English R1B

Reading and Composition: Nature Poetry Before and After the Industrial Revolution

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2018 Heimlich, Timothy
MWF 9-10 211 Dwinelle

Book List

Morton, Timothy: Ecology Without Nature; Williams, Raymond: The Country and the City

Other Readings and Media

A mandatory course reader will be made available for purchase at Replica Copy at 2138 Oxford Street. The reader will include selections from a wide variety of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poets and from a host of more recent historians, literary critics, and theorists. 


Beginning in the mid-eighteenth century and continuing into the mid-nineteenth, the Industrial Revolution fundamentally altered individuals' relationships to and conceptions of labor, family, subjectivity, religious belief, and nature. The Industrial Revolution began and reached its most intense peak within Great Britain, and British writers responded to it in diverse and fascinating ways. In this course, we will explore how the category of "Nature" was invented and mutated throughout the period in response to industrialization and urbanization. We will focus on poetry written before, during, and after these changes, paying close attention to historical context and to recent theoretical approaches as ways of better understanding their scope and importance.

In the process of this investigation, you will learn how to analyze and mobilize rhetoric in and through writing. You will not only think about how writers make explicit and implicit arguments about the world around them, but also explore how to develop your own written arguments coherently and effectively. Furthermore, you will hone your research skills and your ability to develop arguments at length. In the process, you will write and revise two progressively longer research essays. 

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