Since at least Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (published in 1962), writers concerned with the environment have faced a rhetorical challenge: how to depict ecological threats as both urgent (requiring immediate action) and long ranging (requiring sustained attention while results may not be immediately tangible). In other words, how does the presence of an ongoing crisis (such as climate change) maintain its potency? In this course, we will explore the way nonfiction and fiction writers have approached this challenge. How is nature writing entangled with the notion of crisis? How has the declaration of the “end of nature” shaped the ways writers have represented the environment? What techniques have writers used to portray a precarious environment and foster hope for the future? What options do we have as literary critics to interpret and understand representations of environmental crisis?