Literary Sources relevant to Envirotechies

Joy Parr put out a call for tips about relevant literary sources for envirotechies earlier this year. These are a few of the submissions. Hopefully we can expand on this list later.

Pat Munday suggested the following titles:

Abbey, Ed. 1975. The Monkey Wrench Gang. Required reading.

Brautigan, Richard. 1974. Trout Fishing in America. The chapter titled “The Cleveland Wrecking Yard” is especially insightful regarding the buying, selling, and artificial construction of the “natural” world.

Callenbach, Ernest. 1975. Ecotopia. I don’t know if it still resonates with students—it sure did in the late 1970s.

Dineson, Isak (aka Karen Blixen). 1938. Out of Africa. Western technology & imperialism meet indigenous Kenyan cultures.

Faulkner, William. 1942. The Bear. Touching story of a young man coming of age in a world where technology/development are displacing nature.

LeGuin, Ursula. Lots of her stuff is strong on the enviro/tech theme—my favorite for class use is the 1976 novel, The Word for World is Forest. Human imperialism expands to the planet of Athshe, where the “Creechies” enter a dream-time to defeat the invaders.

McCarthy, Cormac. 2006. The Road. I’ve not actually used this in a class, yet, but it offers deep insights into what we appreciate (and take for granted!) about technology and the natural world.

Piercy, Marge. 1991. He, She, and It. Nice feminist spin on the Golem story.

Generally, anything by Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snyder, or Wallace Stegner is good.

Finn Arne Jørgensen suggested these (mostly scifi) books that deal with environment and technology in various ways:

Kim Stanley Robinson: Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars (trilogy on the colonization and terraforming of Mars)

Kim Stanley Robinson: 40 Signs of Rain

Kim Stanley Robinson: 50 Degrees Below

Kim Stanley Robinson: 60 Days and Counting

Bruce Sterling: Heavy Weather