27 June. The Ecological Thought Post Nature

Featured Image: NOLA Water Treatment Facility Katrina Repairs 


  • 1. Good work at the workshop yesterday. If you navigate to the Poster Assignment Page, please find some How-to materials in the right hand column.
  • 2. Multimedia Studio printing turn around time?
  • 3. I forgot to ask you to put your name on the Google form I sent out for Poster Presentation Preferences. You can have three extra credit points if you present on Monday.


Freewrite: Write a response to the following question for 7-10 minutes without stopping, and be prepared to share your answer with the class:

In a few sentences, describe the local or national development issue/project have you chosen to illustrate the concept of sustainability in your poster. Then, in a few more sentences, explain what exactly the issue/project you chose aims to sustain, i.e. preserve, protect, maintain.

Morton Discussion

Organize yourselves into groups according to the first few letters of your last name, and answer the question below that corresponds with your group number:

Group Number Group Names
Group 1 A-E
Group 2 F-H
Group 3 M-N
Group 4 P
Group 5 S-W
Take 10-15 minutes to discuss your answer in your group & be prepared to cite evidence when you respond to your question.
  • Group One: List some of the ways that Morton defines the ecological thought. Are you ever satisfied with his definition? Is he?

  • Group Two: List some of the rhetorical or stylistic choices Morton makes in this chapter. How does his rhetorical style compare with Caradonna’s? Is one author more successful than the other, why/why not?

  • Group Three: What does the term “Nature” describe according to Morton? Why do we have to let go of “Nature” to have ecology? Do you agree, why/why not?

  • Group Four: What happens to the concept of personhood or the human when it expands under the ecological thought? For instance, what do you think Morton means when he says that “The ecological thought fans out into questions concerning cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and the irreducible uncertainty over what counts as a person” (8)?Do you agree, why/why not? 

  • Group Five: What sorts of artwork best demonstrate the ecological thought? To respond to this question, examine at least one movie, book, etc. that he talks about as an example of the ecological thought. Can you think of your own example(s)? Do you agree with his assessment, why/why not?


Discussion of “Nature, Post-Nature”

Get out the Clark essay and be prepared to discuss the following:
  • 1.What does Clark mean when he says that the language we have inherited to describe the current environmental crisis is “fragile” (75)? How do the words “nature” and “natural” get “pulled in opposite directions at once” (75)?
  • 2.What is the Anthropocene? How does the Anthropocene mess with distinctions such nature and culture or human and nature?
  • 3. What “scenarios” does Clark propose would “avoid the disasters of the Anthropocene” (84) if implemented? What keeps his proposals from being implemented?
  • 4. How does Clark’s definition of nature compare to Morton’s defintion? How does Clark’s definition compare to Caradonna’s?

Finally…How might you incorporate Morton or Clark’s ideas into your poster?