University of Vermont

April 9 Lecture to Explore Back-to-the-Land Movements

For many of us today, the phrase "going back to the land" may bring to mind a vision of the 1960s: yurts and domes, communes and co-ops. But Americans have been dreaming of returning to the land for more than one hundred years, and earlier back-to-the-landers were often motivated by dramatically different beliefs, hopes, and fears. What sorts of people dreamed of "returning to the land" in 1900, and why? Who left the city, and who helped other people to leave?

Dona Brown, professor of history, will discuss the cultural politics of the first back-to-the-land movement and consider the legacy it bequeathed to movements in the 1930s, 1970s, and beyond. "Home, Land, Security: The Cultural Politics of American Back-to-the-Land Movements," the last of this spring's College of Arts and Sciences spring Full Professor Lecture Series, will take place Tuesday, April 9 at 5 p.m. in Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building.

Brown has been on the faculty in the History Department at UVM since 1994.  Her first book, Inventing New England: Regional Tourism in the Nineteenth Century (Smithsonian Press, 1995), explored the significance of the tourist trade in shaping New England's regional identity.  She has published widely on both tourism and American regionalism, and she was director of the Center for Research on Vermont from 2003 to 2006. Her latest book, Back to the Land: The Enduring Dream of Self-Sufficiency in Modern America (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), explores the long history of back-to-the-land movements in the United States.
A recording of the lecture will be made available soon on the College of Arts and Sciences media blog and eventually on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Information: 656-3166.