Title

Writing in Nature - ENGL 374 Final Project 2020

Work Type

Collection

Date

Fall 2020

Language

English

Abstract

We are the English 374 Literature and the Environment class at the University of Puget Sound! We want to thank you for visiting our website and hope that you enjoy and absorb the different experiences, art, and knowledge we poured into here. We also hope our pieces will help you see the environment and your place in it in a different, more personal way.

This website is our class' collaborative final project for the Fall 2020 semester. This assignment aims to connect theories of environmental literature with our various interests and experiences with the environment, broadly speaking. Additionally, an integral part of the environment is interacting with a community of some sort. This website is the place where such community engagement can begin to occur, without any form of exclusion or judgement.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us in this class are scattered - from Washington to California to Saipan. Such spread give us a unique opportunity to further expand this idea of community and think about it more critically. Although Puget Sound and Tacoma hold special places within our hearts, it's important to remember the communities we come from and how that impacts how we see and interact with the environment/climate change as a whole.

This class has shown us that privilege is a big part of being able to participate in climate activism and make long term changes to lessen our carbon footprint. Poor people, especially those of color, have the hardest time with this because their communities are the first to be impacted and have the least amount of support to get out of it. Going zero waste is not as accessible as many influencers make it seem, so it's important to be aware of the harm we personally add to the climate crisis, while still being sensitive to other's current situations and limitations. This space is not meant to guilt or shame, but rather inform and validate our fears/concerns and hopefully spread the word of the importance of being educated in environmental studies.

We hope our collection encourages you to deepen your connection to nature. We read and discussed fictional/nonfictional texts such as "The Overstory" by Richard Powers, which discusses humans relationships with trees and how culture/societal norms influence that, "Iep Jaltok" which shows the climate crisis through a native lens, and "The Water Cure" which connects the climate crisis with the feminist movement. These works gave us insight into how different types of people see and deal with climate change and reveal why it's such a difficult case to crack. Just as important to our understanding of the crisis and possible solutions was our exposure to theoretical essays like "Slow Violence" by Rob Nixon and "Toxic Discourse" by Lawrence Buell, which explain important theories in the environmental studies that give us the tools to approach this issue in a more critical way. It also gives us information that is not made known to the everyday person. Being able to take a class like this is its own privilege, so we hope publishing creative works and insight into what we've learned in ENGL 374 on a free platform is a start to close the gap between who is allowed to have this life altering information.

Keywords

climate change, climate crisis, environmentalism, creative writing, poems, photographs, essays, ecopoetry, ecocriticism, critical theory, ecocritical theory, carbon footpring

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