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ENG102: Writing About Literature (Cox): Home


Welcome to the Research Guide for ENG101, College Writing.  Please use this guide to find resources for your literature criticism essay.  Please contact myself or any BCC Librarian if you have any questions.

What is environmental literacy and ecocriticism?

According to the Environmental Encyclopedia, Environmental literacy and ecocriticism refer to the work of educators, scholars, and writers to foster a critical understanding about environmental issues. Environmental literacy includes educational materials and programs designed to provide lay citizens and students with a broad understanding of the relationship between humans and the natural world, borrowing from the fields of science, politics, economics, and the arts. Environmental literacy also seeks to develop the knowledge and skills citizens and students may need to identify and resolve environmental crises, individually or as a group. Ecocriticism is a branch of literary studies that offers insights into the underlying philosophies in literature that address the theme of nature and have been catalysts for change in public consciousness concerning the environment.

Americans have long turned to literature and popular culture to develop, discuss, and communicate various ideals about the natural world and their relationship to how Americans see themselves and function together. This literature has also made people think about the idea of progress: what constitutes advancement in culture, what are the goals of a healthy society, and how nature would be considered and treated by such a society. In contemporary times, the power and visibility of modern media in influencing these debates is also widely recognized. Given this trend, understanding how these forms of communication work and developing them further to broaden public participation, which is a task of environmental literacy and ecocriticism, is vital to the environmental movement.

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