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Syllabus 2018-19

Term 1

Week 1: Introduction

Ursula Heise, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ecocriticism,” PMLA 121.2 (2006): 503-16 [pdf]
Jason W. Moore, “Wall Street is a Way of Organizing Nature,” Upping the Anti: A journal of Theory and Action 12 (May 2012): 39-53 [pdf]

Week 2: The End of Nature: Literature in the Age of the Capitalocene

Bill McKibben, “The End of Nature,” The End of Nature (Doubleday): 47-91 [pdf]
Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History: Four Theses,” Critical Inquiry 35 (Winter 2009): 197-222 [pdf]
Jason W. Moore, “The Capitalocene, Part I: On the Nature and Origins of Our Ecological Crisis” ( [pdf]

Week 3: Enclosure/Escape/Scape

John Clare, “Journey Out of Essex” and “Poems Written in Epping Forest and Northampton Asylum” from Major Works of John Clare (Oxford World’s Classics)*
Raymond Williams, “Country and City” and “The Green Language” from The Country and the City (Chatto and Windus) [pdf]
Iain Sinclair, from Edge of the Orison: In the Traces of John Clare’s ‘Journey Out of Essex’ (Penguin) [pdf]

Week 4: Eco-praxis I

Henry D. Thoreau, “Walking” and “Slavery in Massachusetts” []
Bill McKibben, “What Would Thoreau Do?” New York Review of Books, June 19, 2014 [pdf]
Raja Shehadeh, “Palestinian Walks” [pdf]

Week 5: Colonial World-Ecology

Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm (Dover Thrift)*
Anne McClintock, from Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Context (Routledge) [pdf]

Week 6: Reading week

Week 7: American Environmentalism

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (Oxford)*
William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature,” Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (Norton) [pdf]
Ramachandra Guha, “Radical American Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third World Critique,” Environmental Ethics 11 (1989): 71-84 [pdf]

Week 8: The Carson Watershed

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (Penguin Modern Classics)*
Rob Nixon, “Slow Violence, Gender, and the Environmentalism of the Poor,” from Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Harvard UP) [pdf]

Week 9: Narrating the Capitalocene I

Richard Powers, Gain (Picador)*
Sandra Steingraber, from Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment (Da Capo) [pdf]

Week 10: Trash

Charles Burns, Black Hole (Jonathan Cape)
Tim Cooper, “Recycling Modernity: Waste and Environmental History,” History Compass 8/9 (2010): 1114–1125 [pdf]

Term 2

Week 1: Anthropocene Futures

Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (Chicago) (e-book via Warwick library)
Mike Davis, “Who Will Build the Ark?” New Left Review 61 (Jan-Feb 2010): 29-46 [pdf]

Week 2: Postcolonial World-Ecology

Aimé Césaire, Notebook of the Return to the Native Land, trans. Clayton Eshleman and Annette Smith (Wesleyan UP) [pdf]
Edouard Glissant, “Introductions,” “Dispossession,” “The Caribbean Experience,” “Natural Poetics, Forced Poetics,” Cross-Cultural Poetics,” from Caribbean Discourse: Selected Essays, trans. J. Michael Dash (U of Virginia P) [pdf]
Kamau Brathwaite, from History of the Voice: Development of Nation Language in Anglophone Caribbean Poetry (New Beacon P) [pdf]

Week 3: Weather Systems I

Jesamyn Ward, Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury)
Clyde Woods, “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?: Katrina, Trap Economics, and the Rebirth of the Blues,” American Quarterly [pdf]

Week 4: Media as Environments

Mike Daisey, The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (free online, pdf)
Nick Dyer-Witheford, “Proletariat,” “Mobile” and “Aftermath,” Cyber-Proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex (Pluto) [pdf]

Week 5: Narrating the Capitalocene II

Han Kang, The Vegetarian, trans. Deborah Smith (Portobello)
Raj Patel, Introduction, Chapters 2, 8-9 and Conclusion from Stuffed and Starved (Portobello) [epub]

Week 6: Reading week

Week 7: Weather Systems II

Ben Lerner, 10:04 (Granta)
Ashley Dawson, “Introduction: Extreme City,” “Chapter 2: Environmental Blowback,” “Chapter 5: Climate Apartheid,” “Conclusion: Urban Futures,” from Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change (Verso) [epub]

Week 8: Blockadia

Dakota pipeline videos (Youtube)
Naomi Klein, “Introduction” and “Blockadia: The New Climate Warriors,” This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Knopf) [pdf]
Imre Szeman, “Introduction: Pipeline Politics,” South Atlantic Quarterly 116.2, (April 2017): 402-407 [pdf]

Week 9: Eco-praxis II

W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn (Vintage)*
Rebecca Solnit, “The Mind at Three Miles an Hour,” Wanderlust (Vintage) [pdf]
Patrick Keiller, Robinson in Ruins (film)

Week 10: Out of the ruins

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