ENG32750 Resources,Environment,Climate

Academic Year 2022/2023

This Stage 3 module introduces students to debates on environmental politics in contemporary literature and culture. It focuses on the extraction, consumption and exhaustion of natural resources in the context of the climate crisis. The module will be structured around three key topics that will vary each year. These may include water, oil, food, animals, energy, plantations, metals, minerals, and waste. The module will cover a range of forms, potentially including novels, drama, poetry, short stories, graphic novels, and
film. Students will learn about the different ways in which contemporary authors and creatives have represented resource extraction and use, and the social, political, economic and environmental effects of these processes. Module discussions will be grounded in current theoretical debates in the environmental humanities, including scholarship from petrocriticism, the energy humanities, and the blue humanities. The module will be interdisciplinary, and students will also read work in cultural geography, political ecology, science and technology studies, and anthropology.

Texts and films studied may include:
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night; Agustina Bazterrica, Tender is the Flesh; Paolo Bacigalupi, The Water Knife; Ganzeer, The Solar Grid; Basma Ghalayini, Palestine+100; Helon Habila, Oil on Water; Matthew Henderson, The Lease; Linda Hogan, Solar Storms; Ogaga Ifowodo, The Oil Lamp; Tabitha Lasley, Sea State; Layli Long Soldier, Whereas; Joe Sacco, Paying the Land; Ken Saro-Wiwa, A Forest of Flowers; Rita Wong, undercurrent; There Will Be Blood; Mad Max: Fury Road

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- analyse and discuss a range of ways that natural resources have been represented in contemporary literature
- show knowledge of different types of form and genre
- develop knowledge of relevant theoretical approaches to literature and environment
- develop skills and confidence in reading theoretical texts and applying theoretical concepts
- write clear and thoughtful academic prose with respect for scholarly accuracy and referencing conventions

Indicative Module Content:

Key topics on the module will be environmental issues in contemporary literature and culture; Ecocriticism; and Environmental Humanities. Topics that may be addressed include Blue Humanities; Petrocriticism and Petroculture; and Food Studies.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Interactive classroom-based learning
Seminar discussion
Handouts with quotes and questions to consider in advance of seminars
Close textual reading
Viewing of film and media materials 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 3,000-word final essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes


Essay: Close-reading assessment, 1500 words Week 7 n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Essay consultations will be available for all students in the final week. Students are encouraged to discuss essay ideas in office hours or over email at any point in the trimester to receive feedback and guidance. Class activities will help students to prepare for the module assessments. Continuous formative feedback will be given in seminars.