Literature and the Wadden Sea

Language and text

This unit invites students to reflect on the role of language in their relationship with the environment. Educators are encouraged to let students not only take in language- and text-based responses to the Wadden Sea written and spoken by others, but also to create them themselves, for example through the assignments described under Small tasks or Creative output on this website. The course may take into account the large linguistic diversity that exists along the Wadden Sea coast, where Danish, German and Dutch coexist with minority languages and dialects, such as Frisian, and reflect on the role of these different languages in different people’s relationship to the environment and in issues facing the Wadden Sea. This is a question that can be looked at from a social and linguistic perspective, both in terms of the standing of the language in its nation, and in terms of the words the language provides for the environment. The course may also work on identifying lost words or inventing new words that allow both students and communities to express their feelings towards the landscape.

Suggested secondary readings:

Emert, Toby and Maureen Hall. “Greater Satisfaction from the Labor: Creative Writing as a Text Response Strategy in the Teacher Education Classroom.” Creative Writing and Education. Ed. Graeme Harper. Bristol and Buffalo: Multilingual Matters, 2015.

Nash, Joshua. “Ecolinguistics and Placenames: Interaction Between Humans and Nature.” The Routledge Handbook of Ecolinguistics. Eds Alwin F. Fill and Hermine Penz. New York and London: Routledge, 2018. 355-364.

Olwig, Kenneth R. “Recovering the Substantive Nature of Landscape.” The Meanings of Landscape: Essays on Place, Space, Environment and Justice. Abigdon and New York: Routledge, 2019. 18-49.

Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove and David Harmon. “Biological Diversity and Language Diversity: Parallels and Differences.” The Routledge Handbook of Ecolinguistics. Eds Alwin F. Fill and Hermine Penz. New York and London: Routledge, 2018. 11-25.

Stibbe, Arran. Ecolinguistics: Language, Ecology and the Stories We Live By. Abingdon: Routledge, 2021.

Suggested primary readings:

IWSS. Wadden Sea Dictionary. Ed. Anja Szczesinski. 2009. Accessed 14 Feb. 2022.

Macfarlane, Robert. Landmarks. London: Penguin, 2016.

(DE, NL) Macfarlane, Robert and Jackie Morris. The Lost Words. London: Penguin, 2017.

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