Ecopoetics: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire (LIT4381.01)

Sandra Simonds

The course will be divided into four sections corresponding to four elements of nature that have been transformed in the anthropocene. In order to strengthen our environmental literacy, we will read scientific articles as well as news articles about wildfires in California, Europe, and Australia. We will educate ourselves about disappearing islands through the rise of sea levels. Finally, we will learn about massive hurricanes as well as the contamination of our air and soil with toxic chemicals. We will also consider how the structural inequalities of global capitalism underlie many of our environmental disasters. This course will focus on queer, indigenous, black, and disability ecopoetics as a way to understand how writers from various subject positions have written about environmental crisis. From the pastoral to the necropastoral, readings will include work by Orlando White,  Juliana Spahr, Ross Gay, Thylias Moss, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Larry Eigner.  Students will have the choice of writing their own ecopoetry or writing about ecopoetry from a critical perspective. Students will also be required to conduct poetic fieldwork.

Learning Outcomes:
*Conceptualize the themes of ecopoetry from a number of different cultural and social perspectives.
*Develop and refine skills in close reading poetry.
*Conduct independent scholarly research to produce insightful and well-written critical work.
*Engage with literature through collaborative and creative activities.
*Make meaningful connections science and literature.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students must submit a critical or creative writing sample via this form by May 15, 2023.
Corequisites: Students are required to attend all Literature Evenings and Poetry at Bennington events this term, commonly held at 7pm on most Wednesday evenings.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
Click here for course meeting days/times. (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature