Note: All classes held outside after first day. This course is open to Honors and non-Honors students alike. Special Course Fee: $125 to Outdoor Pursuits Center to cover costs of required field trips. This EVHM course will focus on the way field skills and interpretation of landscape and environment are used in the natural history tradition. We will cover keeping a comprehensive nature journal, identifying flora and fauna, map making and orienteering, and the many ways technology and science affect society and the environment. Students will also learn to interpret and express their field experiences through writing and drawing. Weekly field trips and a camping trip to the Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival in Milnesand, NM are required.
The Literature of Place
What is a landscape? How do landscapes shape us, and how do we shape them? This course explores these questions by looking at the many different landscapes around us (neighborhoods, gardens, coffeehouses, food, cemeteries...) and their meanings through reading, discussion, writing, and art. Students will also study and think about landscapes through painting and drawing, and create landscape journals using bookmaking and journal-making techniques. Students do not need artistic "talent" to benefit from this course, only a willingness to explore and work hard. Required field trips around Lubbock. Students must have access to a bicycle. Though there is some drawing and painting in this class, this course is reading, writing, and discussion intensive. Field trips! Bicycles! Local food! How could you go wrong?
Writing for Publication
A writing workshop in creative nonfiction focused on the relationship between people and nature. Students will practice a variety of structural and stylistic approaches with an eye toward developing their personal voice. Research – scientific, philosophical, cultural, theological – will be a major part of the writing process. Students will also learn how to submit their writing for publication. A final student reading will be open to the public. This course has writing intensive requirements.
Reading from the Archives
Did you know that Texas Tech houses one of the most important and extraordinary collections of natural history papers in the world? This class explores the lives and work of contemporary nature writers whose archival papers are housed here in the Southwest Collections/Special Collections Library. We'll read four books by writers whose work is part of this collection, and in doing so, explore a diversity of landscapes (mountains, rivers, oceans, deserts, and the plains), and cover a diverse range of topics, including environmentalism, evolution, anthropology, Eastern philosophy, American Indian spirituality, travel, and a sense of place. We'll spend time in the archive conducting independent research, and write both critically and creatively. This course includes a required weekend field experience with Barry Lopez. This course is reading and writing intensive.
EVHM Senior Portfolio
Please contact Professor Caswell for more information.
The Mother Earth Chronicles
Note: After the first class, some class meetings will be held outdoors. If you cannot attend the first session, contact the instructor immediately. "The Mother Earth Chronicles" is a fun, gentle, thought-provoking exploration of literary and film works about nature, environment, and landscape. In this course, you can expect to cover a wide and diverse range of topics about living with "Mother"—everything from bees, to homesteading, to white water rafting. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice writing in a workshop/tutorial format; if you've always thought that writing is a boring, excruciating, mind-numbing, pointless exercise in formulaic drivel and pap, well then, you've never done any writing like this. This course has writing intensive requirements.
Bones, Botanicals, and Birds
Dangerous ship crossings, unknown and hostile terrain, starvation, bad weather, bandits, and no communication with loved ones for months or years. The nineteenth century botanists, biologists, and ornithologists were the original Indian Joneses in their quest to discover new plant and animal species. They were courageous and determined, just as were the illustrators traveling with them, who produced some of the most important and often lovely scientific records of the day. In this Honors College summit experience, we will travel with them, too, as we learn by illustrating plants and birds ourselves, using many of their same techniques. We will paint and draw, and yes, go out into the field a time or two, but do not be afraid! You do not have to have prior skill or experience in either to be successful in this course.
Are you a traveler, an explorer, a free spirit with a deep desire to see the world? Have you already seen some of the world, and want to learn how to tell your story? Or are you a writer who wants practice in the art of travel writing? If you answer YES to any of these questions, this course is for you. In this workshop course in nonfiction travel writing, our major work will be to craft and revise travel essays with an eye toward publication. Students will also read great travel writing and great travel writers—we'll use the 2014 edition of The Best American Travel Writing as our text. This class is writing intensive. It may include a two-day field experience, which may consist of a tour of the editorial offices of Outside magazine, and a workshop with a National Book Award winning travel writer.
Interested in taking an EVHM class? Contact the EVHM Advisor for more information!