In this course we will read literary narratives about individuals whose lives have been irreparably changed by the deterioration in global health and the environment. These narratives range from stories about the long-term health effects of testing nuclear bombs to the immediate health effects of the use of chemicals in corporate agricultural production. We will read both fiction and non-fiction to investigate choices of genre, figurative language, and themes to narrate how the local is connected to the global, the past with the present, and individuals with one another around the globe. In our search through narratives about the personal and collective crises precipitated by widespread damage to global health, we will consider ways to narrate our own responses to these crises.
To this end, in our reading and writing, we will identify the strategies of writing deployed in different forms of literary expression. We will refine what it means to close-read and analyze complex literary texts. And we will consider each text in the broader context of historical, medical, and philosophical considerations.
To complement the primary texts listed below, the Course Reader includes short stories and essays from a variety of literary and interdisciplinary perspectives, including Susan Sontag, Paul Farmer, John Murray, Alphonso Lingis, Bruno Latour, Vandana Shiva, and Ben E. Aigbokhan.
This class counts for "W" credit, and will require students to write two 5-7 page revisable papers. Students can also expect to write several informal reading responses and to participate in a group presentation. **Please note that students are expected to keep up with the weekly reading and are expected to come to class prepared to discuss and engage with the texts**
Available at University Bookstore:
Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams ISBN 0-679-74024-4
Under the Feet of Jesus by Helen Maria Viramontes ISBN 0-452-27387-0
What is the What by Dave Eggers ISBN 978-0-307-38590-1
Available at Ave Copy Center, 4141 University Way NE, Suite 103: