BMA-AMED-421.01
Ecology, Literature and Culture (Ekológia, irodalom és kultúra) in spring 2015
Federmayer Éva, Fri 13:30–15:00, R433, host: DAS (R306)
5-credit seminar, 30 h/term; strong prereq: BMA-AMED-320 321
description & set texts
A recent effort redraw the boundaries of literary studies and cultural studies in the age of environmental crisis, ecocriticsm seeks to rethink the human place in nature, positing a new category, space/place/environment, as a viable perspective on how human culture is connected to the physical world, hence how culture affects nature and how it is affected by it. This course will be concerned with discourses on places and spaces in a selection of American and Hungarian texts, teasing out how the concepts of Eden, wilderness, land, nature, pastoralism, country and city, apocalypse and pollution, public and private space, have changed over time in the respective local/national culture/literature. Drawing on these texts, we will also attempt to read them comparatively, in a cross-cultural perspective, seeking to tie our literary/cultural analyses to a green moral and political agenda. Objectives of the course: to familiarize students with basic issues of ecocriticism, including the scope of the discourse and its terminology, to sensitize them to the politics of environmentalism, nature preservation, nature writing vis-à-vis ecocriticism, to enlarge their vocabulary, oral and writing skills about green agendas. Requirements: - activity in class discussions - individual oral presentations - endterm essay: BA students: 6 pp, MA students: 10-12 pp (both double spaced, academic essay with footnotes, bibliobraphy, MLA formatting) - short in-class response papers Assessment: oral performance: 50% + essay 50% Readings: reader uploaded Syllabus with Readings and Presentation 2/13 Intro, orientation 2/20 Land, landcape and ideology/1 David Lowenthal, “European Landscapes as National Symbols” (Geography and National Identity) 2/27 Land, landcape and ideology/2 S. Duncan and Nancy G. Duncan, “The Narrative Structures: The Cultural Codes of a Landscape Aesthetic” (Landscapes of Privilege: The Politics of the Aesthetic in an American Suburb): 3/6 Public spaces and cultural codes/1 Gábor Gyáni, “User Strategies” (Identity and the Urban Experience: Fin-de-siècle Budapest): 3/13 Public spaces and cultural codes/2 Alison Byerly, “The Uses of Landscape: The Picturesque Aesthetic and the National Park System” (Ecocriticism Reader) 3/20 Reinventing (American) nature Kenneth R. Olwig, “Reinventing Common Nature Yosemite and Mount Rushmore—A Meandering Tale of Double Nature” (Uncommon Ground): 3/27 Nature and gender Kate Soper, “The Idea of Nature” (Green Studies Reader) Kate Soper , “Naturalized Woman and Feminized Nature”(Green Studies Reader) Anette Kolodny, “Unearthing Herstory” (Ecocriticism Reader) 4/10 Ecocriticsm as intellectual activity and political practice/1 William Howarth, “Some Principles of Ecocriticism” (Ecocriticism Reader) Richard White Are You and Environmentalist or Do You Work for Living? (Ecocriticism Reader) 4/17 Ecological utopia: a classic Ernest Callanbach, Ecotopia, 1974 4/24 Humans, animals and cyborgs Dona Haraway, Manifesto for Cyborgs OR Octavia Butler, ’Bloodchild’ 5/15 A NEW WE film screening and discussion Essay deadline: announced later Useful links: David Attenborough, The Truth About Climate Change Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JmrmwIyhAE Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK47Pnx46rM How Many People Can Live on Earth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN06tLRE4WE AFTERMATH Population Zero Full https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUqHECc5rPo Without Warning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9xMTA7qhZM Preview of Davis Guggenheim’s The Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu6SE5TYrCM download documentary: http://documentarylovers.com/film/al-gore-an-inconvenient-truth/ Annie Leonard The Story of Stuff https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8 The Story of Bottled Water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0 The Story of Solutions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpkRvc-sOKk
requirements & assessment
Requirements: - activity in class discussions - individual oral presentations - endterm essay: BA students: 6 pp, MA students: 10-12 pp (both double spaced, academic essay with footnotes, bibliobraphy, MLA formatting) - short in-class response papers Assessment: oral performance: 50% + essay 50% Readings: reader uploaded