ENG 384 Writing About American Society: The Climate of the Country

Dava Sobel, T 1:00 PM-2:50 PM

Same as AMS 351

This course will focus on writing about the country's weather and climate, past, present, and future. 

 As the United States confronts the consequences of global climate change, some sectors of the population continue to deny that any human-induced crisis looms. What is the scientific evidence to support the prediction of impending climate catastrophe? And why isn't everyone swayed by that evidence? 


Course readings will include current reports in science news sources and books by science writers, along with historical and literary accounts, by writers such as Thoreau, Rachel Carson, John Muir, and Elizabeth Kolbert. Writing assignments will range from short descriptive pieces about weather phenomena to long essays and articles about specific research on atmospheric change and strategies for reducing greenhouse gases. Assigned readings -- as well as students' writing assignments -- will not be limited to standard journalistic reports, but may also take the form of poems, plays, and fiction, so long as the subject remains the science of climate. Class size is limited to 12.

 Interested students should submit a writing sample of any length of their best work to dsobel@smith.edu by 4:00 on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.