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200 Level Winter 2019


ENGL 203 Lec 01:  "Literature and Sense of Place"
Instructor: Pamela Banting
Schedule: Tue/Thu 11:00-12:15


“If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.” – Wendell Berry 

“If this is your land, where are your stories?” – Gwich’in elder 

In this course we will read and analyze texts pertaining to sense or spirit of place.  How important are geographical places – particularly but not only those of our childhoods – in terms of our physical, psychological and social development?  What is it like to read literature about the places with which we are familiar, and not only the literature of elsewhere or fantasy landscapes?  What is it like to grow up in a city, a town, a village, or on a reservation, ranch or farm? How do historical events construct places? How long does history linger in places? What are some of the ways in which colonialism and the idea of the ‘discovery’ of Turtle Island/North America by Europeans still affect how we live more than five hundred years later? What treaty are we living under, and what are our ethical obligations to the land and the people who have lived here for generations? What is it like to truly be embedded in a bioregion? How do climate, vegetation and animal life combine to create the particularities of places? What is it like to live far from one’s homeland and to experience nostalgia? How do stories, novels and poems help to give us a sense of where and who we are? What is the role of literature in a healthy lifestyle?