This piece discusses the use of sense of place as a focal point for studying literature to lead students to consider the complexity of the human relation to the physical world, the universal connections between people and landscapes, and the reciprocal impact of these relationships. The intent is to create fertile ground through the literature, class discussions, journal writing, and personal action for an environmental consciousness to emerge. Too, as students study literary characters’ interactions with places, they become more aware of their own developing relationships with their shared city and their place in, for many college students, their new community. The author presents these ideas from a pedagogical perspective that lays the foundation for such a literature course, including defining the concept “sense of place,” selecting texts, and creating assignments that encourage student involvement in the local community. The ideas covered are not limited to a literature course, however, and might be applied to writing classes and interdisciplinary disciplines.

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