Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Course Details

Fall 2014-2015
* FRE 338 / COM 332 / ENV 338 (LA)   No Audit

The Literature of Environmental Disaster

Göran Magnus Blix

In the Anthropocene, humanity has become, for the first time, a geological agent transforming the conditions of life on earth, but this power itself gives rise to unprecedented challenges, from air pollution and floods to nuclear fallout and plagues, from agribusiness to petro-imperialism. Literature sheds a unique light on this global crisis, highlighting in each case the lived human experience, the distinct visions of nature, and the complex social conflicts involved. Readings include novels, plays, and journalism about oil extraction, megadams and nuclear fallout from France, Russia, India, Nigeria, Japan and the US.

Sample reading list:
Emile Zola, Germinal
Albert Camus, The Plague
Antoine Volodine, Minor Angels
Svetlana Alexievitch, Voices From Chernobyl
Helon Habila, Oil on Water
Indra Sinha, Animal's People
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
150 pages a week. Midterm paper (5p) and term paper in lieu of final exam (10-12p). Four short response papers (1-2p).

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 15%
Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Term Paper(s) - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%

Other information:
Offered in English. French concentrators and certificate students read the French texts in the original.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23439 L01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm T        Enrolled:10 Limit:30
23440 P01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm Th        Enrolled:10 Limit:15
23441 P01A 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:15