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ERIC Number: EJ824500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Putting History at the Core: History and Literature in Environmental Studies
Morse, Kathryn
History Teacher, v37 n1 p67-72 Nov 2003
When environmental studies programs broaden their curricular offerings into the humanities, their first stop is often environmental literature, particularly classics such as Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," Aldo Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac," and Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." Environmental literature courses consider many of the works of American nature writing that one might expect, works that historians as well as literary scholars love to teach. One central theme which runs through these works is what Randall Roorda calls the "drama of solitude," or "narrative of retreat." Born with "Walden," such stories of retreat take their narrators on a solitary journey out of society into nature. Alone, and closer to nature, the protagonists give up material comforts in order to critique both society and its material trappings. In this article, the author discusses how these books provide environmental studies professors with an opportunity to present the complicated and unromantic aspects of American environmental history. (Contains 5 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A