Writing the Environment: Modern and Contemporary Nature Writing DUMF5080

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the varied depictions of the environment- including post-pastoral, apocalyptic and 'the new nature writing' - in modern and contemporary literary texts from a range of genres, as well as considering media reportage of recent environmental issues and some recent film narratives. The course will place these in theoretical and historical context, considering the key features of contemporary environmental discourses.


3 contact hours per week, comprising of composite lecture-interactive seminar.

Online learning activities (using Moodle) will comprise at least a further two hours per week, and may include an online discussion topic, brief individual assignments, and readings in preparation for the following week's class.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Generic regulations apply


Recommended Entry Requirements


Completion with a Grade D or above of the first semester course Reading the Environment: Old and New World Romanticisms

Excluded Courses







Completing regular seminar tasks orally - (10%)

Oral Presentation - (20%)

Production of one c 3000 word comparative essay focussing on two texts (40%)



Production of a c. 2000 - 2500 word document dealing either with analysis of responses to a contemporary environmental issue or case study OR a piece of personal writing responding to, and reflecting on, a particular location, place or habitat (30%)



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

■ To introduce students to key modern and contemporary texts dealing with environmental issues.

■ To chart the progression environmental ideas since the 1960s as embodied in literary and filmic texts

■ To interrogate the thematic ways in which these texts deal with environmental crisis

■ To examine different genres of modern and contemporary environmental literature

■ To enable students to communicate their ideas using a range of oral and written strategies

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Describe the progression of environmental ideas in literary and filmic texts since the 1960s

■ Account for the strategies which writers have used during this period to convey notions of degradation and crisis in literary and filmic texts

■ Evaluate the effectiveness of and different uses for a range of genres of creative environmental texts in addressing environmental concerns

■ Communicate ideas and responses to environmental issues using a range of oral and written strategies

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend at least 75% of all classes