HENK1314XU ‘Abrikostræerne Findes/Apricot Trees Exist’: Ecocritical Reading and Environmental Writing in English

Volume 2022/2023

This creative writing course is for students who want to learn about climate, environment as well as more-than-human and human interrelatedness from recent KU research. Funded by the Strategy 2023 grant for ‘Green education, research and societal engagement’ and designed in cooperation with the Center for Permafrost, Sustainability Science Centre, Centre for Sustainable Futures and Centre for Applied Ecological Thinking, the course will feature guest lectures showcasing work of these centres.


In this creative collaboration with selected KU environmental scientists, you will rethink such concepts as ‘nature,’ ‘human’ and ‘sustainability’ by reading a variety of academic, literary, visual and artistic texts within the ecocritical framework, which emphasizes both analytical and activist approaches. You will develop your academic and ecocritical reading skills to expand your writing both as scholarly and creative activity as well as civic responsibility. You will combine knowledge with emotion and sensory language not only to describe loss but also to celebrate the Earth. You will honour the complexity of ecological processes and interactions by experimenting and multigenre writing in order to make space for diverse stories. You will reconceive the past (‘what have we done?’) to answer ‘what can we do/what can we become?’ as a means of practising stewardship, green transition and sustainability.


On this course you will:

  • examine academic knowledge reporting (research articles, talks, fieldwork) with the tools of ecocriticism;
  • read non-academic genres of environmental writing: nonfiction, fiction, poetry;
  • experiment with diverse writing strategies to represent environmental research;
  • engage in collaborative thinking and writing by pairing scientists and humanists;
  • appreciate the situatedness of writing from particular places (unique focus on Danish research, used to inform and illustrate narratives available for environmental storytelling);
  • consider means of translating scientific research into public domain;
  • foster an understanding of what it means to be ecologically aware and ethically responsible.

Research articles and guest lectures by selected KU environmental scientists; a variety of academic, literary, visual and artistic texts that represent different strands of ecocritical thinking and different genres of environmental writing.

Over the semester students study selected KU environmental research and contemporary environmental writing – they present their understanding of this research and writing to their peers. They develop their academic and ecocritical reading skills and practise research-based creative writing for wider audiences on varied platforms (e.g. print publication, blog, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, podcast). Their critiques of environmental narratives, their own creative texts and their reviews of peer writing compose their exam portfolios.
Kurset udbydes som en del af studiemønstret Writing in English, samt som KA-tilvalg.
Studerende indskrevet på Kandidatuddannelsen i engelsk kan desuden bruge kurset til Frit Emne 1, 2 og 3.
  • 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 4th 2023
Type of assessment details
Portfolio details:
• 3 texts submitted over the semester to meet the deadlines specified in the syllabus and 3 peer reviews of assigned peer writing (12-14 pages)
• 1 synopsis (1 page) for the oral presentation on the basis of the course readings and 1 reflection on the presentation (2 pages)
• 1 reflective paper (max. 8 pages) on the development as an ecocritical reader and environmental writer
Criteria for exam assesment