Eng 22S, Spring 2015

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: 4.3 of 5 (♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent; ♣♣♣♣ Very Good; ♣♣♣ Good; ♣♣ Fair; ♣ Poor)

♣♣♣♣♣ Ken Hiltner is (in my opinion) the best English Professor at UCSB. His environmental literature course has been more than successful and educational in altering my view of the way we treat the world. Thanks.

♣♣♣♣♣ Good stuff. I think more people might participate in discussion more if the focus gets narrowed a bit for each week. Maybe more specific prompting for discussion.

♣♣♣♣♣ Prof. Hiltner does a great job with this class, mixing environmental message with important pieces of literature. Great and though provoking class!

♣♣♣♣♣ Amazing class, amazing instructor. It was very eye opening and influential with great content! Professor was very well read and was a splendid teacher!

♣♣♣♣♣ Content was very inserting and intriguing and applicable to course instruction was superb.

♣♣♣♣♣ Interesting/useful discussions.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great instructor!

♣♣♣♣ Sometimes the honors section and lecture were a bit too repetitive, but I found the content interesting and Professor Hiltner taught it well.

♣♣♣♣ I thought this course was very interesting. I read a lot of literature that I was not familiar with and enjoyed it.

♣♣♣♣ Interesting course, but sometimes ideas were a little repetitive.

♣♣ Would like to go further in-depth with given materials (good materials, but surface-level analysis and connection to main course focus and other works in class).

♣♣ Very knowledgeable and informed, but I don’t feel as if the texts were analyzed enough – he likes to hear his own voice I’ve found.