Fall 2017

Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 5:00, English Department Room TBD

  • Chesnutt, Charles. The Conjure Stories, three stories. Ed. Robert B. Stepto and Jennifer Rae Greeson. New York: Norton, 2012. Print.
    • “The Goophered Grapevine” (1887) — if you only have time to read one, maybe this one
    • “Po’ Sandy” (1888)
    • “Dave’s Neckliss” (1889)
  • Reddy, Chandan. “Modern.” Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Ed. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. New York: NYU P, 2007. Print.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 5:00, English Department Room 306 – Notes here

  • Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City (excerpt). New York: Oxford UP, 1973. Print.
    • If you want short and poetic, read the first 12 pages; if you want longer and a more meaty argument, read the last 33; if you rock, read it all
  • EXTRA BONUS: Williams, Raymond. “The Country and the City.” Politics and Letters: Interviews with New Left Review. 1979. London: Verso, 2015. Print.

Spring 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016, 4:00 (Tea Time), English Department Room 805 – Notes here

  • There were no readings assigned, although readings were brought and read aloud to the accompaniment of whiskey and animal crackers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 12:30, English Department Room 103 – Notes here

  • Posmentier, Sonya. Cultivation and Catastrophe [unpublished; book in progress].
    • Excerpt: “Cultivating the Nation: Postwar Periodicals and the Critical Reterritorialization of Black Poetry.” Please email farmtotext@gmail.com to obtain a copy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 5:00 PM, English Department Room 306 – Notes here

  • Berry, Wendell. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (excerpt).  San Fransisco: Sierra Club Books, 1977. Print.
    • We’re asking that folks read through at least Chapter 1 if they can, which is short and should be easy going; the excerpt we’re providing goes through Chapter 4, however, so we encourage you to read as much of it as you have time for.

Thursday, February 11, 2016, 6:00 PM, English Department Event Space – Notes here

In preparation for our guest speaker Frederick L. Kirschenmann’s visit on February 18, we will watch the 20-minute documentary Food for Thought, Food for Life, which features Kirschenmann and a number of other leaders in the sustainable agriculture movement, and we will discuss several of his short essays and speeches:

  • Cultivating an Ecological Conscience by Frederick L. KirschenmannKirschenmann, Frederick L. Two uncollected essays.
    • “The Industrial Economy’s Swan Song, and the Resettling of America”
    • “Sustainability in our Future Food System”
  • Kirschenmann, Frederick L. Selections from Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher. Ed. Constance L. Falk. Berkeley: Counterpoint P, 2010. Print.
    • “The Pleasure of Good Eating”
    • “On Becoming Lovers of the Soil”
    • “Challenges Facing Philosophy as We Enter the Twenty-First Century: Reshaping the Way the Human Species Feeds Itself”

If you’re interested in the larger scope of Kirschenmann’s work, check out the collection of articles available for free online from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, where Kirschenmann is Distinguished Fellow, here.  You can also watch his 2012 talk at TEDx Manhattan, titled “Soil: From Dirt to Lifeline,” here.

Fall 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015, 1:00 PM

Thursday, November 19, 2015, 6:30 PM – Notes here

  • Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. New York: Oxford UP, 1964. Print.
    • The link provided will take you to the first chapter of the book, which we’ll focus on as somewhat of a distillation of Marx’s argument (we hope).  However, we encourage you to read beyond that into the book — NYU students and faculty can access the full text through the NYU website here by clicking on the “NYU ebrary” link and downloading the required ebrary software.  The PDF will vanish in two weeks, which stinks, but that will at least get you to the meeting.
  • Optional: Cronon, William. “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.” Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. Ed. William Cronon. New York: Norton, 1995. 69-90. Print.

Thursday, October 25, 2015, 6:00 PM – Notes here

  • Friends of the Land. “Manifesto.” Ca. 1940. Forever the Land: A Country Chronicle and Anthology. Ed. and Ill. Russell & Kate Lord. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950. Print. 43-51.
  • Twelve Southerners. “Introduction: A Statement of Principles.” (From I’ll Take My Stand.) 1930. American Georgics: Writings on Farming, Culture, and the Land. Ed. Edwin C. Hagenstein, Sara M. Gregg, and Brian Donahue. New Haven: Yale UP, 2011. Print. 257-63.
  • Dungy, Camille T. “Introduction: The Nature of African American Poetry.” Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. Ed. Camille T. Dungy. Athens, GA: U of Georgia P, 2009. Print. xix-xxxv.
  • Three poems
    • Manning, Maurice. “A Panegyric Against the Consolation of Grief.” The Common Man. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. Print. 38-9.
    • Longenbach, James. “Arcadia.” Poetry. 207.1 (October 2015). Print. 40-3.
    • Dungy, Camille T. “Frequently Asked Questions: 10.” Poetry. 207.1 (October 2015). Print. 44-5.