Nature and the American Mind

Jan 10, 2018 - 10:57 am

2018 Speaker Series with Kevin Anderson 

Nature and the American Mind

Photo by Lacy Garner, Image of Big Bend National Park 2017

In 1967, the historian Roderick Nash published a foundational book about the American idea of wilderness entitled Wilderness and the American Mind. However, the American Mind contains more concepts of nature than just wilderness, and so, in 2018, we will explore the many aspects of Nature and the American Mind. This is a complex story that threads through our history and shapes beliefs, policies, science, and management practices today. 

We will begin the year by exploring four main Concepts of American Nature – 1) wild nature, 2) pastoral nature, 3) urban nature, and 4) the newly emerging concept of resilient nature. Through the summer, we will look at Science and American Nature – how the development of American natural history, biology, ecology, and environmental science has been shaped by these concepts of nature and the unique context of the New World. We will finish 2018 by exploring the history of the Management of American Nature - the early battle between preservationists and conservationists, the past and future of American agriculture, new ecological ideas about cities and urban design, and the future of nature…or its demise.

 

Monthly Talks at these Locations (Dates below):

SAC - Senior Activity Center-Lamar - 2874 Shoal Crest Ave, South Room at 29th and Lamar

CER - Austin Water Center for Environmental Research – 2210 South FM 973 at Hornsby Bend

OTC - One Texas Center - 505 Barton Springs Road, Room 325 at South First Street

UT - University of Texas Norman Hackerman Building (NHB) at 100 E 24th St

 

Time | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm 

Free and Open to the Public – bring a lunch and learn

 

2018 Lecture Schedule

Concepts of American Nature

We will begin the year by exploring four main Concepts of American Nature – 1) wild nature, 2) pastoral nature, 3) urban nature, and 4) the newly emerging concept of resilient nature. 

January

Wild Nature: The New World and Wilderness

Jan 10 SAC

Jan 16 CER

Jan 24 UT

Jan 25 OTC

February

Pastoral Nature: Agrarianism and Rural America

Feb 14 SAC

Feb 15 OTC 

Feb 20 CER

Feb 28 UT

March

Urban Nature: Perspectives on Nature and the City

Mar 14 SAC

Mar 20 CER

Mar 28 UT

Mar 29 OTC

April

Resilient Nature: Discordant Harmony and New Ecology

Apr 11 SAC

Apr 17 CER

Apr 19 OTC

Apr 25 UT

 

Science and American Nature

Through the summer, we will look at Science and American Nature – how the development of American natural history, biology, ecology, and environmental science has been shaped by these concepts of nature and the unique context of the New World. 

May

American Natural History: Thoreau and New World Nature

May 9 SAC

May 10 OTC

May 15 CER

May 23 UT

June

American Biology: Natives, Immigrants, and Humboldt’s Children

Jun 13 SAC

Jun 19 CER

Jun 21 OTC

Jun 27 UT

July

American Ecology: Stability, Integrity, and Leopold’s Legacy

Jul 11 SAC  

Jul 12 OTC

Jul 17 CER

Jul 25 UT

August

American Environmental Science: Carson and the Politics of Nature

Aug 8 SAC 

Aug 16 OTC

Aug 21 CER

Aug 22 UT

 

Management of American Nature

We will finish 2018 by exploring the history of the Management of American Nature - the early battle between preservationists and conservationists, the past and future of American agriculture, new ecological ideas about cities and urban design, and the future of nature…or its demise.

September

Saving American Nature: Preservation, Conservation, and the Wild

Sep 12 SAC

Sep 18 CER

Sep 20 OTC

Sep 26 UT

October

Farming with Nature: Sustainable Agriculture and the American Family Farm

Oct 10 SAC

Oct 16 CER

Oct 11 OTC

Oct 24 UT

November

The Ecological City: Sustainability, Environmental Ecology, and Urban Metabolism

Nov 8 OTC

Nov 14 SAC 

Nov 20 CER

Nov 28 UT

December

The End of Nature: Prospective Ecology, Ethics, and the Anthropocene

Dec 5 UT

Dec 12 SAC

Dec 13 OTC

Dec 18 CER

 

 

Kevin Anderson Ph.D.

Kevin is a geographer and philosopher researching the nature of, and the nature in, urban wastelands. He studied at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania [BA], Durham University, England, Ohio University [MA] where he taught philosophy and symbolic logic. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin with a dissertation entitled: Marginal Nature: Urban Wastelands and the Geography of Nature. His research interests include sewage treatment, soil ecology, and sustainable agriculture, urban ecology and sustainability, riparian ecology, environmental history, philosophy, and literature. He is a co-founder of the Texas Riparian Association and the Upper Tisza Foundation in northeastern Hungary. He runs the Austin Water-Center for Environmental Research which focuses on soil, sewage recycling, and environmental trace contaminants; rivers, riparian ecology, and alluvial aquifers; cities, biodiversity, and avian ecology.

Brought to you by Austin Water Utility, Center for Environmental Research (CER), The University of Texas, Texas A&M University. Nature in the City - Austin is sponsored by the Community Trees Division, and helps to implement the Imagine Austin and Urban Forest Plans. 

CER and Hornsby Bend are on Facebook! Visit to see what's happening today! Want more? Yes! Visit the Marginal Nature Blog and Nature in the City - Austin Blog.

Power Points for previous lunchtime lectures.

http://www.austintexas.gov/page/cer-previous-lunchtime-lectures

 

 

Austin Nature in the City is sponsored by the Community Trees Division and part of the Development Services family. This program helps to implement the Imagine Austin and Austin's Urban Forest Plans

 

    

Nature in the City is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

 

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