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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2004

AMS 370 • Mother Earth, Virgin Land, and Nature's Furies: Nature and Gender in America-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
27892 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
GAR 301

Course Description

In stories of conquest, progress, and struggle, nature has been described as unspoiled virgin, capricious female fury, and fertile earth goddess. In stories of proper roles and capabilities, women have been described as wilder, less civilized, and more connected to the earth. Throughout our national narratives, then, American women have been connected to the land around them. How does a focus on women and nature reveal the workings of race, class, sex, and gender in ideas of our nation? What are the stakes involved? What are the stereotypes and what are the individual truths about “women” and “nature” in this context? How do women build identities against this background? We will look at the multiple experiences of diverse women—black, white, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, working class, middle class, upper class etc. We will study how these ideas have changed over time and across the country. We will use fiction, film, popular culture, letters, diaries, and a grounding in environmental and literary theory in this interdisciplinary exploration.


Carolyn Merchant, Earthcare: Women and the Environment Karen Warren, Ecofeminism Excerpts from the Ecocriticism Reader Stephanie Kaza, The Attentive Heart: Conversations with Trees Susan Griffin, Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her Linda Hogan, Power William Cronon, Uncommon Ground Jennifer Price, Flight Maps Ana Castillo, So Far From God


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