Instructor: Person | MWF 12:20 PM – 01:15 PM

A seminar devoted to examining books and films that feature human beings who venture “into the wild” or find themselves in the wild trying to survive. We shall read Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild and watch the film of the same name—an account of Chris McCandless’s decision to give up most of his possessions, cut all ties to his family, and venture into a wild section of Alaska. We shall read Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, an account of her solo thru-hike of the Pacific Coast Trail, and watch the film starring Reese Witherspoon. We shall read Michael Punke’s novel, The Revenant, about a 19th-century mountain man who gets mauled by a grizzly bear, and view the film starring Leonard DiCaprio. Finally, we shall read Andy Weir’s science fiction novel, The Martian, and watch the film starring Matt Damon. Each of these narratives involves characters who find themselves facing severe environmental conditions in the wild—conditions that threaten their survival.

Required Books:

Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild. Anchor Books. ISBN: 978-0385486804

Cheryl Strayed, Wild. Vintage. ISBN: 978-1101873441

Michael Punke, The Revenant. St. Martin’s Press/Picador ISBN: 978-1250101198

Andy Weir, The Martian. Broadway Books. ISBN: 978-1101903582