Mountaintop Removal and Pastoral: Nneka Udechukwu Shares her Story

Hi everyone.  I hope the dog days of summer aren’t getting you down.  I wanted to call attention to the second installment of the podcast episodes that came out of this class.  In the latest episode of Et in Arcadia Ego, Nneka Udechukwu talks about mountaintop removal and the pastoral.  You can click here to download/listen to an episode, or you can find it over on iTunes.

Give it a listen, leave some feedback, and keep on thinking about pastoral!


Tim Hanner Shines on Et in Arcadia Ego

ENG 230 folks:  I hope everyone’s first week of freedom is going well. I’m still in the process of filling out final grades. More to follow soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the first new episode of Et in Arcadia Ego.  Tim Hanner from our class talks with me about Asian carp and the problem of invasive species. 

Click on the link to listen to and download an episode.  There you can also download in iTunes and any other podcast software or smartphone platform.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated.  The other episodes are soon to follow.  Spread the word! Let’s see how many people can listen to this podcast.

Also, major kudos to Lauren Tincher, who not only came up with a great post on the closing of the school in Detroit, but also wrote “The New Rage – Chicken Hair,” a post that’s gone viral in the last week!  It’s received over 800 page views.

End of Course Review

Remember everyone that the real course evaluation is to be completed online.  The University of Kentucky should have sent a link to your e mail box.  Be sure to complete this, but in addition, I’m interested in hearing from you guys about your experience with researching, blogging, writing online, gathering information with social media, etc.  A recent article in the Seattle Times talks about the new generation of college students who are perhaps not “slackers” or “dumb” as we might suspect, but instead simply overwhelmed with information.  Is this your experience?

Feel free to leave some comments below regarding your stance on this and your interactions with information in the class.

Last Minute Weekend Announcements

Better late than never, here are your weekend announcements.

1.  First essays.  I have finally finished grading the first formal essay.  You should have received an e mail with a copy attached with grade and comments.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the essays.  However, the goal is that you can take some of the principles learned from the first essay and apply them to the second.  Things like close reading, establishing a microcosmic-macrocosmic relationship, and integrating a They Say, I Say structure are important maneuvers.

2.  Final essays.  Remember that I have extended the deadline for the final essay.  It will be due to me via e mail by the end of the day on Wednesday, June 8 (11:59 PM).  Let me know if you have any questions before that deadline arrives.

3.  Final exam.  I’ve posted the study guide to the final exam on the website.  Be sure to take note of it, and as always, raise questions before the exam.  We’ll spend some time in class tomorrow talking about the structure of the exam if needed.

4.  Final free-form article checkpoint.  Remember that tomorrow is the final deadline for free-form articles.  At the end of the day, all contributed free form articles will not “count” toward the grade average.

5.  Podcast for extra credit.  It’s still not too late to propose a podcast episode and schedule a recording with me.  The option is still there, if anyone wants to take advantage.

6.  “Midterm” grade report.  Tomorrow I will finally hand out an assessment of where your grade is. Again, better late than never. I will say more about it in class.

Reading Agenda for the Upcoming Week

Here’s a list of texts that we’ll be reading in the upcoming week.

On Tuesday, we will read a short piece, the opening chapter to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  If you are not familiar with this book and its place in US culture, read up on it at Wikipedia.

On Wednesday, we’ll be reading two essays, “Detroit Arcadia:  Exploring the Post American Landscape” by Rebecca Solnit and “Supermarket Pastoral “by the environmental journalist Michael Pollan.  This is a part of a chapter from his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  In addition to exploring these readings, I encourage everyone to look at this amazing photo essay / collection by James D. Griffioen. Continue reading

General Announcements for the Weekend

We are heading down the stretch run of this course time wise, but we still have a lot of work to do.  Please keep in mind the following information as we approach the last full (almost) week of our class.

No class on Monday:  It’s an academic holiday (Memorial Day), so we will take the day off!

Conferences:  Everyone signed up for conferences while taking the exam on Friday. In case you forgot, here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, May 31 – 3:30 PM Lauren Tincher

Wednesday, June 1 – 2:00 PM Rachel Ballard, 2:30 PM, Margaret Carey, 3:00 PM Chris Barlow, 3:30 PM Nneka Udechukua, 4:00 PM Tim Hanner

Thursday, June 2 – 2:00 PM Nathan Estes, 2:30 PM Kaitlyn Otey, 3:00 PM, Adrienne Cromer, 3:30 PM Ryan Heinrich, 4:00 PM Allyson Sparks

Continue reading

Producing a Podcast Episode

In past years and semesters I have launched and produced a podcast called Et in Arcaida Ego.  This podcast is available on iTunes and can be subscribed to through any number of sources and platforms across the web.  The goal is to have interesting, intellectually stimulating conversation about any issue of culture that in some ways alludes to pastoral themes, tensions, or motifs.  It’s been a long time since I’ve recorded an episode, and past topics have included attitudes toward the death of the printed newspaper, organic food, and attitudes toward the Clinton administration.  We talk about books, films, music, and any other topics of interest. Continue reading

Readings & Schedule for Third Week of the Class

Happy weekend everyone.  Assuming that we’re all left behind after the upcoming rapture this weekend, we’ll have to deal with our upcoming readings and assignments, unfortunately.  Here’s a list of what’s ahead.

On Monday we will be reading John Milton’s career-defining pastoral poem, “Lycidas.”  You may want to read it online because there are helpful and informative hyperlink footnotes.  This information proves to be valuable as we try to understand the generic and historical context of Milton’s poem.  However, you can download a copy of it here to print.  In addition to our discussion of “Lycidas,” we will go over the final essay assignment of the semester. Continue reading

Early Week Announcements

Hi everyone.  Here’s a rundown of important information, some of which I covered in class, some of which I neglected to mention.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

1.  Upcoming readings.  Remember to keep tabs on all of the readings/artifacts for the coming week.  I posted this information last Friday, but I didn’t want it to get lost amidst all of the topic prospectuses.  See also the new art gallery for our discussion in class on Friday.  When in doubt, you can always use the sidebar blog directory feature to access these important posts.

2.  Free-form article deadlines.  I should point out that there are cut-off deadlines for the free-form articles that you all should post to the blog.  The first one is a week from today, Monday. May 23.  This means that each person should have posted at least one free form article to the blog by this point.  For a sample of what these articles should or can look like, see my earlier post on green grass. Continue reading

Upcoming Readings for Week Two

Here’s a list of our reading schedule and supplementary documents for the upcoming week (May 16-20).  On Monday and Tuesday, we’ll be finishing up The Tempest.  Although not required, I encourage everyone to browse through some of the critical articles in the back of the Norton Critical Edition volume.  There are historical documents and sample literary critical approaches to the play.

Also on Monday, we will be talking about joining a scholarly conversation.  Please take a look at this handout from the book They Say, I Say.  We’ll be discussing it in class

Additionally, on Tuesday, we’ll be reading Leo Marx’s famous essay, “Shakespeare’s American Fable.”  You may want to bring in a copy to class.  See above posts for guideline reading questions. Continue reading

Welcome to ENG 230 Introduction to Literature

Hi everyone.  Welcome to ENG 230 Introduction to Literature at the University of Kentucky.  This is an extremely condensed summer session, a four-week romp through the Western canon, with a focus on pastoral literature.  Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with what’s on the blog.  On the right-hand toolbar, you’ll find links, course, documents, and information for further research.

Between now and Wednesday’s class, each person needs to sign up for a unique WordPress account. I’ve sent an e mail invitation to everyone in the class.  Continue reading