Posted June 23, 2020:
I am excited to be teaching the online course “Ocean Life,” a writing intensive literature course that explores how depictions of ocean life reveal surprising insights into our own human history and culture. I’ll supply a reading list soon.
Covering 71% of the globe, the oceans are filled with a vast array of life, from blue whales, the largest animals to ever exist, to microscopic phytoplankton that provide over 50% of the oxygen we breath. In this course, we will take a deep dive into humanity’s ever-developing imagination of ocean life, exploring how literary depictions of ocean life can reveal surprising insights into our own human history and culture. Topics of discussion will include historical depictions of dangerous ocean life, the experiences of sailors adrift at sea, Afrofuturist visions of the ocean depths, recent representations of megafauna like whales and sharks, and how ocean life has been affected by humanity. A wide range of genres will be covered, including novellas, short stories, poetry, music, and film, and issues including race, gender, and the rights of animals will be addressed. As a “Texts and Contexts” course, “Ocean Life” will develop your techniques of close reading and an ability to construct and support an argument out of your own observations about the texts. This course also fulfills the EP2 requirement in Fordham’s core curriculum.