FSEM: Writing Ecology: Literature and Environment

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Archive for April, 2008

Luis Rodríguez: Trouble in the Barrio

Hi everyone,

For what will be our last blog of the course on the readings (time flies, huh?), we will focus on Luis J. Rodgríguez’s poetry from _The Concrete River_ in addition to the informative reading by David Díaz, _Barrio Urbanism_, that we discussed on Thursday. Some questions to explore include:

How does Rodríguez represent the non-human in his poetry? How does this view of “nature” differ from others we have seen in the course? How would you characterize his representation of the “Concrete River” (in the poems “Always Running” and “Concrete River”)? What is the “sense of place” the speaker(s)  of the poems feel in East Los Angeles? What “concrete” connections do you find between the poetry and the reading by Díaz in terms of environmental justice issues?

Moraga and ecofeminism for Tuesday

Hi All,

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather.  For Tuesday, after reading the selection from Cherrie Moraga’s _The Last Generation_ and Priscilla Ybarra’s article on her (both readings are on course documents on blackboard under Week 14), respond to the following issues in your blog:

What is Moraga’s perspective on the non-human and on interactions between humans and the environment?  What sorts of environmental and social injustices does she describe?   According to Moraga, Anzaldua and Ybarra (writing about Moraga), what is the connection between gender studies and environmental studies?  Or, in other words, what do they see the relation between environmental issues (particularly, environmental justice issues) and women (particularly minority women)?  Do you find this argument to be convincing?  Why or why not.

Blog for Tuesday: Sense of Place

Hello all,

For a change of pace, the blog for Tuesday will be more creative.  As we’ve been talking about “sense of place” and how one can capture a particular sense of place through writing, for this week’s blog you will be trying your hand at doing just that.

As this is a more creative assignment, there are a number of possible options to write about within the question:

The idea is to pick a place that has special value for you–it could be the town where you grew up, a park you have been to,  a city, or even a very particular place (a particular tree, or bench, or rock, etc.)–and, through writing, try to evoke what is special to you about that particular place.  What makes that “space” a “place” for you?  What makes it seem, in Buell’s terms, “cherished” instead of  “disposable”?  Try to write about the place in such a way that may convince the reader that it is not an impersonal space (that could be destroyed in order for something else to be built there, for example), but rather one that deserves to be preserved.