Students in my fall 2013 Literature and the Environment seminar (ENG 341G) spent the semester exploring different sites of belonging through world literature. Their course work carried them through critical discussions on the anthropocene, bioregionalism, deep ecology, ecotones and general systems theory.

In their final class unit, they targeted their analysis toward key issues of sustainability. Several groups of students got together to reflect on the ways sustainability connected them to different communities of practice. Prominent among such communities was Wake Forest.

In their essays, students consider the ways environments are composed through participation. They urge other students to be more fully present in the ways they interact with their campus environment, and they propose solutions for more sustainable technological practices.  Other essays reflect on the ways Wake Forest has shaped students as engaged individuals; students consider the ways the college’s environs have provided a vital resource for their spirits. Though all these short essays are quite different in their approaches to place values, all share an important central insight:  Sustainability is something that needs to be grounded in communities of belonging.  

Contributed by Dr. Judith Madera, Assistant Professor of English

Please click here to read the final essays submitted by students in ENG 341G.  Titles include:

Photo credit: Ken Bennet

Photo credit: Ken Bennet

Bioregionalism: A Mindful Walk into the Greater Living Community, by Sarah Millsaps, Hannah Padmos, Jenny Miller

Responsible Progression: An Analysis of Wake Forest’s ThinkPad Policy, by Alex Gibson

Spirit Places, by Sophie Kacha and Anmargaret Warner

The Upper Quad, by Marina Flick, Jenny Magruder, Gordon Maas, Helen Williford