Welcome, Students and Educators!

Welcome, Students!

This book is an offering to you! It tells a grand story about our human culture as storytellers, poets, theatrical performers and, recently, as published writers and filmmakers in online sharing platforms who face challenges, we all can learn from and share to ensure a sustainable future for all life on Earth.

Literature for a Sustainable Future: Benefits for Readers, Why this Book Now? A Preview

  • Its wide-ranging scope broadens traditional literary studies to serve students of varied heritages.
  • Featured literary works travel like a time capsule – in some cases for thousands of years – as oral traditions and archives of writing technologies reach you through the World Wide Web.
  • This book is relevant locally and globally by its featured intersections with sustainability.
  • For further research, topics are informed by the United Nations Sustainability Goals for global health and green infrastructure and to confront racial, gender, and economic injustices, as life on land and sea are preserved  (THE 17 UN GOALS for Sustainable Development).
  • Outcomes are met by its chapters and team-led research projects on sustainability.
  • Featured literature and assignments guide learner success.
  • There are three main sections to feature the literature and literary traditions. Each section:
    • Is led by specific goals and skills and features connections to stories in World Literature relating to the progress or not of humankind toward UN sustainability goals for a healthy and just world
    • Features literary traditions from around the world and key literary concepts and terms, which are supported by an appendix and a glossary
    • Builds familiarity with genre, poetic devices, and aspects of the narrative – such as character, dramatic irony, literary tropes, and source material and identifies sustainability topics, through ecocritical interpretive approaches to representations of nature and challenges outlined by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Reducing Inequality, Sustainable Communities, Peace, and Social Justice (UNSDG 17 Goals)
    • Offers interactive activities and writing assignments

Welcome, Educators!

The teaching philosophy behind this book is the result of my years of teaching experience at a community college in the U.S., which serves the country’s working classes, international students, and first-generation students. Its philosophical pedagogy relies on current scholarship on ecocriticism, world literature, and literary studies – in world literature, American literature, Black studies, Ethnic studies, and the traditions of Indigenous communities.

This book is inspired by my students and colleagues alike – especially since I recently taught 2023-2024 IVE (International Virtual Exchanges) and COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) collaborative multidisciplinary courses. We built curricula on sustainability in two countries. Community college English students in New England engaged with Business Master students in France and Art and Language Instruction students in Mexico. Our curricula on sustainability encouraged us to establish a common ground across oceans and regions.

This book continues to challenge me to serve students and educators from all walks of life who are English faculty at a community college in Massachusetts, USA. I anticipate curricular designs that are informed by leaders in literary studies, equity and racial justice, gender studies and LGBTQ+ studies, and culturally relevant pedagogy. Leaders in these areas help me to foster innovative and transformative learning through familiar and new literary approaches, like ecocriticism and animal studies. This book glosses over twentieth century criticism to emphasize twenty-first century intersectionality to guide literary studies and sustainability-driven assignments that support equity and problem-solving. The basis of this curriculum is guided by the following educators and scholarship whose works have challenged and informed me throughout my journey in higher education that has culminated in this ROTEL Project Open Education Resource book, on ecocriticism by Joni Adamson, Ture and Hamilton of 1967 Black Power, the Social Determinants of Health (SDH), LGBTQ+ history by HUE’s Deb Fowler and Miriam Morgenstern (HUE), University of California, Santa Barbara Dr. Candace Waid of The Signifying Eye: Seeing Faulkner’s Art (2017), Cal State S.F. Dr. Jeff Duncan Andrade of The Art of Critical Pedagogy (2008), Moritz College of Law, OSU Ruqaiijah Yearby on SDH in race and equity (Race & Equity), UCR Tara J. Yosso OER On Yosso’s anti-deficit model, and KEIO Tokyo Dr. Joseph Shaul’s work The Intercultural Mind: Connecting Culture, Cognition, and Global Living (2015).

Through its curricular investments, the overall purpose is to inspire reimaginings of the teaching of literature, especially to represent literary subject matters that inform and guide the upholding of the rights and dignity of our diverse human community and of the nonhuman lifeforms that we are intricately a part of. Environmental humanist Joni Adamson’s seminal work – on the twentieth century literary traditions of Indigenous communities – links literary studies with the health of communities and nature. Adamson unveils intersections of storytelling and human-made environmental degradation. As a result, Adamson shows that Laguna Leslie Marmon Silko’s work on Maya literary history informs our current efforts to address sustainability, social justice, and the climate crisis.

Sustainability – a concept that encompasses the dynamic and intricate network of how humanity affects communities, the environment, and climate – serves this book’s overarching theme in praxis, to place literary studies within frameworks of culturally relevant agency through its pedagogy that recognizes today’s concerns, which are also addressed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN’s 17 Goals).


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Literary Studies For A Sustainable Future Copyright © 2024 by Lisette Helena Assia Espinoza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book