The Significance of Place in John Muir's Wilderness Writings

Ryan Howard, Garrett Hutson

Abstract


John Muir was a prominent figure in the North American conservation movement who advocated for the preservation of wilderness throughout his life. Muir’s writings depict a wealth of assigned values to some of North America’s most wild places. The topic of “place” is one area of contemporary research that can be applied to Muir’s writings on wilderness to examine how his ideas might hold currency in modern times. It is from a conceptual framework of place that this study responds to the following research questions through a qualitative approach utilizing text analysis: What are the connections and disconnections between Muir’s writings on wilderness and contemporary place attachment literature? How might contemporary place attachment literature benefit from John Muir’s writings? Results of this study highlight the historical and contemporary importance within Muir’s writings on preserving and exploring wilderness areas to encourage place attachment. Implications are discussed.



Keywords


Place attachment; John Muir; Wilderness; text analysis

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