Literature of the Local
There is no single definition of "local" in common use today. It means many things to many people. Local food, for example, in many regions can mean within 10 miles, whereas in the North Country it often means within 200 miles. Is it just the University campus or the Adirondacks to Lake Champlain that represents a local experience for SLU students? There have been many different types of literature that examine what it means to draw from one’s local environment, featuring subjects from food, to farms, to hiking and traveling, to understanding culture, and developing a sense of place. For this class, we will read several descriptions of "living local," from memoirs and explorations of growing and eating food in The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball and Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, to a short story by Ernest Hemingway about the transformative power of knowing nature, essays by Wendell Berry about local culture, and several examples of poetry looking at what local might mean. Through these readings, as well as others, and our own writing, we will explore what it means to be local.