Eng/Es 100LE, Fall 2011

Honors Seminar for Engl 122EN, Introduction to Literature and the Environment

An honors tutorial designed to enrich the lecture experience of Eng 122EN 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. This course satisfies the requirements of the Undergraduate Specialization in Literature and the Environment (USLE).

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

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

♣♣♣♣♣ This section was so insightful and interesting, by far my favorite class I’ve taken (and I’m already a Junior!). Professor Hiltner encouraged/made a comfortable environment for all of us to participate and engage with the text in more depth.

♣♣♣♣♣ Ken is an amazing lecturer, a real powerhouse. He is intelligent, articulate, approachable, and makes his subject matter accessible to his students. A+!

♣♣♣♣♣ Ken is great at facilitating discussion. This section really helped me further understand the themes brought up in class.

♣♣♣♣♣ Best section I have had in college so far. Ken is an extremely educated, passionate, and personable professor that truly cares about what he is teaching. This class was so well organized and informative that I recommend it to anyone else.

♣♣♣♣♣ Such a unique course offered at UCSB, definitely one of my favorites. His enthusiasm and concise understanding of the course materials makes it so much more interesting and comprehensive. One of my favorite teachers by far. Lectures are very clear and easy to understand.

♣♣♣♣♣ I have never taken an honors section before and I regret it. I was able to draw so much more from the course. Hiltner is smart, thoughtful, and considerate. I will try to take another course with him.

♣♣♣♣♣ Thank you so much for taking the time to conduct an honors section. This class was amazing and I feel the honors section really enriched my experience.

♣♣♣♣♣ The quality of discussion exceeded my expectations. Professor was extremely knowledgeable and environmentally aware.

♣♣♣♣♣ Outstanding teacher. I absolutely loved the class and course material. Never before have I been so enthusiastic about a course. Best professor at UCSB by far! Shows true passion for teaching and material.

Unrated Thanks Ken! I love being able to actively discuss the readings each week with fellow scholars and the course instructor. These kinds of academic experiences can be hard to come by at a big research university, so I am most grateful for how much I got out of this seminar.