My Father- Loudstepping Harbinger of Civilization

rethinking the city

photo by Robert Rountree

“Only cancer cells respect no limits and in doing so they destroy their habitat and perish. Civilization has cancerous tendencies; wilderness protection is an antidote. It is time to apply the same logic to growth. The existence of wilderness is the surest sign that mankind has understood this truth and that he is prepared to put his own legitimate demands into ecological balance with those of his fellow travelers on spaceship earth.”—Nash

I’ve always seen my father as a John Muir-ish romantic type, beard and all, paddling through the fogs of history, lifting the veils of time to sniff out old civilizations amid ancient pine forests. As an archaeologist he spends a lot of time in “the bush” around Hudson’s Bay and the Great Lakes. He works in the field, trying to envision where prehistoric or pre-Colombian people would set up camp, or get their tools…

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About J. Chambliss

Julian Chambliss is professor of History and coordinator of the Africa and African-American Studies program at Rollins College in Orlando, Florida. With research, teaching, and service centered real and imaginary urban spaces, he is an interdisciplinary scholar and award-winning teacher. He has designed digital humanities projects to investigate community and document black culture in the United States. Follow him on Twitter @JulianChambliss.
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