The Evergreen State College Summer Quarter 2001
What is the relationship between nature, language, and human psychology? We are all aware of our earthís ecological troubles and many of us grieve the loss of species due to our human activities. Most of us value nature and an ecologically sustainable environment and work on ways to solve this problem, yet we often feel depressed, hopeless, and guilty about the ways we still contribute to it. This touches us deeply on the psychological and spiritual level. As writers, activists, artists and critical thinkers, what can we do to respond to the challenges we face? How do shifts in language and perception effect our view of nature? What can we do to find the voice in all things?
This course combines creative writing, storytelling, myth, literature, natural history and ecopsychology. We will develop skills in writing, critical reading, and nature observation as we explore current issues in the relationship between psyche and nature. The class will involve field study and workshops on creative writing and ecopsychology. We will study mythology related to the psychology of nature and culture, and we will read a number writers, naturalists, psychologists, and philosophers that explore our human experience of the more-than-human world. Authors will include: Thoreau, Muir, Wordsworth, Whitman, David Abram, Mary Oliver, Terry Tempest Williams, Gary Snyder, Theodore Rozsak, James Hillman, Joanna Macy, and others.
Abram, David. The Spell of the Sensuous. New York: Vintage, 1996.
Ross, Carolyn, Writing Nature: An Ecological Reader For Writers. New York: St. Martinís Press, 1995.
Roszak, T., Gomes M.E., and Kanner, A.D. (Eds.) Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. 1995.
Steven Fenwick, Ph. D. in Psychology and Environmental Philosophy
is also a Diplomate in Process Oriented Psychology. He also has a
degree in Biology and Environmental Studies. He currently teaches
ecopsychology courses at Antioch University. He has over twenty years
experience as a therapist and group facilitator and maintains a private
practice. He is currently writing a book on a process-oriented approach