Engl 3050 sec 1, Literature and the Environment

Spring 2014

East TN State University


Instructor:  Dr. Kevin O'Donnell, Professor of Lit and Languages

Class meeting:  MWF 12:35pm-1:30pm MWF, Burleson Hall 303


Dear Prospective Students --


I do not yet have the complete course plan and materials posted for Spring 2014.  However, the "Clarion" (LILA Department course schedule) description, and the course texts for Spring '14, are listed here, below. 


Also below is a link to the materials for the course as I taught it in Spring 2013.  That page will give you a very good idea of what the course will be like this coming spring.  However, please be aware that some of the texts and assignments will be changed.


I expect to have updated materials posted here by early December.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me.




-- Dr. Kevin O'Donnell, odonnell@etsu.edu, 423 439-6679

Mon, October 21, 2013



"Clarion" Course Description for Spring 2014

This course is about nature and environment as theme and subject in imaginative literature.  Students will read from Bill McKibben's anthology, American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, for a survey of classic texts in the American tradition.  Most of the other texts are recent works in English, including novels by Barbara Kingsolver and Ron Rash, nonfiction by Timothy Egan, and modern poetry from an anthology edited by Eric Reece.  We'll also digress to read a selection of Late T'ang Dynasty Chinese poems, and we'll read contemporary science and nature writing that engages modern environmental concerns.  The course is writing-intensive.  It also satisfies a requirement for the Environmental Studies minor. 


Texts for Spring 2014

- Timothy Egan. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America. Mariner Books, 2010 (2009). $15.95. ISBN: 0547394608

- Barbara Kingsolver.  Flight Behavior: A Novel.  Harper Perennial 2013 (2012).  $16.99.  ISBN: 0062124277

- Bill McKibben, ed. American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau. Library of America, 2008. $40.00. ISBN: 1598530208

- Ron Rash. Serena: A Novel. Ecco, 2009 (2008). $14.99. ISBN: 0061470848 

- Erik Reece. Field Work: Modern Poems from Eastern Forests. University Press of Kentucky, 2008. $19.95. ISBN: 0813124971

- Siddhartha Mukherjee, ed. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013. Mariner Books, 2013. $14.95. ISBN: 0544003438


Course Materials from Spring 2013

-    faculty.etsu.edu/odonnell/2014spring/engl3050/