Words Work Blog

Posted on April 21st, 2022 by Carrie Lynn Sickmann

by Emily Whitcomb

When you think of sustainability, you likely rarely think of literature. However, like many social issues, sustainability is something many writers have written commentary on.

In an effort to expand IUPUI’s efforts to live sustainably and create a sustainable campus and world, the Department of English is pleased to announce a new course, Literature and Sustainability (L373). This course will provide students with an interactive experience and a useful set of skills that can be used outside the classroom during the semester and beyond. It will offer several co-curricular fieldtrips and a service project to put the topics discussed in class to immediate and impactful use.

In addition, students will be directly involved in selecting course readings from a list of wide-ranging titles in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Some notable authors on the list are Joy Harjo, Mary Shelley, William Faulkner, Octavia Butler, and Mary Oliver. These texts all connect with the course’s theme — the relationship between humans and the natural world.  By combining discussions of literary texts with activities done in the class and in the community, students will explore new ways of finding solutions for sustainability in their own lives, their communities, and the world.  The final project of the course will give students an opportunity to share their work at conferences and on social media.

This class is taught by Dr. Nancy Goldfarb on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon until 1:15pm. Dr. Goldfarb has been teaching a range of innovative classes at IUPUI for the past 11 years. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to join this relevant and exciting new course.