Topics in American Literature


In their 2023 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cites colonialism as a major driver of the global environmental crisis. This course follows that recognition by using literature to consider the inequitable impacts of climate change brought about by colonialism and sustained by neocolonialism. How were the beginnings of the climate crisis shaped by the vast imperial expansion and control over the globe in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries? How is the present geological epoch, titled the "Anthropocene" to identify the impact of human intervention on our globe, exacerbated by neocolonialism's ongoing systems of exploitation? And, ultimately, how can literature represent and critique these inequities to imagine more just futures? To answer these questions, we will read fiction and poetry by Amitav Ghosh, Mohsin Hamid, Octavia Butler, and Natalie Diaz alongside nonfiction like Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; AS SD I; FA HUM; AR HUM; EL TC

Section 01

Topics in American Literature
View Course Listing - FL2022
View Course Listing - FL2023