Eng 122EA, Fall 2017

The Rhetoric of Environmental Activism

This course is an experiment. It begins with the assumption that global climate change is real and that its causes are anthropogenic (i.e. human caused). Consequently, solutions will not be just technological, or even mostly so, but will also need to involved profound cultural changes to our beliefs, practices, and styles of life. The difficulty in bringing this about is not only that many Americans are skeptical of climate change, even if this is acknowledged, the causes and solutions to the problem are being fiercely debated on the public stage. It has also, sadly, become a political issue dividing our nation. This course will carefully look at the rhetoric of these debates.


“Please rate the overall quality of the instructor’s teaching”

Average rating: 4.9 of 5 (♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent; ♣♣♣♣ Very Good; ♣♣♣ Good; ♣♣ Fair; ♣ Poor)

♣♣♣♣♣ This class was definitely one of the best classes I have taken at UCSB. The material was very relatable, important, and applicable to our lives outside of the classroom. The discussion based teaching style is one of my favorites because I feel that it is the most effective way to engage the students. The class taught me how to investigate and really learn how to find information from multiple sources as well as present them in a way that can be absorbed by others. Professor Hiltner is fantastic and by far one of the most genuine and personable teachers I have ever had.

♣♣♣♣♣ I loved the format of the class, it was extremely engaging and exciting to be in. Never a boring day and discussion was always fun. I love how Prof. Hiltner adds in information and personal thoughts and facilitates the discussion but does not take over it. He is very supportive and a respectful of all student’s opinions so it encourages us all to talk.

♣♣♣♣♣ I loved the course. One of the most important I’ve ever taken and relevant to everyone, not just English majors. Hiltner is endlessly supportive, easy to talk to, and very intelligent. The course is intimate but very comfortable, no matter your personality. This is what teaching should be like—communal and interactive. One of my favorite courses and one of my favorite professors!

♣♣♣♣♣ What I enjoyed about Ken was the way in which he encouraged discussion by speaking to us rather than at us. He connected well with the students which improved the dynamic of the course greatly as well as the learning environment.

♣♣♣♣♣ The structure of this class made it extremely interactive and enjoyable. I loved how Professor Hiltner had us present two topics throughout the course. Since this class was about the environment and climate change/the world it was incredibly relevant to our lives. I was thankful to learn about topics I had always been curious about but never able to find correct information on. This class perfectly engaged in a literary course with science and I found that as well as refreshing, but also effective!

♣♣♣♣♣ Prof. Hitlner is extremely well versed in all topics we covered in class which made his lectures very interesting. I walked away from each class with new knowledge on a topic that I think is very interesting and important. The discussion based course was good because I felt like Prof. Hiltner really cared about our opinions.

♣♣♣♣♣ I have had Professor Hiltner for three different classes now, and am grateful to have had such an intelligent and humble person as a part of my education here at UCSB.

♣♣♣♣♣ Provided a very informative insight on any question or topic discussed. Your passion and dedication to the climate change movement allowed me to believe the importance to how impactful one person can be.

♣♣♣♣♣ Our teacher was extremely well-informed of the issues at hand and encouraged discussion among students and had a lot of information and ideas to contribute.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great interactive class. So far the most beneficial English class I’ve taken at any institution. I do think the rhetoric of environmental literature should be covered a little more.

♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent! Most interactive/engaging class I’ve had. Taught students to be teachers. Very respectful of everyone’s thoughts/opinions as well.

♣♣♣♣♣ One of the best classes I have ever taken. Really enjoyed the small class setting and the seminar environment.

♣♣♣♣♣ This class has been absolutely invaluable in the development of my critical reading and public speaking skills in the modern age. This course has changed me. Much thanks Prof. Hiltner!

♣♣♣♣♣ Very knowledgeable on the subject which is great and better enriches the learning I get from the presentations.

♣♣♣♣♣ BEST class ever. Holistic. Engaging. Growing.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great course that proves that science and humanities do belong together. Course allows students to offer opinions and values every student’s thoughts. Professor knows his shit, reminds me of a hotter version of Santa Claus.

♣♣♣♣ I enjoyed the class style and the accessibility of information and success as a non-English major. The public speaking aspect was helpful and the topics inspired insightful conversation and initiated personal responsibility and action.

♣♣♣♣ The class was mostly taught by students so the first question isn’t really applicable, but the professor’s decision to formulate the class as it is was an excellent choice, especially for this particular topic. This class was a unique experience both in its presentation and content. The only complaint I have is that when presentation topics are chosen, sign up sheets should go in opposite directions so some people don’t get both of their first choices while others get really no choice in selection.

♣♣♣♣ It was nice to finally take an English class that is practical. The format of student-led presentations was refreshing and interesting.