1. Ambruster, Karla and Kathleen R. Wallace. Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism. University Press of Virginia. 2001. With forward by John Alder, this collection of ecocritical essays includes such provocative essays as “Anti-pastoralism, Frederick Douglass, and the Nature of Slavery,” by Michael Bennet; “Literary Place Bashing, Test Site Nevada,” by Cheryll Glotfelty; “Chaucer and the Politics of Nature,” by Lisa J. Kiser, and “Robert Frost, the New England Environment, and the discourse of Objects,” by Kent C. Ryden.
2. Greg Garrard. Ecocriticism. 2004. Routledge. Oxfordshire and New York. This text offers an interesting approach to feminism as allied with deep ecology. Chapters are neatly arranged and offer provocative essays on wilderness, pastoral, apolcalypse, animals, and pollution; the essays provide ample textual opportunity for constructing persuasive arguments focused on contemporary environmental issues.
3. McKibben, Bill. American Earth, Environmental Writing Since Thoreau. forward by Al Gore. Compiled 2008. A Special Publication of the Library of America Collection. Distributed by Penguin Putnam Inc. This collection offers such seminal work as excerpts from Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Other work by Leslie Marmon Silko and Scott Mommady, two acclaimed Native-American wriers, and essays by Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Walker, and E.B. White are among the many fine offerings in this collection. (I recommend buying a few copies for the university library to keep on hold for students to read on site as this is an expensive but awe-inspriring book.)
4. Dobrin, Sidney I. and Christian Weisser. Natural Discourse: Toward Ecocomposition. NCTE. 2002. This is a classic in the field of ecocompositon. These authors trace the evolution of ecocomposition and provide research that includes the work of other scholars. Most notable, for the purposes of this class, the book includes a chapter on student activism and intellectualism. Other books by Dobrin that will be of use in this class include, Saving Place, 2004, and Technical Communications in the 21st Century written in 2009 with Christopher Keller.
5. Owens, Derrick. Composition and Sustainability: Teaching for a Threatened Environment. NCTE. This text offers practical applications and pedagogy for the English composition and writing classroom. Students are taught to self-direct in projects involving place, work, and future with an ecological and ecocritical approach. The focus is on ecological preservation and environmental studies as applied in writing assignments and projects.
6. Sartre, Jean Paul. ” What is LIterature?” and Other Essays. Edited by Steven Unger. A forgotten treasure and real find for structuring arguments around issues of literacy, democracy, and freedom of expression. This book offers a philosophical framework for structuring the ecological debate at an essential level: the struggle for existence, freedom, and democracy. Sartre revisits the Aristotelean rhetorical triangle with a 20th Century lens that borrows from the Kantian categorial imperative to transform language into literate action.