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Cultural Geology


I first heard the phrase "cultural geology" from Harry Foster, my former editor at Houghton & Mifflin. At that time, he was trying to summarize my comments about how geology influenced the rise of American culture during the early and mid 19th century. Years later, and this time for the The Encyclopedia of New England (Yale University Press, 2003), I wrote a summary statement to that effect: "Geology, the meat and bones of science, gave natural history the depth of time and the universality of process that would help transition European Calvinism into American Transcendentalism."

Having largely finished with my initial commitment to historic stone walls and the American galaxy of kettle lakes, I am now zooming in on Walden Pond, the fountainhead of American nature writing and the birthplace its environmental ethic.


PHOTO BANNER: Dome of the Wilbur Cross Building, a signature on campus. Rennovated Student Union. Central campus, opposite the main entrance to the Homer Babbage Library. Oddball artwork always makes me wonder, which I suppose it it's purpose. All photos courtesy of University Communications unless otherwise noted.