Profile of <span>Spring Ulmer</span>
Office
Axinn Center
Tel
(802) 443-5563
Email
sulmer@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Spring 2024: Mon 1:00pm-2:30pm, Weds 9-1030am, or by appt.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Writing: Poetry, Fiction, NonFiction
An introduction to the writing of poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction through analysis of writings by modern and contemporary poets and prose writers and regular discussion of student writing. Different instructors may choose to emphasize one literary form or another in a given semester. Workshops will focus on composition and revision, with particular attention to the basics of form and craft. This course is a prerequisite to CRWR 0380, CRWR 0385, CRWR 0370, and CRWR 0375. (This course is not a college writing course.) (Formerly ENAM 0170) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2024

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Environmental Lit Workshop: Environmentalist Literature and Action
Some would say we live in supremely disturbing times. A pandemic; the sixth extinction; fascism within democracies and militant nationalisms; climate apartheid, and a political economy based around the commodification and exploitation of people and the earth. In this course careful reading and analysis is paired with literary conversation and action. Course readings represent a wide array of environmental justice in differing genres. While we respond to assigned texts, we will simultaneously write our way toward an environmental literature of our own design. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, LIT

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Course Description

Nonfiction across Genres
In this seminar on contemporary nonfiction across genres, we will focus on notions of truth and how it is told in various subgenres. We will read, watch, and closely analyze archives, blogs, vlogs, journalism, narrative nonfiction, memoir, lyric nonfiction, haibun, graphic memoir, photo essays, film essays, podcasts, lists, and theory. We will ask why authors select the subgenres they do and investigate how artistic sense is made of worldly concerns. As there is a workshop component to this course, we will write, comment upon, and revise our own diverse works of nonfiction. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

LIT

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Course Description

Decolonizing Creative Writing
How might creative writing facilitate collective resistance to racial capitalism and transform us into more caring persons? In this course we will learn from reading and writing in solidarity with anti-capitalist and anti-racist literatures. Expect to read and write creative critiques of imperialism, nationalism, genocide, white settler colonialism, heteropatriarchy, social inequality, ecocide, and other injustices, and interrogate and upend the canon. We will expose ourselves to radical literature (in English and in translation), multimedia materials, photographic images, digital platforms, the built environment, legal cases, and more. Authors such as Arundhati Roy, Eduardo Galeano, Wu Ming-Yi, Svetlana Alexievich, Michiko Ishimure, Nuruddin Farah, Fiston Mujila, Pauline Alexis Gumbs, and Therese Hak Kyung Cha will help us to rethink the purpose of literature. (CRWR 170, CRWR 173, or CRWR 175) (REC)

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

LIT

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Course Description

Advanced Non-Fiction Workshop: Reading and Writing Memory and Landscape
The human animal is shaped by place and memory of place. How can a writer best create what Nabokov called "bright blocks of perception" and evoke the power of formative landscapes? We will move between memoir, narrative non-fiction, and autobiographical fiction, reading Virginia Woolf, Nabokov, Jesmyn Ward, and Mary Oliver. We will contemplate the way memory works with Oliver Sacks and Robin Kimmerer. Students will generate critical and creative work based on their own experiences and adventures, with room for interdisciplinary/multi-genre output. (One intro CRWR course, or by instructor approval) (formerly ENAM 0380) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Fall 2023

Requirements

ART, LIT

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Course Description

Special Project: Creative Writing
Approval Required.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022

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Course Description

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the Senior Thesis Workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

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Course Description

African Environmental Writing, Photography, and Film
Concerned with social implications of environmental change, a burgeoning number of contemporary African photographers, filmmakers, and authors are challenging the public with social documents that protest ecologically destructive forms of neocolonial development. These works actively resist oppression, abuse, and conflagration of both the black body and the environment. Subverting the neocolonialist rhetoric and gaze, these creative practitioners complicate what it means to write about and look at those most affected by environmental injustices perpetrated by international and national actors. In this course we will view relevant photographs and films and read African environmental literature as sources of artistic and activist inspiration. Whilst reading, we will ask ourselves the hard questions of what to do with our own complicity when facing the role that the global north plays in the causation of environmental degradation and human suffering. Students will be expected to reflect upon how best to regard the pain of others in the Anthropocene, as well as upon how culture influences creative depictions of the Anthropocene. Seminar papers will address questions that arise from analyzing particular works. This course counts as a Humanities cognate for environmental studies majors. (Diversity) (Rec)

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

AAL, LIT, SAF, WTR

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Course Description

Special Project: Literature
Approval Required. (Formerly ENAM 0500)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the Senior Thesis Workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term. (Formerly ENAM 0700)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Senior Independent Study
In this course, seniors complete an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. During the term prior to enrolling in ENVS 0700, a student must discuss and agree upon a project topic with a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program and submit a brief project proposal to the Director of Environmental Studies for Approval. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 as a one-term independent study OR up to twice as part of a multi-term project, including as a lead-up to ENVS 0701 (ES Senior Thesis) or ENVS 0703 (ES Senior Integrated Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
This course is the culminating term of a multi-term independent project, resulting in a senior thesis on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. Approval to enroll is contingent on successful completion of at least one term (and up to two) of ENVS 0700 and the approval of the student’s thesis committee. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, will result in a substantial piece of scholarly work that will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum and defended before the thesis committee. (Senior standing; ENVS major; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120, and ENVS 0700; Approval only)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Literary and Filmic Protest of Environmental Racism
Can Literature and Film Save the Planet? This course focuses on literary and filmic responses to environmental racism. Bearing witness to those whose lives are most endangered, we will learn about environmental justice, economics, migration, globalization, and the anthropology of climate change through comparative study of works authored by Iraqi, Chinese, and African Americans, as well as by indigenous Latin Americans (Andean, Xavante, and Wayuu), Native Americans (Navajo and Sioux), Africans (Ogoni), Indians (Dalit and Adivasi), and Armenians. We will write literature and film reviews, and work incrementally toward the realization of activist essays.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, CW, LIT

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Course Description

Senior Essay
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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