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Lecture: HV From Howling Wilderness to Vacation Destination

February 18, 2015 @ 12:00 am - 2:00 am


On Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 7pm, Professor Charles Mitchell, PhD, will give a lecture entitled, Nature: From Howling Wilderness to Vacation Destination.  He will explain how the Hudson Valley region that was once thought of as a “howling wilderness” has developed into a tourist destination.  The setting for this presentation is Kaplan Hall’s Orange County Trust Company Great Room, which is well-suited to complement the topic because it has beautiful views of the Hudson River.

“Beginning with perceptions of the American landscape as a howling wilderness, a wasteland to be tamed and transformed,” states Dr. Mitchell, “I will trace the social, cultural and economic forces that led to wild nature being seen as an asset to be experienced and preserved.”  “Drawing on landscape painting, photography, travelers’ accounts, and other sources,” he continues, “the lecture will explore the evolution of American attitudes towards nature.”  Key topics and figures will include the sublime, romanticism, Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School, John Muir, Ansel Adams, and the Lorax.

Charles Mitchell, Professor of American Studies, has been on the faculty at Elmira College since 1993.  He received his BA in Sociology from Williams College and his PhD in American Studies from Claremont Graduate University.  He teaches a wide variety of courses in American cultural history, with specific interests in environmental history, the history of ideas about nature, and the representation of the landscape in literature and art.  He was born in Brooklyn and raised in Lynbrook on Long Island.

The presentation is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities.

Kaplan Hall is located at the corner of First and Grand Streets, Newburgh.  Free and secure parking is available in the Kaplan Hall garage accessible from First Street.


February 18, 2015
12:00 am - 2:00 am
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Kaplan Hall
Grand & First Streets
Newburgh , NY 12550 United States
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(845) 341-4891