The Penn campus is distinctive for many things, from its art and architecture to its connected plan that unites twelve schools. But in the springtime, nature’s displays show Penn’s open spaces off to best advantage, and this access to green space in the middle of the city also connects students and faculty to the healing potential of nature.
Rebecca Bushnell, School of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors Emerita Professor of English, is an expert on what people are really talking about when they talk about nature—at least when it comes to writers before the 18th century. Bushnell is a noted Shakespeare expert and a scholar of early modern literature whose books include Green Desire: Imagining Early Modern English Gardens and, most recently, The Marvels of the World: An Anthology of Nature Writing Before 1700.
In the OMNIA podcast series “In These Times,” we spoke with Bushnell about the complex and sometimes tangled threads to be found in writing about nature—in forms ranging from poetry and creative writing to scientific writing, recipes, and how-to books. She also discusses gardening, which, she argues, has long been a metaphor for cultivation and improvement, of our children and ourselves, and a sort of laboratory for experiments in control and order.
To hear more about how writers from the past have found meaning in, and read meaning into, the natural world, listen to Season 4 of the OMNIA podcast, “In These Times.”
In These Times: The Intricate Riddle of Life
This spring, as COVID-19 lingers on, the climate threat looms larger, and war returns to Europe, Season 4 of the OMNIA podcast, “In These Times,” is exploring how creativity shines a light on the way out of adversity in tough times, past and present.
Listen to In These Times here. Subscribe to the OMNIA Podcast by Penn Arts & Sciences on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.