Eng 22S, Fall 2015

Seminar for Introduction to Literature and the Environment

Seminar course for a select number of students enrolled in English 22 designed to enrich the large lecture experience for the motivated student. Course includes either supplementary reading or more intensive study of the English 22 reading list, as well as supplemental 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)

♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent course, very engaging, would love to do more research with Ken and take an upper division course that explores more. Also please coordinate with the Environmental Science Department, this would make an excellent E.S. class and would have huge impacts on E.S. majors.

♣♣♣♣♣ Fascinating course, and section discussions allowed for further discussion of topics and texts.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great seminar. Ken has immense knowledge in everything environmental and gives you a whole new English-based perspective on environmental issues.

♣♣♣♣♣ Extremely knowledgeable and engaging.

♣♣♣♣♣ Hiltner is a lovely soul.

♣♣♣♣♣ Very enthusiastic about the topic, but also very opinionated.

♣♣♣♣♣ Very amenable and reasonable. As long as you do the expected reading, the course goes smoothly.

♣♣♣♣♣ Professor Hiltner made class interesting and relevant every time. It was a pleasure to learn from him!

♣♣♣♣♣ I think the pastoral took up too much space. Would have been nice to look into something like dystopian novels. A little theory would have been nice too.

♣♣♣♣ Mr. Hiltner is an excellent professor who is very easy to talk to. He is eager to help his students understand the information given. Great class.

♣♣♣♣ Lectures are a little long, not his fault, but would help to have either a five minute break or a relevant clip, song, art piece, or pop culture reference. I thought the section was phenomenal though, he really lets us just run with our ideas and is very encouraging.

♣♣♣♣ The seminar helps me understand the concepts better. It is also nice to get to discuss after a large lecture.