Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday
On Monday, October 8th author Julia Corbett visits the Park City Public Library to share her book, Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday.
Have you ever wondered about society’s desire to cultivate the perfect lawn, why we view some animals as “good” and some as “bad,” or even thought about the bits of nature inside everyday items—toothbrushes, cell phones, and coffee mugs? In this fresh and introspective collection of essays, Julia Corbett examines nature in our lives with all of its ironies and contradictions by seamlessly integrating personal narratives with morsels of highly digestible science and research. Each story delves into an overlooked aspect of our relationship with nature—insects, garbage, backyards, noise, open doors, animals, and language—and how we cover our tracks.
With a keen sense of irony and humor and an awareness of the miraculous in the mundane, Corbett recognizes the contradictions of contemporary life. She confronts the owner of a high-end market who insists on keeping his doors open in all temperatures, and takes us on a trip to a new mall with a replica of a trout stream that once flowed nearby. The phrase “out of the woods” guides us through layers of meaning to a contemplation of grief, remembrance, and resilience.
Julia Corbett is a Professor in the Department of Communication and Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah. With a background in journalism and environmental studies, she writes both academic research and creative nonfiction about human relationships with the natural world. Her academic research investigates science, environmental, and health communication from a cultural and macro-sociological view of social conflict and change. She authored one of the first texts in environmental communication, Communicating Nature: How We Create and Understand Environmental Messages (2006, Island Press). Her second book, Seven Summers: A Naturalist Homesteads in the Modern West, is a memoir about building a cabin and living in the woods in western Wyoming (Spring 2013, University of Utah Press). Her third book, Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday (Sep. 2018, University of Nevada Press) examines the products, practices, and phrases we take for granted in our everyday encounters with nature and encourages us to reimagine our relationship with it.
This event was made possible with support from the Park City Public Library, Summit County Rap Tax, and Utah Humanities