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Fall 2019 LIT 499-04

Ecopoetry
Professor: Lawrence McCauley
Meetings: Monday/Thursday 9:30-10:50am

This course takes an earth-centered approach to a wide sampling of poetry.  The semester will begin with a historical survey which will include classical works by Virgil and Theocritus, examples of Renaissance pastoral by Shakespeare and others, lyrics by the British Romantic poets, and Victorian verse from the age of Darwin.  The bulk of the course will then focus on poetry in the age of the Anthropocene, studying verse  by Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, and Wendell Berry, among many others.  Students will not only master essential ecocritical theory but will also study related theory including ecofeminism, environmental justice, and post-humanism.  Among other crucial skills, the class will learn how to never use the word “nature” and how to internalize an understanding of the true relationship between “humans” and “animals.”

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