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21W.730-4 Writing and the Environment, Fall 2002

Photo of hands typing on an old typewriter.
Typing visual. (Visual by www.PDImages.com.)

課程重點

This course combines reading and writing about the environment in a workshop-style composition course. The course features a number of writing exercises as well.

課程描述

Environmentalists have traditionally relied upon the power of their prose to transform the thoughts and behavior of their contemporaries. John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, evoked the wonders of California's Hetch Hetchy Valley in the hope that he could stop a dam with words. Another early environmentalist, Aldo Leopold, summoned up a world made barren by the loss of predators in the hope that he could stop the slaughter of wolves. More recently, Rachel Carson, a marine biologist with a penchant for writing, described a world without wildlife in Silent Spring and altered the way that Americans understood their impact on the landscape. Leopold and Carson were professional scientists, and like the other writers we will encounter this fall, they realized that they could alter the perceptions of their contemporaries only if they were able to transmit their knowledge in engaging and accessible language. We will do our best to follow in their footsteps. We will consider the strategies of popular science writers like Lewis Thomas, David Quammen, John McPhee, and Ursula K. LeGuin. We will also sample works by less familiar geologists, hydrologists, and biologists. Students in this course will have a chance to try out several ways of characterizing and explaining natural environments. The first paper of the term will draw upon personal experience; the others will require a modest amount of research. The paper will provide opportunities to examine the landscapes that each student knows best, and all will go through multiple phases as we explore different strategies for writing and revision.

師資

講師:
Prof. Cynthia Taft

上課時數

每週2節
每節1.5小時

程度
大學部
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