Humanities@Home: Rethinking the U.S National Park


In the famous words of Wallace Stegner, “national parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst." But are National Parks truly “democratic”? This interactive program explores the history of U.S. National Parks—as myths, symbols of democratic ideals, and colonial spaces—alongside today’s common National Park activities. What do we seek at National Parks? What do our National Park consumption habits tell us about ourselves? We will look at the rising phenomenon of “selfie deaths” and the role of social media in National Park consumption. National Parks may represent freedom for some, but no matter how carefully tended and regulated, they also form part of a planet in crisis. How does climate change fundamentally threaten National Parks, challenging their status as highly valued, preserved spaces? How might we revise the preservation tradition that gave birth to the National Parks to include our own neighborhoods and communities? We will consider these questions in the national context, but also in light of our own state—home to the White Mountain National Forest, which attracts so many eager visitors every year. 


Presented by Abby Goode, Associate Professor of English and Sustainability Studies at Plymouth State University. She is the author of Agrotopias: An American Literary History of Sustainability (UNC Press, 2022), and her work has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the American Antiquarian Society, the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, and the First Book Institute at the Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State. She is a recipient of Plymouth State's Transformative Teaching Award and Distinguished Scholarship Award.


Please RSVP for this Humanities @ Home program below.


Event Details


Friday, January 24, 2025 5:00pm


Zoom Webinar
Concord NH 03301

Hosted By:

New Hampshire Humanities

Contact Info: