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MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences - Great Ideas Change the World

Spotlight | History

3Q: Historian Harriet Ritvo

What it Means to be "Wild"

What does "wild" mean? Scientists, social scientists, and humanists tackled this question during "Call of the Wild," a workshop convened at MIT by Harriet Ritvo, the Arthur J. Conner Professor of History at MIT, and Sally Shuttleworth, professor of English literature at Oxford University.

The event was sponsored by MISTI and co-sponsored by Constructing Scientific Communities, a project based at Oxford and supported by the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council.


The Good, the Bad, the Wild?

Ritvo, who teaches courses in British history, environmental history, the history of human-animal relations, and the history of natural history, is the author of four books, among them The Animal Estate, named as one of the 100 most significant books published by Harvard University Press.

"Even when people agree about whether wildness is good or bad," Ritvo tells MIT SHASS, "they have often disagreed about exactly what it is, and about whether an individual organism or group of organisms or even an environment should be described as wild.


Read more at MIT News