May 22, 2022  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENST 175 - Women’s Nature Writing

1 unit(s)
This course focuses on women writers who look to nature for stories, images and archetypes to help them make sense of their lived experience in a patriarchal world. Together we look at poetry, fiction, memoir, travel writing and film, and chart the different ways in which nature has inspired women in their creative explorations of positionality and place. We see nature’s wild fluidity reflected in the many roles it plays in these writers’ creative imaginations: some of them figure nature as teacher, a source of ancient wisdom aligned with the divine feminine; others see nature as mother and mirror, a female figure exploited for her resources by capitalist interests just as women are exploited for their various forms of labor; and still others see nature as a space of radical freedom from sexism, racism and other forms of systemic social oppression. Our goal is to chart the diverse ways in which women writers have used the natural world as an anchor and an ally to help name their struggles and joys, claim their space, and imagine more just futures for themselves and the planet. Our syllabus may include works by Annie Dillard, Gloria Anzaldúa, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Mary Oliver, Susan Griffin, Zora Neale Hurston, Chrystos, Adrienne Rich, Donna Haraway and others. This class fulfills the first-year writing requirement. In addition to critical essays, there are opportunities to write creatively about nature and keep a nature journal. This course is particularly suited to students interested in pursuing courses in English, creative writing, and environmental studies.   Katie Gemmill.

Open only to first-year students; satisfies the college requirement for a First-Year Writing Seminar.

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2021/22.

Course Format: CLS

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