FYS 101 Greening America

Consider how a range of American writers and other types of media frame human interactions with “Nature” and explore
their various representations of the natural world. How have cultural values shaped conceptions of nature? How has
“Wilderness” been imagined? How do authors and filmmakers shape the way citizens think about the environment?
What vision do these texts offer about the relationship of individuals to society, and about progress, industrialism, and
technology?

We will examine Native American stories, early accounts of natural history, diverse representations of flora and fauna,
memoirs of the local, essays on urban nature, and narratives of exploration. “Nature Writing,” often combining rhapsody
and science, runs the gamut of the scientific, philosophical, psychological, aesthetic, ethical, and spiritual.
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