The Rhetorics and Poetics of Dirt

Spring 2018
Darcy Mullen
ENGL 1102

This course asks students to examine what we talk about when we talk about “dirt,” and how do the things we communicate about dirt change its presence in our lives. The major assignments facilitate learning goals through four units: dirt vs. soil, earthworks, dirt stories, and trendy dirt. The primary texts in this course will largely deal with a North American perspective on dirt. We will engage with American film (ex: Grapes of Wrath, Waterworld, Noma, Interstellar, The Martian, the Mad Max megaverse), and contemporary American literature. Moreover, this course is affiliated with the Poetry@Tech events (through the poetry@tech grant) and those poets’ works (Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Christopher Collins, Bruce McEverStuart, Dischell, David Bottoms, and Tarfia Faizullah). Our shared vocabulary for discussing the written, oral, visual, electronic and nonverbal transferals of meaning will come from a selection of sources (Freud, Anne McClintock, Eileen Schell, Wendell Berry, David R. Montgomery, and (Killingsworth, & Palmer). 

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