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Syllabus 2020-21

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]
David Wallace-Wells, “The Uninhabitable Earth,” New York (July 10, 2017)

Week 2: The End of Nature: Literary Study in the Capitalocene

Bill McKibben, “The End of Nature,” The End of Nature (Doubleday): 47-91 [pdf]

Simon L. Lewis and Mark A. Maslin, “The Meaning of the Anthropocene,” The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene (Pelican 2018) [epub]
Roy Scranton, “Coming Home,” Learning to Die in the Anthropocene (City Lights, 2015) [epub]

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) [epub]
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

Chen Qiufan, Waste Tide, trans. Ken Liu (Head of Zeus)*
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)
Jason W. Moore, “The Capitalocene, Part I: On the Nature and Origins of Our Ecological Crisis” ( [pdf]
Andreas Malm, “Introduction: Theory for the Warming Condition,” The Progress of this Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World (Verso 2018) [epub]

Week 2: Postcolonial World-Ecology I

M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong! (U of Wesleyan P) [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

Jesmyn 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: Postcolonial World-Ecology II

Alexis Wright, The Swan Book (Constable, 2015)*
Carl Cassegård and Håkan Thörn, “Toward a postapocalyptic environmentalism? Responses to loss and visions of the future in climate activism,” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space (2018): 1-18 [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

Clare Farrell et al., eds., This is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook (Penguin, 2019) [pdf]

Wretched of the Earth, “An Open Letter to Extinction Rebellion
Naomi Klein, “Introduction” and “Blockadia: The New Climate Warriors,” This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Knopf 2014) [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]
Jenny Odell, “Surviving Usefulness” and “Restoring the Grounds for Thought,” How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House, 2019) [epub]

Week 10: Out of the ruins

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Post-Capitalist Ruins [epub]