THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2017/2018

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Green Thoughts: Landscape, Environment and Literature (PG Version) (ENLI11193)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is about how the environment is imagined and written in an era of ecological crises; in other words, how to think ┐the ecological thought.┐ Focussing on post-war and twenty first-century British writing, including the so-called ┐new nature writing┐ and ┐new nature poetry┐, the course will ask students to consider how ideas of place, landscape, nature, and the non-human world have been shaped by awareness of man-made climate destabilisation and accelerated extinction. Much of this writing is motivated by a sense that a connection with the non-human has been a casualty of modernity, exacerbated by globalisation and the threats associated with climate change; other writing on the course expresses scepticism that a recovery is possible, or even desirable. All writing on the course exists in the shadow of the Anthropocene, the idea that humanity┐s impact on global ecological systems has reached proportions previously only exhibited over geological time. This course asks students to read with a mind to responding to questions about the relationship between landscape and memory, the compatibility of regional and (inter)national identities, the possibility of interaction between human and non-human worlds of perception, and the value and validity (or otherwise) of the idea of wilderness. We will endeavour to trouble binaristic thinking about human and non-human, and the complex nature of time in the Anthropocene.
The course will quire students to engage with contemporary literary eco-criticism, as well as a range of interdisciplinary environmental theory. It will also prioritise considerations of literary form and genre. The course will therefore ask students both to assess the capacity of these forms to engage a sense of ┐placedness┐, and to assess the limits of formal boundaries.
Course description 1.Introduction
2. The Peregrine, JA Baker
3. 'New Nature Writing': Extracts from Robert Macfarlane, Kathleen Jamie, Tim Robinson, Tim Dee, Jean Sprackland, Nan Shepherd (on Learn)
4. Poems from The Ground Aslant: an anthology of radical landscape poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo
5. Poems from The Ground Aslant: an anthology of radical landscape poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo
6. Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth
7. Dart, Alice Oswald
8. Edgelands, Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley / 'City by Roy Fisher (poem available on Learn)
9. Bee Journal, Sean Borodale
10. The Rings of Saturn, WG Sebald

This option course, offered by Dr David Farrier, aims to introduce students to thinking about and reading literary texts from an environmental perspective, by inviting them to look at the range of British writing grouped under the heading of "new nature" writing, or contemporary green writing.
This course is about the pull of wild places, and the remaining possibilities of wilderness. Focussing on post-war and twenty first-century British writing, but also taking in the work of Romantic, Victorian and Modernist authors, the course will ask students to consider the influence which fantasies of places "outside history" and human interference play in understandings of landscapes, identity, the past, and nature. Much of this writing is motivated by a sense that connections to a more "natural" way of living have been lost to the pace of modernity, often exacerbated by the threats associated with climate change. Other writing expresses scepticism that such a recovery is possible, or even desirable. This course asks students to read with a mind to responding to questions about the relationship between landscape and memory, the compatibility of regional and (inter)national identities, the possibility of interaction between human and non-human worlds of perception, and the value and validity (or otherwise) of the idea of wilderness. Students will be invited to consider these questions in particular in relation to the possibilities offered by literary writing, and Jonathan Bate's assertion that poetry, and all literary writing, has a special capacity to give expression to the "song of the earth".
The course will also prioritise considerations of literary form and genre. The texts are limited to the UK, and to either poetry or travel/non-fiction. Non-fiction writing bears much of the current burden of the "new nature" writing, along with poetry. This reflected in the fact that both forms privilege a single perspective (the "I" describing the world); yet travel/non-fiction is also typically a relatively under-valued genre. However, many of the non-fiction texts on the course challenge easy distinctions between poetry and prose, and the course will therefore ask students both to assess the capacity of these forms to engage a sense of "placedness", and to assess the limits of formal boundaries.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 4000 word essay (100%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. In addition to the skills training common to all English Literature Honours courses (essay writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning) this course will aim to develop in students the ability to articulate (in written and oral forms) a considered, informed sense of the breadth and range of eco-critical writing, theory and contexts.
  2. Students will also be asked to evaluate a range of key concepts in eco-critical studies,particularly in terms of their relevance to current environmental contexts and their application to the primary texts.
  3. Students will be expected to demonstrate the ability to work with interdisciplinary material.
  4. Students will articulate how their own thinking and research agenda has developed.
  5. Students reflect constructively on good learning practice.
Reading List
1.Introduction
2. The Peregrine, JA Baker
3. 'New Nature Writing': Extracts from Robert Macfarlane, Kathleen Jamie, Tim Robinson, Tim Dee, Jean Sprackland, Nan Shepherd (on Learn)
4. Poems from The Ground Aslant: an anthology of radical landscape poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo
5. Poems from The Ground Aslant: an anthology of radical landscape poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo
6. Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth
7. Dart, Alice Oswald
8. Edgelands, Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley / 'City by Roy Fisher (poem available on Learn)
9. Bee Journal, Sean Borodale
10. The Rings of Saturn, WG Sebald
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements MSc only version of UG course ENLI10356
KeywordsGreen
Contacts
Course organiserDr David Farrier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3607
Email: David.Farrier@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Kara Mccormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
Email: Kara.McCormack@ed.ac.uk
Navigation
Help & Information
Home
Introduction
Glossary
Search DPTs and Courses
Regulations
Regulations
Degree Programmes
Introduction
Browse DPTs
Courses
Introduction
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Prospectuses
Important Information