Writing & the Literature of Nature
Writing is central to this course. Through exploring the literature of nature, students develop and strengthen creative and basic essay writing skills. Course reading and writing assignments cultivate critical thinking.
This course is designed to take 12-14 weeks, but the student can complete the coursework at whatever speed s/he desires.
Students have access to readings and audio talks by prominent writers in the field including: Leslie Silko, Linda Hogan, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Oren Lyons, Terry Tempest Williams, Brenda Peterson, and Sherri Mitchell.
Students write two short essays and one longer essay exploring course materials and readings. Separate instructions are provided for each essay. The instructor provides detailed feedback on structure, language, and overall writing quality.
Shorter essay questions offer students the chance to develop critical thinking on course readings and material. In these shorter writing exercises, students can write creatively and less formally, as in journal writing, and draw upon their own experiences, backgrounds, and ideas. The instructor will not critique these responses as to the quality of writing, but rather to the quality of critical thought the student displays.
Students complete a total of six pages of formal essay writing and five to eight pages of shorter essay questions.
Along with your course purchase, you’ll receive informational sheets on Essay Writing Basics, Common Grammatical Errors, Tips on Strong Writing, Suggestions for Writing Resources, and Further Reading Suggestions.
Themes surveyed include:
• Myths of Interconnection between people and nature from African, Native American, Asian, and European contexts exploring:
• The tradition of contact with the divine in nature
• Shapeshifting & fluid boundaries between species
• Marriages to fish, snakes, and other animals
• Ancestry tales: origin stories from marriages between people and animals
• European Colonization of North America
• The Transition into the Modern Era
• Solace in Nature
• Advocacy for the Environment
Animari | än´-eh-mar-ee | From Latin “to give life to”