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Lecture List: term 1

The first lecture of each unit will focus on the primary text for that unit. The lectures in the remaining weeks of that unit will look at the primary text in relation to the stated theory. You will cover the same material each week in your seminars.


Set Texts

Lecture Podcasts

Week 1

Introduction to the Module: Why Theory Matters (Powerpoint Presentation)

Please click on lecture title

Week 2

Unit 1: Nation, Culture, Place

Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956) (Powerpoint Presentation)

Lecturer for this unit: Dr Mike Niblett

Week 3


Week 4


Week 5


Week 6



Week 7

Unit 2: Ecocriticism (Powerpoint Presentation)

Ursula LeGuin, The Word for World Is Forest (1976)

Lecturers for this unit: Dr. Graeme Macdonald and Dr. Jonathan Skinner

Introduction to Ecocriticism (GM)
Excerpts from Lodge Reader: Raymond Williams, 'Country and the City' 337-47; Lawrence Buell, “Place” from The Environmental Imagination, 665-691.

Lawrence Buell, “The Emergence of Environmental Criticism”, Chapter 1 of The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination, Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
Cheryll Glotfelty, “Introduction: Literary Studies in an Age of Environmental Crisis”, from Glotfelty & Fromm (eds) The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996), pps. xv-xxv.
Rob Nixon, Chapter One of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2011).

Week 8

The Poetry of Wilderness (JS) (Powerpoint Presentation)

William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness” William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, 69-90

Gary Snyder, “Milton by Firelight,” “Oil,” “Toward Climax,” “For the Children”; in The Gary Snyder Reader: Prose, Poetry, and Translations, Counterpoint, 1999, 401, 433, 484; and in Turtle Island, New Directions, 1974, 82-85

Wendell Berry, “Reverdure,” Clearing, Harcourt, 1977, 48-52

Ed Roberson, “The Open”. City Eclogues, Atelos, 2006. 63-64.

(Some poems by Roberson can also be viewed at The Poetry Foundation, such as "Eclogue" and "be careful").


H.D. Thoreau, “Walking”. The Atlantic Monthly Vol. IX, No. LVI, June 1862, 657-674.
Gary Snyder, “Tawny Grammar” (excerpt: “Nature’s Writing” section, from beginning through “. . . part of what the Buddhists call the Dharma”); The Practice of the Wild, North Point Press, 1990, 66-68.
Ed Roberson, “We Must Be Careful” in Camille Dungy, ed. Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, University of Georgia Press, 2009, 3-5.

Raymond Williams, "Pleasing Prospects," The Country and the City, New York: OUP, 1973, 120-126

C.S. Giscombe, “Sound Carries”; Giscome Road, Dalkey Archive Press, 1998,13-17.
Maggie O’Sullivan, “Starlings”; In the House of the Shaman, Reality Street Editions, 1993, 41-43.
Sherwin Bitsui, “Flood Song” (excerpt: from “We row toward the oar wet with deer blood” through “. . . reaching to unravel my combed hair”). Flood Song, Copper Canyon Press, 2009, 48-57. Short-term Loan in Library: PS3602.I85

Week 9

Energy Humanities and Petroculture (GM) (Powerpoint Presentation)
Patricia Yaeger, Imre Szeman et al “Editor’s Column: Literature in the Ages of Wood, Tallow, Coal, Whale-Oil, Gasoline, Atomic Power and Other Energy Sources.” PMLA 126:2 (2011): 305-26.

Allan Stoekl, “Foreword” to Barrett and Worden (eds.), Oil Culture, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

Dominic Boyer and Imre Szeman, “The Rise of the Energy Humanities”, University Affairs, Feb 2014.

Italo Calvino, “The Petrol Pump" Numbers in the Dark and other stories (London: Penguin, 2009) 170-175.

China Miéville, “Covehithe”, published in The Guardian (22 April 2011).
(Also available in Miéville’s Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories, Picador, 2016)

Week 10

Week 10: Representing the Anthropocene (GM) (Powerpoint Presentation) (audio problems)
The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced ageThe Guardian 29 August 2016.

Timothy Clark, “The Anthropocene – questions of definition,” Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept. London: Bloomsbury, 2015, 1-28.

Roy Scranton, “Learning to Die in the Anthropocene,” New York Times, 10 November, 2013.

Timothy Clark, Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept London: Bloomsbury, 2015. Ch 8: “Denial: A reading,” 159-174; Ch 9: “The tragedy that climate change is not ‘interesting’," 175-194.
Slavoj Žižek, “Avatar: Return of the Natives”, New Statesman, 4 March, 2010.