Undergraduate Course: Imagining Environmental Justice (ENLI10416)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||What does it mean to imagine environmental justice? This course explores this pressing question through analysing a range of narratives from distinct global contexts, paying particular attention to what environmental justice means in a world where the effects of colonialism and climate change are unevenly distributed. Through sustained engagement with Indigenous North American, African American, Palestinian, and South African literary and imaginary traditions, the course will enable students to explore distinct interpretations of what environmental justice entails. By engaging with a range of theoretical approaches, we will interrogate the role of literature in environmental justice movements to ask whether artistic and creative forms of expression might enable us to imagine more equitable futures.
What does it mean to imagine environmental justice? This course explores this pressing question through analysing a range of narratives from distinct global contexts, paying particular attention to what environmental justice means in a world where the effects of colonialism and climate change are unevenly distributed. Through sustained engagement with Indigenous North American, African American, Palestinian, and South African literary and imaginary traditions, the course will enable students to explore distinct interpretations of what environmental justice entails. By engaging with a range of theoretical approaches, we will interrogate the role of literature in environmental justice movements to ask whether artistic and creative forms of expression might enable us to imagine more equitable futures.
Students will be asked to critically reflect on global texts including poetry, novels, films, and nonfiction narratives that engage in diverse ways with the question of environmental justice. Course materials highlight not only instances of spectacular environmental catastrophe but also more subtle effects on bodies and landscapes, attending to the complex ways that environmental crisis intersects with race, gender and sexuality.
The course begins with key structuring concepts in the environmental humanities to provide us with a critical grounding for discussions throughout the semester. This selection of theoretical texts will encourage students to consider ways of thinking about questions of environment, the nonhuman, crisis, and justice from various disciplinary and cultural perspectives. Throughout the rest of the term, students will apply and develop these theoretical approaches through analysing a range of creative works, which will require students to engage with questions of representation, language and form.
UG students taking this course will be assessed on two pieces of work: 1) learning journal blog entries to be posted across weeks 2-7 (40%) and 2) one formal essay to be written during the exam period (60%). UG students will post unassessed 300-500 word learning journal entries throughout the semester, which the tutor will provide formative feedback for in week 4. Students will then have the option to revise before submitting these for formal assessment (between 2500-3000 words). Students will also be required to give one unassessed presentation on a text of their choosing, the content of which can be drawn from their learning journal entry for that week.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
plus 1 hour Autonomous Learning Group per week, at time to be arranged.
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||For undergraduates taking the course, there are two components of assessment:
Submission of learning journal entries totaling 2500 words (40%)
A final essay of 3000 words (60%).
||Written feedback will be provided on each assignment, and additional verbal feedback will be available from the course organiser on request.
All students will be given regular verbal feedback in response to their contributions in seminars and to submitted learning journal entries from weeks 2-7. All students are welcome to speak with the Course Organiser during office hours or by appointment for individual feedback on their ideas, plans for their assignments, or future plans, or for further discussion of feedback received on written work.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Construct informed, clear and persuasive arguments about environmental justice issues in relation to the primary texts, and the social, cultural and historical contexts in which they are embedded.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the key questions, topics and issues in the field of environmental justice, particularly relating to global Indigenous and post/de-colonial perspectives.
- Apply close reading, comparative and critical analysis skills to a variety of literary forms (including novels, poetry, film, and creative nonfiction) in dialogue with existing theory and scholarship.
- Begin to develop independent lines of research, with guidance from the tutor.
- Offer reflective and constructive feedback to their peers and respond thoughtfully to constructive criticism of their own work.
Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2016)
Linda Hogan, Solar Storms (1992)
Tommy Pico, Nature Poem (2017)
J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (1999)
Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones (2011)
Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Iep Jaltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter (2017)
dg nanouk okpik, Corpse Whale (2012)
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, This Accident of Being Lost (2017)
Basma Ghalayini (ed.) Palestine +100: Stories from a Century After the Nakba (2019)
Jonah Mixon-Webster, Stereo(TYPE) (2021)
[FILM] There's Something in The Water, directed by Ian Daniel and Elliott Page (2019)
Paolo Bacigalupi, The Water Knife (2015)
Rachel Gregory Fox and Ahmad Qabaha, Post-Millennial Palestine: Literature, Memory, Resistance (2021)
Daniel Heath Justice, Why Indigenous Literatures Matter (2018)
Winona LaDuke, All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999)
Barbara McKean Parmenter, Giving Voice to Stones: Place and Identity in Palestinian Literature
Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2012)
Seth T Reno, The Anthropocene: Approaches and Contexts for Literature and the Humanities (2021)
Henrietta Rose-Innes, Homing, 2010.
Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (2016)
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, As We Have Always Done (2017)
Ivy Schweitzer and Gordon Henry, Afterlives of Indigenous Archives (2019)
Ingrid Waldron, There¿s Something in The Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities (2018)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
Gain skills in research and enquiry through engaging with a varied range of literatures and their cultural, geographical, and historic contexts, navigating a growing, interdisciplinary research field and its associated scholarship
Exercise personal and intellectual autonomy through developing independent lines of enquiry in learning journals, presentations and in the final assessment
Enhance skills in written communication and persuasion, by developing well-informed arguments in regular written tasks and assessments, using appropriate evidence and scholarship to support them.
Strengthen skills in interpersonal communication and working with others, through presentations and sustained discussion with their peers in seminars.
Develop a practical understanding of how to engage sensitively in critical discussion around complex and sensitive topics pertaining to colonialism, racism, sexism, and other forms of social injustice.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||one 2-hour Seminar per week;
one 1-hour Autonomous Learning Group per week (at time to be arranged)
|Keywords||Environmental humanities,ecocriticism,settler colonialism,gender,contemporary literature
|Course organiser||Dr Rebecca MacKlin
|Course secretary||Ms June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620