Metropolitan State University

LIT 349 : American Nature Writers

A. Course Description
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: WRIT 131 Writing I or have instructor's permission.  
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies , Goal 06 - Humanities/Fine Arts , Goal 10 - People/Environment
 
This course familiarizes students with characteristic works of nature writing by U.S. authors. While the course touches on fiction and poetry, emphasis is on major authors, themes and issues in creative nonfiction about the natural world from the beginnings of European settlement to the present. Topics covered include changes over time in American thinking and writing about nature; primitivism and the pastoral; the aesthetics of nature and nature writing; nature writing and spirituality, Romanticism, Modernism, and the natural world; anthrocentrism and biocentrism; ecofeminism; creation of point of view in description and nonfiction narrative; authorial tone and credibility; and the "prophetic tradition" in American nature writing.
B. Course Effective Dates: 08/01/1998 - Present
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Analyze and critique relevant schools and studies such as primitivism, pastoralism, Romanticism, industrialism, environmentalism, ecofeminism, eco spiritualism, anthrocentrism and biocentrism, sustainable growth, ecology, urban nature, and others ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  2. Articulate substantial and clearly presented responses to the works of nature writers ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  3. Conduct literary analysis that is responsive to details and to complexities of text and theme in the works of nature writers ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with genres and subgenres of nature literature and understand the development and characteristics of these subgenres ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  5. Explain how nature writing contributes to our understanding of the natural world ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  6. Interpret the works of nature writers, applying biographical and/or cultural evidence as relevant ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  7. Know the historical and aesthetic development of nature literature ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  8. Master the integration of literary evidence into the student¿s own writing, including standard formatting and citation practices ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  9. Read and respond to works literature about nature with intelligence and sensitivity ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  10. Understand and apply literary terms, theoretical concepts, reading strategies, and analytical methods to the study of nature writers ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  11. Understand the ways by which nature writing contributes to our cultural responses to the natural world ¿ at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies
    None
Goal 06 - Humanities/Fine Arts
  1. Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.
  2. Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within an historical and social context.
  3. Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  4. Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  5. Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
Goal 10 - People/Environment
  1. Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
  2. Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
  3. Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
  4. Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
G. Special Information
Community Engagement