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Nature Writing Class at SMU

The Writer and Nature
English 2318.1 — Saint Mary’s University, Halifax
Fridays – 10:00-12:30
Sept.-Dec. 2015
Instructor: Brian Bartlett
You can drive out nature with a pitch fork
but it always comes roaring back again – Tom Waits
This course is centered on “nature writing” in the U.S. and Britain over the past two centuries. We will look at non-fiction prose by pioneers such as Gilbert White, Dorothy Wordsworth, H. D. Thoreau, and John Muir, along with modern authors including Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Annie Dillard and Leslie Marmon Silko. We will also look at examples of animal presence in the works of a few fiction writers and poets. Discussions will grapple with topics such as the word “nature” itself, descriptive and narrative approaches, ideas about the natural world in Judeo-Christian and Aboriginal traditions, mixes of the personal and the scientific, and the growth of ecological thinking and environmental ethics as reflected in literary works. This course can be taken for a university credit or audited. For more information, contact bbartlett6364@gmail.com.