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ENGLISH 221 (2 credits) (HU) - Observation

There are many ways to encounter a place, and to record that experience. This will be a class in artistic techniques. We’ll use narrative essay writing, poetry, print-making, image making, and other techniques to document and reflect on our experience of Northern Michigan, and the peoples we encounter. We’ll draw lessons and inspiration from texts, images, people and landscape. Our goal will be to turn ourselves into observational instruments.

English 221 will count toward elective credits for English majors and English minors.

ENGLISH 242/ANTHRCUL 298 (2 credits) - Learning from the Landscape

What makes a place? And who are we in this place? In this course, we’ll investigate what it means to relate to a landscape, a time, an environment, and to a society. Specifically – how can we learn from a place, its people, and ourselves, rather than simply about it? Our texts will include - and then expand beyond - Great Lakes authors of the past and present. We will immerse ourselves in local natural communities and observe how plants, animals, soil, weather, and water articulate where we are. We’ll expand the way we see environments through exercises in drawing. We’ll broaden the way we come to know plants through gardening. We’ll attune our ears to the calls of birds and use sound as another tool for mapping.  And continuously, we’ll connect back to thinking about our own identities as, simultaneously, students and teachers at the Bio Station. This interdisciplinary course will embrace journaling and writing as the constant thread to tie together a library of experiential learning. 

English 242 will count toward elective credits for English majors and English minors.

ENGLISH 320/AMCULT 311/NATIVEAM311 (2 credits) (HU) - Natural and Unnatural Histories: The Evolving Networks of Life in the Upper Great Lakes.

This course will explore connections between life, land and waterways in Michigan. Through research, observation and storytelling you will learn the history of the current living landscape which includes mound builders, woodland confederacies, trade routes, territories and today’s sovereign nations. Using the lens of multiple disciplines including, Native American Studies, Ethnography, Ethnobotany, Anthropology and Linguistics we will trace the various ways people have lived with and sustained cultural identity in the region. We will begin by learning to see the land and surrounding system of life through the lens of Anishinaabemowin, the oldest language of the region still in use. We will work as a class team to trace the legal history of Michigan’s tribal nations through a wide range of primary sources including songs, stories maps, treaties, articles and excerpts from books.

English 320 will count toward the American Literature and/or the Identity and Difference requirements for English majors.  English 320 will count toward the American Literature OR the Identity and Difference requirements for English minors.