Literature and the Wadden Sea

Mini unit ecology

This mini-unit is aimed at introducing ecology and some basic knowledge of methods in ecology to students of languages and literatures. It may include both specific knowledge of life in the Wadden Sea, as well as a more theoretical understanding of the principles and methods that underlie studies in ecology and the life sciences more generally. Educators may discuss, and encourage students to think critically about a type of naïve realism that assumes literary texts must abide by ecological, biological or other physical processes in the real world, or are of better quality when they do. It is important that students leave this unit with the understanding that natural science knowledge and literary studies knowledge are achieved, produced and expressed in different ways, and science and literature should be judged by their own, methodologically and epistemologically different and equally valuable standards. We recommend that educators teaching of this units consult colleagues in a life sciences department, if this is not their own department.

Suggested readings:

Kaiser et al. “Patterns in the Marine Environment” and “Rocky and Sandy Shores.” Marine Ecology: Processes, Systems, and Impacts. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. 1-29; 172-193.

NL (EN) Löffler, M.A.M. et al. “Introduction” and “Vegetation.” Back to Basics: Natural Dynamics and Resilience on the Dutch Wadden Sea Barrier Islands. Groningen: Het Grafisch Huis, 2008. 9-15; 38-42.

NL (DE, EN) Ecomare: resources on the following topics: North Sea; Animals; Plants; Wadden Sea Area; Landscapes: https://www.ecomare.nl/verdiep/leesvoer/dieren/.

Wadden Sea Quality Status Report on the following topics: Geomorphology and climate; Habitats and communities; Species; Human activities; Pollution: https://qsr.waddensea-worldheritage.org/reports/introduction.

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