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BSU Public Series: Is Nature Healing? Exploring the History and Future of the ‘Nature Cure’ with Dr Samantha Walton
October 16, 2019 at 6:15 pm - 7:15 pm
Is Nature Healing? Exploring the History and Future of the ‘Nature Cure’ with Dr Samantha Walton
FREE (book your place at bathspalive.com)
Join us for the first event in the Bath Spa University Public Lecture series at the Holburne Museum for 2019/20. All are welcome. Visit bathspalive.com to book your free place.
The ‘nature cure’ has been having a revival in recent years. Doctors are now recommending wild swimming and ‘forest bathing’ to help us cope with stress and anxiety. Schools are taking classrooms outdoors. Mental health charities advise us to get our ‘daily dose of nature,’ to find ways to ‘switch off’ in parks and nature reserves. In the tiny Scottish archipelago of Shetland, it is now possible to walk into a doctor’s surgery with symptoms of depression, and walk out with a drug-free natural prescription, containing advice on how to ‘connect with the living world’. In this lecture, I ask where did these ideas come from, why are they gaining so much attention right now, and does the ‘nature cure’ really work? I’ll explore the long history and the recent revival of the nature cure, and ask what is the future of the nature-wellbeing relationship in a rapidly warming world.
Dr Samantha Walton is a Reader in Modern Literature at Bath Spa University. Her research explores the intersection of mental health and ecology. In 2016 she held an environmental humanities research fellowship at IASH, University of Edinburgh, working on the writing of Scottish author Nan Shepherd. Samantha was funded by the British Academy in 2015–2017 for the project Landscaping Change, which explored environmental change through creative practice. She was also funded by the AHRC through their ECR Leadership Fellowship scheme for the project Cultures of Nature and Wellbeing (2016–2018). Samantha coedits the ASLE-UKI journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism and the poetry publisher Sad Press. Her academic publications include Guilty But Insane: Mind and Law in Golden Age Detective Fiction (OUP, 2015) and The Living World: Nan Shepherd and Environmental Thought (Punctum, 2019). In 2018, she published her first poetry collection, Self Heal, from Boiler House Press. She has recently completed a fellowship at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society in Munich.
Keep an eye on our website and on bathspalive.com for further details about the next exciting talk in the series on 4 December.