Graffiti at the River

My first assignment for this semester’s environmental humanities class at Wofford College may seem a little odd to the non-academic: inventory graffiti on the Glendale bridge and shoals. Why graffiti? First, there’s plenty of it at Glendale Shoals, and I’d once heard writer Alex Haley of ROOTS fame tell about how he moved his family around the South in the 1960s and always...

What is College Really For?

Today I’ll begin teaching a humanities class for Wofford first-year students called “Into the Wild.” We’ll read a number of stories and essays about approaching wildness, books like John Krakauer’s “Into the Wild,” the story of Chris McCandless and his retreat from civilization and tragic death in wilds of Alaska. Along with “Into the Wild”...

Environmental Studies 101

Last week I changed jobs. For twenty years I’ve taught in the English department at Wofford College. Now I’m director of Wofford’s Glendale Shoals Environmental Studies Center and half-time teacher in the college’s new environmental studies program. For the moment, the center I’ll direct is still a derelict old mill office building fifteen minutes from campus, and...

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