Considering the nature of wilderness: Reflections on Roderick Nash's Wilderness and the American Mind

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Abstract

Roderick Nash helped to define the field of environmental history with his 1967 book, Wilderness and the American Mind. Nash's work examines the transition of American attitudes toward wilderness from hostility to recognition of the need to create and protect wilderness as places where humans may go but should not stay. This piece considers both Nash's work and the continued relevance and impact of his ideas. The objective way Nash describes wilderness as a pristine place through much of his work has become increasingly problematic as scholars consider the ways in which humans construct and reconstruct different and often contradictory conceptualizations of nature. Although Nash's work does not definitively explore the idea of wilderness and its modern significance, it does provide a foundational consideration of the way Americans have interacted with the concept of a reality not modified by human industry, culture, or technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalOrganization and Environment
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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