Earth, Air, Fire, Water: Elements of Global EcoFiction
- Instructor: Délice Williams
Through works of fiction that depict disaster, imagine utopia, advocate for environmental justice, and create fantasies of escape, we will explore the ways that contemporary authors from around the world prompt us to imagine and reimagine our dynamic and fraught relationship to "nature" and its elements. As we engage with texts that focus on human interactions with earth, air, fire, and water, we will consider the ways that writers around the world raise, complicate, and contend with serious ethical and political questions that arise in such encounters.
The central premise of this course is that narrative in general, and imaginative literature in particular, plays an important role in our conceptions of and relationships non-human nature. In other words, stories mediate—clarify, complicate, enchant, perhaps even distort—interactions between the human and non-human. Readings & discussions will explore the hows, whys, and so-whats of such mediation. Another (closely related) premise is one that critic Rob Nixon has made famous: that imaginative literature plays a role in the crucial ethical and political work of making the "slow violence" of environmental harm both visible and morally urgent. This seminar will explore ways that these authors stage their own interventions in that process.
- Because the term connotes basics, building blocks, beginnings. "Global Eco-fiction" cannot possibly be contained in a single course, even at the graduate level. The seminar offers starting points for further scholarly and imaginative exploration.
- Also, because, as the editors of the volume Elemental Ecocriticism note, the term evokes ancient conceptions of a vibrant, vividly animate non-human world with which humans are in dynamic relation. A number of the texts we will encounter conceive of non-human nature in these terms.
The Arts in Context: Identity, Literature and Society (MALS617-010)
- Tuesdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Instructor: Santhi Leon
- Baylor Women's Correctional Institution
INSIDE/OUT class focuses on deep reading of several form of literature.
The class investigates the role of identity in literature vis-a-vis
authorship, readership and central characters, and uses literature as a
window into social views of identity. Assigned material explores the
particular themes of voice, agency, cultural difference and social
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (Inside-Out) is
an international educational program based in Philadelphia at Temple
University. The program provides individuals on both sides of the prison
walls the unique opportunity to engage in a collaborative, dialogic
examination of issues of social significance. The class will be held at
Baylor Women's Correctional Institution with MALS students (and perhaps a
few undergrads) from UD and women who are incarcerated at Baylor.
Registration requires permission of instructor: email@example.com.
Death and Dying
course will consider a number of responses to the "problem" of death
and dying. Our premise is that there is such a thing as a good death,
that many traditions consider the good life as the one that ends in a
good death, and thus the highest practice in life prepares one for a
good death. We will not address the question of an afterlife per se, but
rather we will focus on the meaning of death and the meaning of a life
that ends in death. We will look at representatives of Tibetan Buddhist
tradition, Western philosophical and psychological traditions, and
religious viewpoints. Students are invited to form their own conclusions
and seek their own coherence.