This course considers how literary representations of the environment intersect with American ideas about race and national identity. We’ll ask: What does it mean to be “American”? Who belongs in the nation’s cities, deserts, farms, towns, and forests? And how does the literary representation of the environment reflect ideas about belonging?
To explore these questions, we’ll consider the work of writers such as Ann Petry, Willa Cather, Hisaye Yamamoto, and William Faulkner, among others. We’ll draw on insights from critical theories of race and the environmental humanities to examine how modern literary movements represent place and identity.