ecology and literature
of the sea

n. 1. the study of maritime culture and natural history through works of fiction/non-fiction. vb. 2. the act of immersing 18 students, two professors and one TA in ocean culture

 

Syllabus

This class is somewhat of an experiment in that neither of the instructors is a professional student of literature, but both of us have "occupied our business on Great Waters" for much for much of our careers and we have both been fanatic readers of the literature of those waters since we were knee-high to a dolphin. This class is not about parsing poetry or to determine rhyme or meter, nor will we endeavor to place our selected texts in the contexts of ruminations by post-modernist French boulevardiers, rather, we wish to spend ten weeks talking about, arguing about, reveling in words by people whose words have stood the test of time. We have shamelessly selected authors that we like and/or have affected us personally, so expect passionate defense and debate. we do not pretend to cober all aspects of either the literature or the ecology of the sea. Rather, we have endeavored to give you a taste of the things that with luck will encourage or lead to a lifetime of further reading. We hope to tie the texts into aspects of ecology, culture, and practical experience, and in order to forward all of the above, we will conclude the class with ten days aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts, cruising in the Virgin Islands.

Evaluation for the class will be as follows:

- Class Participation (both in lecture/discussion and office hours), 30%
- Term project (an annotated bibliography of an agreed upon topic, plus presentation), 25%
- Weekly response papers (! page, capturing key questions or issues), 30%
- Journal of your voyage aboard Spirit, 15%