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In Wildness: Imagining the American West
March 3, 2021
Thoreau wrote that “the West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild,” and indeed for much of its history the American West has been associated with the idea of wildness. St. Michael’s College professor Nathaniel Lewis explores our understanding of both nation and nature in the imagined West.
From settler uneasiness and Romantic idealism to more recent debates about the place of wild nature in an endangered, “post-wild” world, the meaning of this regional wild has never been settled. Through consideration of a series of paintings and photographs from the past two hundred years, this talk explores how the imagined West has shaped our understanding of both nation and nature.