Whether referring to a place, a nonhuman animal or plant, or a state of mind, wild indicates autonomy and agency, a unique expression of life. Yet two contrasting ideas about wild nature permeate contemporary discussions: either that nature is most wild in the absence of a defiling human presence, or that nature is completely humanized and nothing is truly wild.
Wildness: Relations of People and Place (University of Chicago Press, 2017) charts a different path. Exploring how people can become attuned to the wild community of life and also contribute to the well-being of the wild places in which we live, work, and play, Wildness brings together esteemed authors from a variety of landscapes, cultures, and backgrounds to share their stories about the interdependence of everyday human lifeways and wildness.
With this book, we gain insight into what wildness is and could be, as well as how it might be recovered in our lives—and with it, how we might unearth a more profound, wilder understanding of what it means to be human.
Gavin Van Horn is the Director of Cultures of Conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature.
John Hausdoerffer is Professor of Environment, Sustainability, and Philosophy at Western State Colorado University.
Dr. Yakir Englander is the National Director of Leadership programs at the Israeli-American Council. He also teaches at the AJR. He can be reached at: Yakir1212englander@gmail.com
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