English R1B

Reading & Composition: Human Environments: Ecology, Evolution, and Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2014 Cannon, Benjamin Zenas
MWF 2-3 222 Wheeler

Book List

Pynchon, Thomas: The Crying of Lot 49; Thoreau, Henry David: Walden


This course will explore the relationship between humans and their environments, considering how literature helps us to map and even construct our environments. How do we adapt to our surroundings? How do we adapt our surroundings to us? Why do we, as organisms obsessed with survival and reproduction, bother to make literature at all? We will combine readings from ecological theory, evolutionary psychology, and urban studies with the close study of several longer and shorter works of literature.

Students will generate and revise several papers over the course of the semester as they develop their skills in analytical reading, writing, research and argumentation.

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