AMS 390 • Ecology, Feminism, and Literature: Theory and Practice
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
From the nature study essay and the regionalist sketch of the nineteenth century to the poetry of deep ecology and the multi-genre creative nonfiction of today, ecology and feminism have cross-pollinated in American literature. Whether viewed as textual strategies or theoretical tools to analyze textsin other words, whether as practice or theoryhow do they support, challenge, or engage our understandings of American literature? In this graduate seminar, we will survey theoretical developments regarding ecocriticism, feminism, and their intersections. We will then test out those theories by applying them to select literature, looking for their applicability, the potential modifications the literature suggests to the theory, and the places in which the theory has not caught up to the literary productions. Moreover, we will place the works we read within their broader social and historical contexts.
Possible texts include: Mary N. Murfree, His Vanished Star (1894) Wilma Dykeman, The French Broad (Wakestone, 1955) David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous (NY: Pantheon, 1996) Joni Adamson, American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001) Stacy Alaimo, Undomesticated Ground (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000) Armbruster and Wallace, Beyond Nature Writing (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2001) Fetterley and Pryse, Writing Out of Place (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003) Stephanie Foote, Regional Fictions (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001) Gaard and Murphy, Ecofeminist Literary Criticism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998) Annette Kolodny, The Lay of the Land (Chapel hill; university of North Carolina Press, 1975) Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden (NY: Oxford, 1964) Joseph Meeker, The Comedy of Survival (NY: Scribner, 1974) Steven Rosendale, The Greening of Literary Scholarship (Iowa City, University of Iowa Press, 2002) Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth (Harvard, 1990) Rachel Stein, Shifting the Ground (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1997) Louise Westling, The Green Breast of the New World (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996)