LIT 349

American Nature Writers

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 1, 1998 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

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.

Prerequisites

Learning outcomes

General

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 10: People and the Environment

  • Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
  • Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
  • Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
  • Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
  • Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
  • Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.