Upper Division Seminar: Nature and Value in Long-Eighteenth-Century British Culture

Course Number: ENGL 197
Prerequisites: Upper-division standing, English majors only
Advisory Enrollment Information: This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 197
Quarter: Winter 2011
Day(s): TR
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: SH 1415
Description:

This course cannot be repeated and is limited to upper-division English majors only.

Against the idea that "the Enlightenment" necessarily entailed the "death of Nature," this course asks whether we can construct instead an early modern environmentalist history. What did "nature" mean in the 18th century, and how was it valued? Did people imagine the possibility of non-human agency in the early modern period? Who was seen as entitled to "speak for" natural entities? How did Europeans and others read nature in colonial contexts?

Questions like these -- ethical, historical, aesthetic, scientific, ethnographic, and political -- will be explored in texts written in a variety of genres by Swift and Stedman, Pope and Collier, Erasmus Darwin (Charles's father), Leapor, Goldsmith, Cowper ... and Italo Calvino, among others. Our discussion of value will be developed in relation to environmental ethics.

You can sign up to the wait list for this course at:
http://waitlist.ucsb.edu