Nature Writing

Course Number: 121b
Section: 04

WR   (No Final exam)

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.

Prerequisite: ENGL 114 or 120 or permission of instructor. Not open to freshmen in the fall term.

ENGL 121 may be repeated for course credit in a section that teaches a different genre or style of writing; may not be repeated for credit toward the major.

Students who wish to take an introductory course in English must preregister for a specific section during the online preregistration period. Details can be found at


John Loge
MW 1:00-2:15