Teaching North American Environmental Literature
From stories about Los Angeles freeways to slave narratives to science fiction, environmental literature encompasses more than nature writing. The study of environmental narrative has flourished since the MLA published Teaching Environmental Literature in 1985. Today, writers evince a self-consciousness about writing in the genre, teachers have incorporated field study into courses, technology has opened up classroom possibilities, and institutions have developed to support study of this vital body of writing. The challenge for instructors is to identify core texts while maintaining the field's dynamic, open qualities.
The essays in this volume focus on North American environmental writing, presenting teachers with background on environmental justice issues, ecocriticism, and ecofeminism. Contributors consider the various disciplines that have shaped the field, including African American, American Indian, Canadian, and Chicana/o literature. The interdisciplinary approaches recommended treat the theme of predators in literature, ecology and ethics, conservation, and film. A focus on place-based literature explores how students can physically engage with the environment as they study literature. The volume closes with an annotated resource guide organized by subject matter.
About the Authors
Laird Christensen is associate professor of English and environmental studies at Green Mountain College, where he directs the graduate program in environmental studies. His articles on literature and bioregional pedagogy have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals, including Northwest Review and Renascence; his poems and creative nonfiction have appeared in such magazines as Utne Reader, Wild Earth, and Whole Terrain.
Mark C. Long is associate professor of English and American studies and chair of the Department of English at Keene State College. He is cofounder and cofacilitator of the Calderwood Institute on the Teaching of Writing at Keene State College. He has published essays on teaching and the profession, theories of reading, environmental literature, and American poetry.
Fred Waage is the editor of Teaching Environmental Literature: Materials, Methods, Resources. He has published poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction as well as articles on the Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, popular culture, and environmental literature. He was the founding editor of the Appalachian periodical Now and Then. As a teacher, he is interested in Renaissance drama, creative writing, Irish literature, and literature of the environment. He is author of The Critical Role of the Environment in the Writings of George Stewart: A Life of America's Literary Ecologist.
"More than a study of nature writing, this collection of essays examines the influences that have shaped the field, such as African American, American Indian, Canadian, and Chicano literature."Book News
"More than a study of nature writing, this collection of essays examines the influences that have shaped the field, such as African American, American Indian, Canadian, and Chicano literature." —Book News
"Teachers in settings from advanced high schools to community colleges and full undergraduate programs in American literature and environmental studies will want to use this book. It will prove a landmark in environmental literary pedagogy." —Louise Westling, University of Oregon