Paths to Wildness

Gavin Van Horn

The prevailing environmental narrative posits that undefiled nature and true wilderness is something separate from humans. Dr. Van Horn’s talk will suggest an alternative by focusing on wildness (not wilderness) as a dynamic, vital force that flows through all kinds of beings and places, including the most densely populated urban areas. Further, he will explore possibilities forbringing the lifeworlds of other beings into our consciousness, into our practice, and into our everyday landscapes. By shifting perceptions in relation to these everyday lifeworlds, we can weave our own stories into the tracks, traces, trails, underground burrows, and flyways of others. Our stories become intertwined and fresh possibilities for wildness emerge.

Dr. Gavin Van Horn is Executive Editor at the Center for Humans and Nature and leads the Book Series for the Center for Humans and Nature Press. His work for the Center includes developing and directing “transdisciplinary projects that seek to illuminate what it means to become human within a more than human world.” He is the co-editor, with Robin Wall Kimmerer and John Hausdoerffer, of the award-winning, five-volume series, Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations and the author of The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds. Van Horn classifies himself as a creative nonfiction writer, who dabbles in fiction and myth, while “looking to animal companions to teach us what it means to be human.”

Watch a recording of the lecture below.