Class Readings | Handouts


Please note that because this class is experimental, our schedule and readings are subject to change. Items marked with an asterisk are available online, via our course blog.

Thursday, January 14 | What is Tragedy? What is Ecology?

Introduction: Energy regimes and plot forms: FirstDayHandoutTragicEcologiesUndergrad

 Thursday, January 21 | The Passion of the World: Coordinates

 John Clare, “The Badger,” “The Tame Badger,” “To a Winter Scene,” “To a Fallen Elm, “The Nightingale’s Nest,” “Songs Eternity,” “The Flood,” “Insects,” “Nutting”*: ClarePoems

Richard Anderson, “The World is Dying– And So Are You”*:

George Monbiot, “John Clare, The Poet of Environmental Crisis — 200 Years Ago.”*:

Paul Crutzen, “Geology of Mankind”*: CrutzenGeologyofMankind

Chris Jordan: Midway: Messages from the Gyre*:×24

Greg Gerrard, “Animals”*: GerrardEcocriticismAnimals

Thursday, January 28 | Disaster and the Problem of Genre

John Keats, “To Autumn.”*

George Gordon, Lord Byron, “Darkness.”*

The Dark Mountain Manifesto*:

Bill McKibben from The End of Nature* (Please read only first chapter): McKibbenEndofNature

Timothy Clarke, from The Cambridge Companion to Ecocriticism*: CambridgeIntrotoLitandEnvironment

Ursula Heise, “Lost Dogs, Last Birds, Listed Species, and the Cultures of Extinction”*: HeiseLostDogsLastBirds


Thursday, Feb 4 | Pastoral

William Wordsworth, “Home at Grasmere,” “The Ruined Cottage,” “The Old Cumberland Beggar,” “The Thorn,” “Nutting,” “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” “O Nightingale! Thou surely art,” “Appendix A: “There is an active principle alive in all things.” WordsworthPoemsTragicEcologies (note poems are slightly out of order here).

Raymond Williams, from The Country and the City, pp 1-45; please entire PDF, focusing on pp. 1-8 and 13-45WilliamsCountryandCity

Jerome McGann, from Romantic Ideology*: McGannRomanticIdeologyWordsworth

Selected paintings, John Constable* (Please search the internet for Constable’s works and familiarize yourself with his style; you might start here ( though the interface is pretty hokey. We’ll look at several paintings in detail during class.


Thursday, Feb 11 | Counterpastoral

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Deirdre D’Albertis, “Dark Nature: A Critical Return to Brontë Country”*: D’AlbertisDarkNature

Raymond Williams, The Country and the City, (selections, optional): 165-196 . Please note I’ve made the Williams OPTIONAL for this week.  R.WilliamsCountryandCityforWutheringHeights

Wuthering Heights PPT: WutheringHeightsMainPPT

Wuthering Heights Text:

Wuthering Heights (1992):

Thursday, Feb 18 | Counterpastoral II

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, cont’d

The Brontës, Tales of Glass Town, Angria, and Gondal, selections (title page, table of contents, xiii-xlviii, 1-12; 328-340; 392-395; 430-438): BronteSiblingsAngriaGondalSaga

John Ruskin, “The Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century”*:

John Ruskin, “Of the Pathetic Fallacy,” in Modern Painters*:

Selected paintings, J.M.W. Turner* (PPT coming soon; please feel free to scour the web on your own in the meantime.)

Jane Bennett, “The Agency of Assemblages”*: JaneBennettAssemblagesfromVibrantMatter


Thursday, Feb 25 | Elegy

John Milton, “Lycidas”:

Shelley, “Adonais”:

From The Broadview Anthology of Victorian Poetry (THE PRINTED BOOK): Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam A.H.H.,” “Tithonus,” Charlotte Brontë, “On the Death of Emily Jane Brontë”; “On the Death of Anne Brontë”; Emily Bronte, “Remembrance,” “The Night is Darkening Around Me”; Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach,” “To a Gipsy Child by the Sea-Shore”

Jorie Graham, “Sea Change”*: GrahamSeaChange

 Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia”*: MourningMelancholia

Tim Morton, from The Dark Ecology of Elegy*: The_Dark_Ecology_of_Elegy

Jeremy Jackson, “Ocean Apocalypse” (YouTube)*:

Michael Snow: La Region Centrale:

Elegy PPT

Thursday, March 3|  Counterelegy 

Jennifer Chang: Guest Reading and Discussion of Modern(ist) Elegy / Pastoral

Robert Hass, “Introduction.” In The Ecopoetics Anthology* (Includes Hass’s introduction, several poems by Jeffers, and one poem each from Hass and Jennifer Chang — please read all of this): EcopoetryAnthologyHassChang

After discussing with Prof. Chang, we will delete the extra Jeffers poems, and instead read Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight”:

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land*: 

Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land facsimile manuscripts*: TheWasteLandManuscripts

Thursday, March 10 | NO CLASS; SPRING BREAK

Thursday, March 17 | Dark Natures | Class meets in Murray Room, 5th Floor Lau

Mid-term exams distributed on Monday, March 14.

Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders (Please read at least the first half of the novel, but try for the end.) 

Richard Kerridge, “Ecological Hardy”: EcologicalHardy

Bruno Latour, “Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene”*: LatourAgencyattheTimeoftheAnthropocene


Thursday, March 24 | NO CLASS; EASTER BREAK

Thursday, March 31 | Nonhuman Times

Complete The Woodlanders.

Reread carefully Bruno Latour, “Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene”*: LatourAgencyattheTimeoftheAnthropocene


Thomas Hardy, “Hap,” “Neutral Tones,” “The Darkling Thrush,” “The Minute         Before Meeting,” and “Afterwards.” (These poems are available in your Broadview Anthology of Victorian Poetry.) 

Thursday, April 7 | Nature’s Economy and the Shipwreck of the World

Thomas Hardy poetry from last week, cont’d.

Hardy PPT 2 : Hardy2ndPPT

David Christian, Maps of Time (YouTube), from 12:50:

Into Eternity (trailer):

 Gerard Manley Hopkins, all selections in anthology

From Bernadette Waterman Ward, World as Word: 

(I’ve replaced Ward’s somewhat dated reading with some of Hopkins’ own journal entries, here: GMHopkinsJournalsExtract

Tim Morton, from Ecology Without Nature*: EcologyWithoutNature

Michael Madsen, dir., Into Eternity: (Note this film is on reserve for our class at Lauinger library; please watch it there, or with our class. To study on your own, this is streamed version via a French cable channel; the film is in English but there are French subtitles, which you can ignore:

OPTIONAL: Stephanie LeMenager, “Petro-Melancholia: The BP Blowout and the Arts of Grief”: LeMenagerPetroMelancholia

Mired in the Bayou, art installation:

BP Oil Spill Timelapse:

Manley Hopkins (GMH’s father): A Handbook of Average:

Thursday, April 14 | Future Humanisms


Benh Zeitlin, dir. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Film available on our class Blackboard site, under TOOLS / SHARESTREAM MEDIA MANAGER / VIDEOS; also on reserve as DVD at Lauinger Library.)

Patricia Yeager, “Beasts of the Southern Wild and Dirty Ecology”*:

Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the  Future. (This book was required as a purchase from the bookstore, but I have also located a PDF:,d.dmo

Margaret Ronda, “Mourning and Melancholia in the Anthropocene”*:

Juliana Spahr, selected poems*: SpahrWellThenThereNow & and “Misanthropocene: 24 Theses”:

Spahr and Hass, Lannan 2015:


Thursday, April 21 | Worldmaking

Spahr reading:

Percy B. Shelley, Mont Blanc (version A only); “Ozymandias”; “To a Skylark;” Triumph of Life; “On Life;” A Defense of Poetry. (Plus endnotes): PercyShelleyTriumphOfLifeEtc

Thomas Hardy, “Shelley’s Skylark” HardyShelleysSkylark

No Man’s Sky, select articles, videos, reviews (asterisks next to the crucial ones):

**”World Without End” (New Yorker):

**”Inside the Artificial Universe that Creates Itself” (Atlantic):

**”How No Man’s Sky’s Infinite Universe Actually Works” (YouTube):

**”Galactic Map Puts Scale of No Man’s Sky Into Perspective” (GameInformer):

“I Found Inner Peace Playing No Man’s Sky” (The Verge):

Here are some additional resources if you’re interested:

Gameplay 1:

Gameplay 2:

Thursday, April 28 | Ending is beginning

 Class wrapup and presentations of research.


Tuesday, May 3 | Ecology, Tragedy, and the Animal: A Graduate Mini-Conference

Mini-conference and reception. Graduate section will be presenting research             projects.