John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, writes, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” In addition to Muir, many writers, artists, and activists have devoted their life’s work to reflecting on and arguing for the importance of nature. In this seminar, students will explore the rhetoric of nature writing and the environmental movement through reading, researching, and writing their own texts. Because this course focuses on the connection between humans and the natural world, the walls of the classroom will often fall away, as the class goes out into the field to experience how nature feeds our mind, body, and spirit.
Nicole Brodsky received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and M.A. in English from San Francisco State University, after completing her B.A. at the University of Florida. Since 1998, she has taught a range of writing classes—from composition to creative writing. She plays electric bass in a local San Francisco rock band, goes bird-watching around Northern California, and publishes her poetry, most recently in the forthcoming anthology, Kindergarde: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children (2011).