ENG 344: Literature of the Environment

Fall 2019 — MWF 9 to 9:50 PM (AND ONLINE!)*


*While primarily an on-campus “face to face” course, for those who cannot make it to campus or who have course conflicts, you can complete the course online. All the classroom sessions will be recorded with our ZOOM meeting tool, and students who are at a distance may have the opportunity to actually join the course in real time, if the technology permits. Students unable to meet on campus complete additional writing exercises to make up for the missed classroom sessions. 

The SPIRIT of NATURE will be the guiding force in our selections this semester; we will read a wide variety of American writers grappling with the age-old exploration of one’s place in the universe—charting an environmental journey in time and place, from the speculative fiction of environmental catastrophe, to the creative nonfiction of the wilderness memoir, the spiritual lessons of nature, and the wonders of the formations of the Earth itself. Students in the course will produce their own writing that reacts to the nature of these writers, as well as their own responses to the natural world around us—compiling our responses in our own class journal.

Check out the class journal that ENG 344 Students produced in the Fall of 2019, Branching Out (20MB) : 

Branching Out

Check out the class journal that ENG 344 Students produced in the Spring of 2016, UnEarthed (20MB) : 


READINGS For Fall 2019:

ANTHOLOGY (Prose and Poetry)

  • American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau(anthology)

FICTION (Novels)

  • Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake
  • Cormac McCarthy: The Road

NONFICTION (Memoir, Science Writing, Nature & Spirituality)

  • Cheryl Strayed: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Robin Wall Kimmerer:Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
  • Jeffrey A. Lockwood: Prairie Soul: Finding Grace in the Earth Beneath My Feet
  • John McPhee: Annals of the Former World

(additional current readings posted online)


  • Dr.  Matthew Evertson, Professor
  • Department of English & Humanities
  • Chadron State College
  • (308) 432-6462