HEGRKE231U ‘Apricot Trees Exist’: Creative Environmental Reading and Writing in English

Volume 2023/2024

In this series of creative workshops you will learn about environment, climate crisis and the more-than-human/human interdependence by composing multimodal texts in response to recent Copenhagen University and international research. You do not need background in natural sciences (if you have it, it’s a bonus) – you need curiosity and willingness to experiment creatively with the environmental knowledge you will gain thanks to independent study, classroom exchanges, field trips and guests: scientists (from, for example, the Center for Permafrost, Sustainability Science Centre or Centre for Sustainable Futures), activists and artists. 


These creative collaborations will invite you to rethink such concepts as ‘nature,’ ‘sustainability’ and ‘care’ by reading, listening to and watching a variety of academic, literary and artistic texts. You will combine science, emotion and creative expression not only to describe environmental loss, grief and vulnerability but also to celebrate the Earth and diversity. You will appreciate the complexity of ecological processes and interactions by choosing your own project: to investigate in more detail the environmental subject that fascinates you and to experiment with diverse forms of communicating it to varied audiences. Your research-based, hybrid, multimodal works-in-progress (which may develop beyond the course) will become forms of your green thinking, slow art, activism and stewardship.


On this course you will:

  • engage in ‘two-eyed seeing’: combine scientific learning with creative use of writing, drawing, sketching, photographing, filming etc. to deepen your understanding of current environmental knowledge and your communication strategies;
  • discuss environmental studies and reporting (both academic and popular) from ecocritical perspectives;
  • read, listen to, watch non-academic multimodal environmental genres: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, posters, comics, graphic novels, plays, podcasts, sound works, songs, film poems, visual artworks, installations, performances, etc.;
  • conduct literature review on the environmental subject of your choice;
  • experiment with various creative strategies (braided essay, zine, poster presentation, stop-motion animation, audio work, etc.) to diversify your environmental storytelling for different audiences;
  • reflect on what it means to be ecologically aware and ethically responsible as an individual, academic communicator and creative.

Recommended Reading: selected research articles and diverse multimodal texts/works that represent the wealth of ecocritical thinking and environmental writing/artmaking; guest talks by selected environmental humanists, scientists, activists; hands-on workshops with invited artists

Over the semester you study selected environmental research, literature and art. You also develop your ecocritical awareness and communication skills by conducting literature reviews, sharing your findings with peers, creating research-based multimodal works and thinking of diverse audiences. All these investigations and materials contribute to your exam portfolio.
Kurset udbydes til alle kandidatstuderende på Institut for Engelsk, Germansk og Romansk, samt som KA-tilvalg for studerende fra andre institutter.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Portfolio, A joint portfolio uploaded in digital exam: Deadline January 11th 2024
Type of assessment details
Portfolio details:
• literature review based on at least 3 sources outside Recommended Reading; samples of your work-in-progress (including drafts); peer reviews of assigned work (max. 15 pages);
• synopsis for the presentation of a chosen subject and work-in-progress as well as reflection on the presentation (max. 3 pages)
• essay discussing your development as an ecocritical thinker and environmental communicator (max. 8 pages ).
Criteria for exam assesment