Course Number: 121b
In this course students read a selection of American nature writers and, informed by the readings in the genre, write their own examples of nature writing. The course explores how nature writing is influenced by and responds to cultural assumptions and conventions, uses narrative and other literary techniques, and treats shared themes and motifs. The focus will be on how nature writers "write" nature and, thus, write themselves and the human relationship to nature. The readings are in chronological order from Gilbert White and Thoreau to contemporary nature writers, including poets and current selections from magazines. Writing assignments include one-page papers that respond to assigned readings and longer essays that are students’ own attempts at nature writing that can take their place within the genre. Also, students keep a journal and write evaluations of other students’ writing. Optional local nature walks in warm weather on Saturdays or Sundays are also offered.
Students who wish to take a spring term introductory course must pre-register at the English department web site (english.yale.edu) in December 2011.
Prerequisite: ENGL 114 or 120 or permission of instructor.