British new nature writing
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
The course tutor, Cathy Elliott, is full-time lecturer at UCL. She is interested in ideas about time, temporality, and story-telling in politics and international relations. Her first book, Democracy as Foreign Policy: Temporal Othering in International Relations, came out in 2017; she has also published articles and books about the various stories we tell about democracy. She is recapitulating some of those themes, and finding new ones, in her current book project on the British “new nature writing.” She is interested in the politics of pedagogy and also writes about teaching and learning.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HS269
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
How does the bestselling trend for nature writing in Britain in recent years help us understand relationships between human and non-human nature and ideas about belonging in a changing landscape? In this course, we will explore these themes through the lens of some popular and some less well-known nature writing from the last two decades.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
1. Introduction: What is the ‘British new nature writing’?
2. Mountains and moorland
3. Farming and food
4. Water and the sea
5. Cities and edgelands.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the main features of the genre of ‘new nature writing’ and discuss ways of distinguishing it from other forms of writing
- Evaluate the ways in which the relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world is described and evoked
- Locate yourself in nature and the landscape using nature writing as a guide and provocation and consider how identities and belonging link to ideas about nature and landscape
- Make links between nature writing and broader processes of social, political and economic change.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no particular skills are required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught in a live online classroom in five 90 minute sessions. There will be a combination of individual and group discussion, as well as presentation segments delivered by the tutor.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. It might be helpful to own a smartphone with a camera or a digital camera, but this is not required. Please bring something to write with. You will need to read excerpts of recent nature writing (roughly around a chapter) plus some other contextual materials each week. These texts will be made available in Google Classroom. You might want to read more nature writing and bring your thoughts about it to class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HS264 Summer trees
HS117 The geology beneath British landscapes
HS172 An introduction to London's woodlands
HS265 Discover Hill Garden and Pergola, Hampstead: an illustrated talk
HS266 Discover Battersea Park: an illustrated talk.