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EN267 2008-09

Term I

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: Environmental theory i: Richard Powers, ‘The Seventh Event’ [handout]

Week 3: Romantic ecology i: William Wordsworth, selected poetry, including ‘Tintern Abbey’ ‘The Ruined Cottage’ and selections from The Prelude (1805 version) - Oxford text of Selected Poems is best; John Clare, Selected Poems, ed. J. Bate (Faber)

Week 4: Romantic ecology ii: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (any edition) and John Ruskin Unto this Last (there is a good Penguin text, ed. Clive Wilmer, but other editions are also available and acceptable). Full texts of the Ruskin are available on the web at and

 Week 5: Romantic ecology iii: W. H. Hudson, Green Mansions (Dover)

Week 6: Reading week (no class)

Week 7: Romantic ecology iv: Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods (Dover Thrift) and ‘Walking’ [handout]

Week 8: North American ecopoetics i: Walt Whitman and Wallace Stevens, selected poems [handouts]

Week 9: North American ecopoetics ii: poetry selections from Elizabeth Bishop, Gary Snyder, W. S. Merwin [handouts]

Week 10: Modern ecology: Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (Oxford)

Term II

Week 1: Environmental theory ii: Murray Bookchin, 'The Concept of Social Ecology', chapter 1 of his The Ecology of Freedom (originally published 1982); Andrew Ross, ‘Introduction’ from The Chicago Gangster Theory of Life: Nature's Debt to Society (Verso, 1994); Michel Serres, chapter called 'Natural Contract' in his book The Natural Contract (originally published 1992, English translation 1995)

Week 2: Contemporary Ecofiction: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (Flamingo)

Week 3: Contemporary Ecoprose: Jay Griffiths, Wild (Penguin)

Week 4: Contemporary Ecopoetry: selections from Earthshattering: Ecopoems (Bloodaxe/handout)

Week 5: Field Trip (in which we will walk, look and, later, write)

Week 6: Reading week

Week 7: Fieldwork i: Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust (Verso). NO SEMINAR: THIS TEXT TO BE DISCUSSED WITH EDWARD ABBEY NEXT WEEK

Week 8: Fieldwork ii: Edward Abbey, The Monkey Wrench Gang (Penguin)

Week 9: Ecology and Postmodernity: Don DeLillo, White Noise (Picador)

Week 10: The future of environmental studies: Huggan, ‘Greening Postcolonialism: Ecocritical Perspectives’ (pdf here); discussion of the Mumbai phenomenon in relation to questions of environment and social ecology. Come prepared to talk about one or more of the film Slumdog Millionaire, Aravind Adiga's Booker-prize-winning novel The White Tiger (though set in New Delhi and Bangalore, it embodies many aspects of the kind of transformation that Mumbai is undergoing), Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (a novel that is set in Mumbai), Suketa Mehta's non-ficton book Maximum City: Bombay lost and found, or any other relevant film, piece of journalism or work of fiction or non-fiction. For a brief starting-point, see this article in the New York Times.