Hall Center For The Humanities


Richard White
McClelland Professor of History, University of Washington at Seattle

"Working in Nature"
Humanities Lecture Series

Thu., Feb. 20, 1997, 12:00am
Richard White, one of the nation's leading historians of the American West, Native Americans, and the environment, delivered as his lecture a portion of his new book, Nature's Nation. Americans, he noted, have a long, complex history of thinking about the natural world. He traced the split that has developed between the worlds in which people work and get their living and "nature" as a more pristine realm, set aside from economic activity. Yet at the same time, he argued, Americans, from Jefferson and Emerson on, have celebrated "working with nature," or trying to harmonize technology and nature in a connected whole.

White also led two colloquia during the second day of his visit. The first, "Native American Histories," explored recent developments in American Indian history and the difficuluties of trying to write the history of native people who often do not share his own cultural values about scholarly objectivity and analysis.

His other colloquium, "Nature and Hollywood," was a discussion of the insights in American environmental thought that one can get from watching Walt Disney's feature cartoons and documents, which, he argued, have been among the most significant modern expressions of popular attitudes.

The colloquia attracted faculty and graduate students from across the campus and from Haskell Indian Nations University.

February 20, 1997
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