Class Readings and Handouts


Unless otherwise directed, please print out all readings in hard copy.

Signup sheet for Curatorial Presentations is here: GradCuratorialPresentationSignupSheet

Sample conference abstracts are here: SAMPLE CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS

Tuesday, Jan 19 | The Passion of the World: Coordinates

 Richard Anderson, “The World is Dying– And So Are You” (handout)

G.W.F. Hegel, G.W.F. From The Aesthetics (handout)

Paul Crutzen, “Geology of Mankind” (handout)

Chris Jordan: Midway: Messages from the Gyre

John Clare, “The Badger” and “The Tame Badger” (handout)


Tuesday, Jan 26 | 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 print and read carefully the Introduction; you can read the first chapter too but we won’t be focusing on it & you need not print it out): McKibbenEndofNature

Rachel Carson, from Silent Spring (Please print and read only chs. 1 & 2, “A Fable for Tomorrow” and “The Obligation to Endure“):

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

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

Jonathan Bate, “Living with the Weather”* BateLivingWithTheWeather


Tuesday, Feb 2 | 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

Marc Redfield, “Wordsworth’s Dream of Extinction”* RedfieldWordsworthsDreamofExtinction

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.


Tuesday, Feb 9 | Counterpastoral

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

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

Nancy Armstrong, “Emily Brontë In and Out of Her Time.”*: ArmstrongEmilyBronteInandOutofHerTime

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

PPT: Bronte I: WutheringHeightsMainPPT


Tuesday, Feb 16 | 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* : RuskinStormCloudsPPT

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

Happy little trees: 

Happy little trees:

Tuesday, Feb 23 | Elegy

 Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia”*: MourningMelancholia

Peter Sacks, from The English Elegy* (OPTIONAL): SacksEnglishElegy

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

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

John Milton, “Lycidas”:

Shelley, “Adonais”:

From The Broadview Anthology of Victorian Poetry: 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

The Lost Bird Project:

Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory:



Tuesday, March 1 | Counterelegy

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

Robinson Jeffers, additional selected poems.* Coming Wednesday 2/24

Dear all: After discussion with Prof. Chang, I’ve switched the extra Jeffers poems for Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Frost at Midnight”:

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land*: 

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



Tuesday, March 15 | Dark Natures

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


Hass, “Ezra Pound’s Proposition”

Tuesday, March 22 | Systems / Assemblages

Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders, cont’d

Thomas Hardy, “Hap,” “Neutral Tones,” “The Darkling Thrush,” “The Minute Before Meeting,” and “Afterwards.” (In Broadview Anthology of Victorian Poetry)

Jahan Ramazani, “Hardy’s Elegy for An Era: ‘By the Century’s Deathbed.'” In three PDFs (sorry):


Ramazani_Hardy pp 33-51

Ramazani_Hardy pp52-69

Hardy PPT 2 : Hardy2ndPPT

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

Into Eternity (trailer):

Tuesday, March 29 | Nonhuman Times

Christina Rossetti, “After Death,” “An Apple Gathering,” “Echo,” “Song,” Monna Innominata, and Sing Song (The first several poems are available in your Broadview Anthology of Victorian Poetry; Sing Song is available here — you do not need to read the whole thing, but pick any ten short poems to read: I recommend “A Baby’s Cradle with No Cradle in It,” and the other death poems). 

Charles Lyell, from Principles of Geology*  (I’ve cut this reading and will summarize / present it in class; but if you’re curious about it here it is:

Charles Darwin, from On the Origin of Species* (Please read as much as you can, but what is required is Chapter II “Variation Under Nature” (starts p. 37)  and Chapter XIV, “Recapitulation and Conclusion” (starts p 338): Origin-of-Species-1

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:

Elizabeth Grosz, from Nick of Time*: GroszTheNickofTime

Lee Edelman, from No Future* (Note, this is a PDF of the whole book; do not read the whole book! Please instead read Chapter 1, “The Future is Kid’s Stuff” and note: YOU DO NOT NEED TO PRINT THIS OUT FOR CLASS. But do read chapter I. EdelmanNoFutureWholeBook




Tuesday, April 5 | Economies of (Post-)Nature

 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

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

Tim Morton, from Ecology Without Nature*: EcologyWithoutNature

Mired in the Bayou, art installation:

BP Oil Spill Timelapse:

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

Tuesday, April 12 | 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:


Tuesday, April 19 | Worldmaking

Percy B. Shelley, Mont Blanc (versions A and B); “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:

Tuesday, April 26 | Ending is beginning

 Class wrapup and student-curated presentations of media objects.


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

Class mini-conference and reception.