mah, from Industrial Ruination, Community and Place: Landscapes and Legacies of Urban Decline (2012)

 

Week 7: More than human: species studies and extinction

 

Vicki Hearne, from Adam’s Task: Calling Animals by Name (Simon and Schuster, 1986)

Ashley Dawson, from Extinction: A Radical History (OR Books, 2016)

Thom van Dooren, from Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction (Columbia, 2014)

Anna Tsing, from The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton, 2013)

 

Week 8: Ecomodernism, indigeneity, degrowth

 

Ted Steinberg, “Down, Down, Down, No More: Environmental History Moves Beyond Declension,” Journal of the Early Republic 24, no. 2 (2004): 260–66

Ramachandra Guha, “Radical American Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third World Critique,” Environmental Ethics 11 (1989): 71-84

Joshua Shuster, “Where is the Oil in Modernism?” in Szeman, Carlson and Wilson (eds.), Petrocultures (McGill-Queens University Press, 2017)

Jason Hickel, “Degrowth: A theory of radical abundance,” Real-World Economics Review 87 (2019): 54-68

 

Week 9: Ecopoetics on and off the page

 

Cecilia Vicuña, Poetry in Space

Margaret Ronda, “Mourning and Melancholia in the Anthropocene” (https://post45.org/2013/06/mourning-and-melancholia-in-the-anthropocene/)

Simon Ortiz, Fight Back: For the Sake of the People, For the Sake of the Land (Institute for Native American Development, 1980)

 

Week 10: Eco-praxis: borders and migration

Yuri Herrera, Signs Preceding the End of the World, trans. Lisa Dillman (And Other Stories, 2015)