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PHD912 Ecocriticism and Didactic Practices

Course description for academic year 2022/2023

Contents and structure

The course forms part of the PhD programme in Bildung and Pedagogical Practices. The course is founded on ecocritical thinking and aims to provide insight into and new knowledge about ecocriticism in a formation perspective. The aim of the course is to strengthen the student's ability to understand how ecocritical issues are portrayed in cultural expressions aimed at children and adolescents, and how such issues may be developed in didactic practices. The course seeks to encourage critical and independent perspectives on ecocritical thinking and on how such thinking may find expression in and through didactic practices. This is to be accomplished by developing the student's skill in reading and interpreting both classical and more recent texts that have shaped and are shaping the field of ecocriticism.

The course presents and discusses the field of ecocriticism, drawing on both older and newer texts to discuss the history and development of the field. Emphasis is placed on ecocritical theory and on how such theory describes what constitutes ecocritical reflection and practice as well as how it can contribute to ecocritical formation, or Bildung.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student has the following learning outcomes:


The student has

  • an independent understanding of various ecocritical theories and related didactical practices within their own field
  • an in-depth knowledge of ecocritical core topics and an understanding of the analytical practices and of the research literature related to the subject of ecocritical thinking and formation
  • insight into factors influencing and shaping ecocritical thinking and into didactic practices that may further sustainable development
  • insight into factors that may contribute to the shaping of ecocitizens.


The student

  • may undertake undertake appropriate assessments of research literature related to the subject of ecocriticism and didactic practices
  • can develop new interpretations, research questions and theory in light of ecocritical perspectives
  • can develop adequate research designs to conduct research on ecocriticism and didactic practices
  • can take a position on and challenge established issues, theoretical understandings, and analytical practices in the field of ecocriticism

General competence

The student

  • can assess the implications of (and for) ecocritical theory within his or her own field
  • can discuss the base questions of the course and of the practice field and identify and conduct research in line with the rules and ethics of the field
  • communicate ecocritical insights to appropriate audiences (professionals, students, general audiences)
  • can use theory and analytical models developed in the ecocritical research field

Entry requirements


Teaching methods

The subject spans one semester. Organized teaching occurs online and is provided in the form of six modules with asynchronous video lectures. Additionally, the student will receive questions for reflection connected to each module and participate in student-driven online dialogue. There will be three synchronous online meetings during the semester.

The teaching emphasizes the student’s understanding and discussion of key areas of ecocritical thinking. The video lectures are organized into six modules: Ecocritical thought figures or topoi, the NatCul Matrix, the Posthuman, Animal studies and critical plant studies, Interspecies ethics, and Ecocritical dialogues.

The course involves individual writing in the form of six blog posts of ca. 500 words. The blog entries are written in connection with each lecture module and should reflect on current issues in ecocritical thinking in relation to the student’s own field of study.

The student is expected to orient him- or herself in relevant research literature and secondary literature about the issues being discussed in the modules and post their answer components in Canvas. The student should also comment on at least two other blog posts in each module. The student’s active participation in the group discussions on Canvas is expected.

Compulsory learning activities

Within a given date, the student must select three of his or her blog posts for submission (each of approx. 500 words). These will undergo evaluation. Once accepted, the student progresses to submit a scientific article (see under assessment).


In line with the work on the mandatory requirements, the student will hand in a short scientific article that addresses relationships between ecocritical thinking and their own field of study. The text should have a scope of 3,000 to 4,000 words and must meet the formal requirements for a scientific publication, that is: have a clear problem statement, explain its theory/method, and use a scientific citation practice.

Language: The submitted article must be written in English or in a Scandinavian language. The specific formal requirements of the article are issued at the start of the semester.

The article is evaluated as a pass or fail.

Examination support material


More about examination support material