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Langue de l'enseignement : Anglais

Niveau de l'enseignement : C1-Autonome - Utilisateur expérimenté

Description du contenu de l'enseignement

From Nature to the Environment in American Literature
(American Literature Class, Master 2, S1)

Monica Manolescu

This course studies some of the ways in which American literature has dealt with the physical environment, concentrating on fiction (Richard Powers’s novel The Overstory) and nonfiction (chapters 1-5 of Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek). The main focus will be on 20th century and contemporary American literature, but some important 19th century texts by Thoreau and Emerson will also be discussed. Relevant references to American lansdscape painting and Land Art will be introduced. The class will familiarize students to ecocriticism and bring into focus questions such as: How is the experience of nature and the environment translated into literary representation? How is environmental perception affected by anthropocentrism and by cultural and ideological frameworks? How does literature convey our evolving understanding of “nature” and the “wilderness” ? What is the role of literature in our current discussions of extinction, global warming and the Anthropocene ?

Students are required to read Richard Powers’s novel The Overstory and chapters 1-5 of Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek before the beginning of class. Excerpts of essays and critical texts will be distributed in class (Rachel Carson, Ursula K. Heise, Lawrence Buell, Jean-Christophe Bailly).

Compulsory reading before the beginning of class

Chapters 1-5 of Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2007).

Powers, Richard, The Overstory, Norton, 2018.

The objectives of the class are:
  • To familiarize the students with the environmental imagination in American literature from the 19th century to the present, with connections to art history.
  • To provide the ecocritical apparatus that is needed for the analysis of the literary texts under scrutiny.
  • To help the students develop coherent and articulated analyses and arguments.

BUELL. Lawrence.

BAILLY, Jean-Christophe. Le Parti pris des animaux, Paris : Christian Bourgois, 2013.

GRANDJEAT, Yves-Charles. « La place de l’animal dans la littérature d’environnement américaine ». La Question animale : entre science, littérature et philosophie. Dir. Jean-Paul Engélibert et al. (dir.). Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2011, 107-119.

PUGHE, Thomas. « Réinventer la nature : vers une éco-poétique ». Études anglaises vol. 58, n°1, 2005, 68-81.




 

Compétences à acquérir

Positioning oneself in relation to critical discourse on a key work or a set of texts or visual material.
 

Parcours : Études anglophones : monde anglophone, recherche