Course List: Literature and the Environment

Course List: Literature and the Environment


ENGL 317, ACE 5

Cory Willard


Not your typical English class: This is a field immersion course in literature and the environment taking place at Cedar Point Biological Station, near Ogallala, Nebraska on next to Lake McConaughy. In this class we will immerse ourselves in the literature of the surrounding plains and make numerous short field trips into the local environment. These dramatic natural landscapes are the perfect setting to read environmental literature. Assignments will include reading responses, nature journals, and a research paper.

Stories help us see, teach us what to care about, and open our imaginations to new possibilities. So, who tells the story of this place, and how? What stories inform our understanding of how we relate to our environment and its nonhuman residents? Does our language or tradition push us toward noticing certain ecosystems or species over others?

Cedar Point Biological Station has housing, dining facilities, a library, classrooms, research labs, WiFi, over 900 acres of UNL owned prairie, miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, redcedar filled canyons, and a friendly inviting atmosphere.

Tentative list of texts:

-to be purchased by students-

  • This River Beneath the Sky: A Year on the Platte, Doreen Pfost (used ~$6)
  • Those of the Gray Wind, Paul A. Johnsgard (used ~$8)
  • Equinox: Life, Love, and Birds of Prey, Dan O'Brien (used ~$15)
  • The Echo Make, Richard Powers (used ~$5)
  • Great Plains Birds, Larkin Powell (new $15)

*Prices are not guarateed.*

-selections from these texts, provided by instructor-

  • The Immense Journey, Loren Eiseley
  • Keith County Journal, John Janovy
  • The Last Prairie: A Sandhills Journal, Stephen Jones

Photo Collage of the following books: the Immense Journey by Eiseley, Keith County Journal by Janovy, Buffalo for the Broken Heart by O'Brien, a Lantern in Her Hand by Aldrich, and the Ogallala Road by Bair on a background of a pond in the sandhills.