Eng 22S, Fall 2013

Honors Seminar for ENG 22, Introduction to Literature and the Environment

An honors tutorial designed to enrich the lecture experience of Eng 22 for particularly motivated students. Includes additional readings, more extensive study of the reading list, and supplementary writing.

This course is an environmental survey of Western literature. In much the same way that feminist critics are interested in literary representations of gender and women, environmental critics explore how nature and the natural world are imagined through literary texts. As with changing perceptions of gender, such literary representations are not only generated by particular cultures, they play a significant role in generating those cultures. Thus if we wish to understand our contemporary attitude toward the environment, its literary history is an excellent place to start. While authors such as Thoreau and Wordsworth may first come to mind in this context, literary responses to environmental concerns are as old as the issues themselves. Deforestation, air pollution, endangered species, wetland loss, animal rights, and rampant consumerism have all been appearing as controversial issues in Western literature for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years. Starting with an excerpt from one of the West’s earliest texts, The Epic of Gilgamesh, this course will explore the often-ignored literary history of the natural world.

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

Average rating: 4.7 of 5 (♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent; ♣♣♣♣ Very Good; ♣♣♣ Good; ♣♣ Fair; ♣ Poor)

♣♣♣♣♣ Dr. Hiltner is one of the best tutors I’ve had since starting university three years ago. He is patient, clear, and has the ability to help students understand complex ideas, and is just highly knowledgeable. Very interesting course with a teacher who always has time to help you.

♣♣♣♣♣ I really enjoyed the way this honors section was run. It was a good idea incorporating supplemental readings and if you do this next time I would recommend having them all quarter. Also, I noticed a few of my peers barely participating, so having certain students come up with questions prior to the discussion could result in more participation. Regardless of that, this was a phenomenal experience.

♣♣♣♣♣ Professor Hiltner is an excellent teacher who is well read and extremely prepared for class. Only one of three professors who completes all nine weeks of instruction and actually has a final during finals week. His lectures are well organized and everything is accessible. He is also a most thoughtful and interactive teacher. Encourages discussion.

♣♣♣♣♣ Professor Hiltner has a vast amount of knowledge, not only about the environment. On top of that, he is willing to share it with students. Quite an inspiring professor. I learned a lot and acquired an environmental consciousness. I am thankful for this class.

♣♣♣♣♣ I really like this class! It would be nice if there were more essays so that perhaps it could fulfill in area “G” literature requirement, but I liked the online sections and all of the material. Professor Hiltner is an excellent lecturer, but having class Monday and Wednesday nights in one hour and 45 minutes segments is a bit difficult. All in all, I am glad to have taken this course.

♣♣♣♣♣ Enlightening class. Wonderful.

♣♣♣♣♣ I really enjoyed the seminar, and appreciate the kindness Professor Hiltner expressed toward each student. He is so humble, and humility touches students far more than an instructor can ever comprehend. He encouraged me to continue my literature and environment specialization! :)

♣♣♣♣♣ Great lecture, excellent understanding of material, and maintains rapport with class well. Pacing is slightly off and the tests are structured in a confusing manner although they are not too difficult.

♣♣♣♣♣ Some of the presentations and lectures were hard for me to follow, but Professor Hiltner was very knowledgeable and approachable throughout the course. He also brought up interesting perspectives that I had not previously considered.

♣♣♣♣♣ Really good in honors section. In lecture, long-winded and almost 100% based on slides, which is nice for students but not very conducive to attending lecture. If lectures were to be cut down to, for instance, one hour and 15 minutes. After all, there are still sections, which I spent a good 50 minutes on, so it works out unit wise, even though sections are online.

♣♣♣♣♣ I think that more specific question should be asked in class. The material that we read was very rich, so was hard to get a response when asked what my thoughts were on the reading. Lectures could a bit shorter. A lot of content is introduced in one hour and 50.

♣♣♣♣ Very interesting in structure, enjoyed going to lectures very much.

♣♣♣♣ Professor Hiltner takes a lot of time to answer questions and gives everyone’s thoughts equal footing. But sometimes the class drug on and it became tiring. It does not hold up to the materials that it taught sometimes. The online sections could also be improved if the students could write the questions. That would increase discussion.