Words/Woods

Fall 2016 quarter

Taught by

  • UG

This ten-week program is designed to give students an intensive interdisciplinary introduction to critical and creative reading and writing, on the one hand, and scientific fieldwork and forest ecology, on the other.  Our curriculum aims to identify parallels between the sciences and the humanities on behalf of articulating transdisciplinary theories and practices that are adequate to the urgent scientific, ethical, and political questions that confront our cultural moment. 

We will explore how observation and analysis are vital to both the sciences and the humanities and, will apply these skills across a variety of fields. We will read from a wide range of authors and genres from a wide range of time periods, and we will experiment both with writing styles and with lab equipment. We will conduct long-term ecological monitoring and embrace revision in our compositions. Our 1000-acre campus forest and our 750,000-book library will be the primary fieldsites of our interdisciplinary inquiry. Call these branches of our investigation “forest space” and “book space.”

We will ask, and try to answer, tough questions that challenge how we view the world. What needs to be the case for things to be otherwise? This question, in particular, will allow us to address the fact and possibility of change --- of transformation and metamorphosis --- in both the human and the natural worlds, and perhaps also to understand some of the ways in which our understandings of nature and culture have come into being in the first place. What is the relationship between evolution and revolution, between photosynthesis and rhetoric? How do patterns influence processes? How can we identify, define, describe, observe, and analyze the objects of our inquiry—whether that be a 14-line sonnet on the page of a book, or a meter-squared quadrat in the forest?

This program will give you the chance to stretch your creative, analytical, logical, and critical muscles while preparing you for a successful journey through Evergreen. No experience necessary, some assembly required, all students welcome. We proceed on the premise that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. So come prepared to write and to perambulate outdoors, and bring a good notebook and a good writing utensil, a good pair of boots and good raingear. The only way to do this right is by writing, and going for some long walks in the woods.

This program will be repeated in winter and spring quarters. Students who take this program in fall should not register for the winter or spring quarter repeat.

Program Details

Fields of Study

communication ecology environmental studies linguistics natural history writing

Preparatory For

communication, ecology, environmental studies, linguistics, natural history and writing.

Quarters

Fall Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location

Olympia

Time Offered

Day

Advertised Schedule

First class meeting : Monday, September 26 at 10am (Sem II C1107)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

Revisions

DateRevision
2016-04-11New fall opportunity added.