University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Geography

Lecturer - Reese Hersey

Reese Hersey

Reese Hersey, Lecturer

Reese Hersey is no longer at UVM

Contact Information
Old Mill 200

Reese Hersey came to the capacious realm of Geography out of a childhood bifurcated between biophilia and bibliophilia, as well as via a late-started, self-designed undergraduate degree in the literature of natural history. In his prior life, teaching at a high school for 'complicated learners,' he used the local culture- and land-scapes (tied to glorious arts and literature) to invite students suspicious of or previously thwarted by the printed word into taking their deserved places at the Table of Story.

Before that, Mr. Hersey earned a Master's degree in Geography, based on a thesis focusing on an imaginary philosophical tea party between humanist geographer, Yi-Fu Tuan, and bioregionalist poet, Gary Snyder, which he completed at UVM, under the beneficent supervision of the whipsmart young Doctors, Glen Elder and Matt Hannah. His two main teaching threads — which his University students have coined a practice of "literary geography" — have been a focus on "Place and Placelessness" (to steal Ted Relph's beautiful phrase) and on stories and practices of creative mapping.

He is currently working on a Ph.D., at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, looking into Story as an Überhuman (if not, indeed, a Panhumanist) Spiritual and Natural Resource: by which he means, investigating a pattern language of place-making and place-celebrating concerns and ideals, such as Common Ground UK, Reuben Margolin's kinesthetic sculptures, Theo Jensen's 'strandbeests,' New Orleans' Neighborhood Story Project, Portland Oregon's City Repair, Evelyn Glennie's improvisations, Betsey Biggs' soundscapes, the resurgence of Detroit as a resilient self-determining city, the numinous (if fictional) example of Corlis Benefideo, and on Yamabushi walking meditation practices, which all seem to be part of this.

Recently, he has built a yellow guitar; become a Board member of EarthWalk, Vermont; makes unsuspecting strangers eat up to seven kinds of heirloom apples at a time, each autumn; has an arcane trivia parade in his head; lives in the far away land of East Calais village; and still rides his bicycle from 1984 whenever he can. He writes wicked footnotes.