You reached this page through the archive. Click here to return to the archive.
Note: This article is over a year old and information contained in it may no longer be accurate. Please use the contact information in the lower-left corner to verify any information in this article.
'The Nature of College' strives for cultural change
December 29, 2010
In his latest book, The Nature of College, St. Olaf Professor of History James Farrell (pictured at right) explores how nature — and conceptions about what is natural — are formed through students’ everyday routines.
Farrell, who also teaches American studies, environmental studies, and the American Conversations program, notes that issues pertaining to nature are present in everything from students’ morning routines to how they spend their days working in front of computer screens to their perspectives on politics. “In short, nature is forming and being formed by the habits of our hearts and minds,” he says.
The book culminates with a look into how the nature of college impacts the environment and the world outside of campus, and suggests ways students might rethink their routines to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. The opportunity Farrell’s book provides to create cultural change prompted David Orr, professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College, to note that “this should be the first book every college student reads.”