|ENGL4830W||DOLEZAL, FREDRIC||MWF||10:10 AM||0067|
- Topics Title
- Nature Writing: From Genesis to the New Frontier, or, From the Forest to Forestry
A course in which we read and write. And write some more.
- Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,
- Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime ... ?
- Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
- I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,--
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.
In this course we will explore some basic questions:
What is “nature”?
What is “nature writing”?
And attempt to provide some answers:
Creating a dialogue between
Active and Imaginative Experience
Contemplative and Practical Experiencing
Reflecting on Literary Traditions and Scientific Disciplines
Noting how each enhances the other rather than setting up conflict
Building a context for self-discovery
While we practice writing and rhetorical skills:
Confronting sentimentality, personification and teleological assumptions about “Nature”
Un-writing our conditioned responses to “Nature”
Collecting and describing Natural Facts
Performing the physical accuracy of scientific writing
Engaging our Human perception
Presenting imagination and emotions with creative insight
As a result of our questioning and writing:
Seeing significant relations between
Reflecting upon the abstract world of “ideas”
Relating physical realities of the material world.
We write about Nature; with Nature; through Nature to find our way to Nature Writing. By so doing we construct our definitions of nature and nature writing.
Each student should keep a journal that includes all written assignments; reflections upon our reading; descriptions and contemplations of “nature”; and notes and queries concerning ideas and questions that occupy your attention and the attention of the class.