Seminar Overview

Re-enchanting Nature

With the beauty of Montana and Yellowstone National Park as our backdrop, we invite you to join us and fifteen of your peers in this stimulating three-week NEH Summer Seminar for School Teachers.  Our goal is to explore what the humanities can add to our increasingly urgent and complex discourse about nature and the environment.  We believe that the humanities provide rich context for reflecting on our relationship with nature and can therefore complement contemporary scientific discussion in important and necessary ways. We hope to uncover both new avenues for thinking about our place in nature and new approaches for engaging the humanities in the classroom. Now, more than ever, we need “Humanities Perspectives.”  

In titling the seminar “Re-enchanting Nature,” we recall Max Weber's observation ithat modern science and technology "disenchant" the world. In the century since Weber's statement, several thinkers and writers have suggested the humanities "re-enchant" the natural world. We frame our seminar around the basic questions: what would it mean to "re-enchant" the world? Should the humanities seek to do so? And, if so, how? 

To answer these questions, we cast a wide net, drawing upon cultural, historical, literary, and philosophical resources. We hope the interdisciplinary curriculum will appeal to educators from various fields. We trust you'll fint it intellectually engaging. What's more, since we firmly believe that no discussion of the humanities and nature is complete without a deep sense of place, we pair our study of texts with site visits throughout Montana and Yellowstone National Park. You can find more information on the Seminar Schedule page.

If you are a K-12 teacher or administrator with a love for the humanities in all its forms and an interest in either bringing more discussion of nature into humanities curricula or more humanities into curricula on nature, please consider joining us in Montana this July. We hope this website will provide you with the information you need to decide whether this seminar is right for you, but please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.  


Ed Glowienka and Corrie Williamson