American debates about genetically modified crops, fracking, and climate change have emphasized, representations of nature are far from unbiased accounts of the non-human environment, but inextricably entangled with cultural and historical traditions, economic motives, and political strategies. Representations of nature further come along with a plethora of ideologies that contain normative assumptions, among others, about the nation, progress, technology, science, class, race, and gender. In this course, we will investigate the intersections of these issues with the politics and aesthetics of nature representations in North American literatures and cultures. Course materials include some of the canonical texts of American literary history such as Native American creation stories, William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation (1630-1650; 1856), Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature (1836), and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962), but we will also analyze contemporary cultural representations of nature as, for example, ‘cli-fi’ novels such as Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood (2009) and Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow (2013), the films Promised Land (2012) and Interstellar (2014), eco-photography, and eco-activist protests. Course requirement: oral presentation. Credit requirement: a research paper in English.