2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Finding the Roots of Biophilia in Experience and Literature
Alan L. Venneman
Dr. Alanna Preussner, Faculty Mentor

Over the past twenty-five years, biologists Edward Wilson and Steven Kellert developed a new theory that explains the innate connection humans have with nature called biophilia. The theory rests on genetic proof that we need nature to have a full, rewarding, and healthy life. Within the theory are nine values that each person has to some degree. Optimum experience with nature requires a balance of the nine values. The theory has not been scientifically proven yet, but the elements of the theory have been a part of American nature writing tradition for over a hundred years. I have experienced first-hand several of the values in an experience that I believe to be important to my development as a member of the environmental community. Biophilia, although not yet proven scientifically, is manifest in literature and experience and is necessary for humanity's long-term survival.

Keywords: biophilia, kellert, experience, literature, leopold, thoreau, emerson, wilson

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 6-1
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:15

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