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ERIC Number: ED352644
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Greening of the Canon: Ecological Concerns in the American Literature Survey Course.
Marshall, Ian
It is time that English teachers bring the important work of ecologically informed literary criticism to their students. If English teachers feel that environmental issues are important, and that environmental writing merits the attention and study of all students, then the teachers need to bring the study of nature writing into literature survey courses. Several anthologies now make nature writing available to students. Canon-making predecessors through much of the twentieth century may have dismissed nature writing as somehow removed from the "real world." Another way to bring the literature of nature into the survey course is to start respecting--and teaching--the non-fictional literature of place that traditionally gets short shrift in English curricula. Environmentally-conscious revisions to the canon--and of teaching--lend themselves to both contemporary (especially feminist and post-structuralist) and traditional critical approaches. Introducing ecological concerns to the classroom does not require any radical shift in teachers' critical values or any great expertise in the natural sciences. The advantages of a "green" classroom are many: (1) if environmental issues are of vital importance, teaching literature that addresses those issues offers a chance to change the world; (2) the greening of classrooms can introduce students to a whole realm of writing that at present receives little scholarly attention; and (3) ecological approaches to literature can teach students valuable cultural lessons. (Sixteen references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A