Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, and Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmworkers Union, both campaigned against toxic exposures in the mid-20th-century United States and yet are rarely considered in tandem. This course puts the writings and activism of these two women in conversation, ranging through feminist, queer, and Latinx environmental writing to build connections between environmentalism and labor rights. Our study focuses on the craft of environmental nonfiction writing, examining contemporary practitioners working in the vein of Carson and Huerta. Students will also compose environmental nonfiction, employing the literary techniques analyzed in this course to craft a narrative addressing exposure, toxins, or the state of public health.

Authors include: Rachel Carson, Dolores Huerta, Helena María Viramontes, and Cherríe Moraga.