Sample Syllabus

(subject to revision)

Calendar of Assignments

(N.B.  Those assignments designated in the syllabus as part of the “Course File” can be found on electronic reserve. )

Week 1: Organizational Meeting

Week 2: Introduction to the course

Waves and Tides

Week 3: “The Headlong Wave” from The Outermost House by Henry Beston; “Wind and Water” from The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson; “Tide Fingers,” by Robert Finch; “The Edge” from The Salt House by Cynthia Huntington (Course File); Film in Class: Ribbon of Sand

What is the Most Ethical Human/Nature Relationship?

Week 4: “The Star Thrower,” by Loren Eiseley; Lisa Coutou rier, “The Hopes of Snakes,” from her The Hopes of Snakes; and David Quammen, “The Face of the Spider” from his The Flight of the Iguana (Course File)

Confronting the Wild Other (Low Country Wildlife)

Week 5: “The Moon By Whale Light,” (pp. 111-180), in Ackerman, The Moon By Whale Light;Douglas Chadwick, “Interview with a Whale” (Course File)

Week 6: “The Eyelids of Morning,” (pp. 60-110), in Ackerman, The Moon By Whale Light; Film in class—Realm of the AlligatorReports on Barrier Island Geology (Bingham) and Kayaks by (Foster)

Week 7: Susan Cerulean, “Origin Moment,” from her Tracking Desire; David Gessner, “Learning to Surf” and “When you See a Skimmer; Barbara Hurd, “Moon Snail: Unseemly Proportions,” “Jellyfish: The Unfinished,” and “Angel Wings: Missing Pieces,” from her Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains (Course File); Film in class—Alligators, with Nigel Marvin; Reports on Red Wolf Reintroduction (Renfrew) and Low Country Development (Belinski)

Living on Barrier Islands

Week 8: DeBlieu, Hatteras Journal (pp. 3-59);  Film in Class—Sewee: From the Forest to the Sea; MID-TERM ESSAY DUE

Week 9: Deblieu, Hatteras Journal (pp. 105-151,172-222); Film in class—Nature Scene: Bull Island; Reports on Bull and Capers Islands (Redcay) and Sea Turtle Conservation (Clark)

Writing on the Carolina Coast

Week 10: John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina, (read only  the “Journal”—available online and in the Course File); Susannah Miles, The Sewee: The Island People of the Carolina Coast(Course File—Only available in the filing cabinet in 139 Burrowes); Film in class—Nature Scene: Forest to Sea; Report on “Common Flora and Fauna of  the South Carolina Low Country” (Jones)

Week 11: Burroughs, The River Home (pp. 3-78); Reports on “Native Americans of the South Carolina Coast” (McGowan) and “The History of Charleston, SC” (with emphasis on founding, early settlement of the Santee River and the barrier islands) (Marcus)

Week 12: Burroughs, The River Home (pp. 133-202); Reports on “Common Ocean Birds of the South Carolina Low Country” (Brenner) and “Common Birds of the Low Country’s Swamps and Bays” (Karpov) and “Common Sea Shells of the South Atlantic Coast”

Week 13: John Leland, Porcher’s Creek (pp. xi-61); Reports on  “Common Sea Shells of the South Atlantic Coast” (Roebuck) and “Rice Plantations and Rice Culture in South Carolina with emphasis on Plantations along Huger and Quinby Creeks and the Pompion Hill Chapel” (Plakat)

Week 14: John Leland, Porcher’s Creek (p. 62-114); Film in class—Nature Scene: Bull Island After Hugo;Reports on “ “Gullah Culture” (Fitzgerald)  and “Archibald Rutledge, Hampton Plantation, and McClellanville, SC (including St. James Santee Church)” (Morgan) Rutledge,Home By the River (pp. 13-79,  157-167); and  Roger Pinckney, “Once Upon a Turtle Moon,” from Orion ; and Pinckney, “Out of Africa,” from his Blue Roots: African-American Folk Magic of the Gullah People (Course File); and Pinckney, “Bucking a Stiff Ebb Tide”; Film in class—God’s Gonna Trouble the Water (on Gullah culture)

Reports on “Hurricane Hugo and Other Hurricanes of the South Carolina Coast” (Thomas) and “Environmental Dangers of the South Carolina Low Country” (Gilmore)

Week 15: FINAL EXAM DUE—Please send this to me by email attachment by 5:00 today.

Instructor

Robert Burkholder, associate professor of English, Penn State University Park, teaches courses on literature and the environment, including those that have taken students hiking on the Appalachian Trail and rafting in the Grand Canyon.