Location TBA || Portland, Oregon
Four weeks, $97 || Space is limited (Scholarship available)
Classroom Days Mondays, March 2, 9, 16, 23 || 7–8:30 pm
Field Day, Sunday March 29 || 10am-4pm
The concept of rewilding, of undoing the domestication of the last several thousand years, is gaining mainstream attention fast. Recent studies show that spending more time in nature, eating a “wilder” diet, and planting back native ecosystems is beneficial to human health and the health of the environment. However, this is not an “ancestral skills” class. Rather, we’ll focus on the ideological side, the hows and whys of rewilding, along with its ecological, anthropological, and psychological principles. You’ll learn the myths we’ve constructed about prehistoric peoples, the problems that came with the innovation of agricultural civilization, and the benefits of indigenous horticulture. We will look at the barriers that stand in the way of rewilding, the various ways in which people are rewilding, how to rewild in a way that is respectful to indigenous populations, and how it is shaping up in the mainstream.
In this class you will:
Learn how rewilding improves quality of life and how it helps us understand humanity’s ancient strategies of interacting with the land and each other. Gain awareness of the social and environmental hazards that arise with civilization. Examine the various groups that are rewilding around the world and how you can follow their lead.
Week 1: Exploring Prehistory
What is “pre” history, and why should we care about it? What is our “common knowledge” of cavemen? Plus, we’ll review a timeline of human evolution.
Week 2: Defining Rewilding
What is our concept of ideas like “wild” and “wilderness”? How are people using the term “rewilding”? How do hunter-gatherers change the landscape? We’ll also start to look at things like land access and how it pertains to Native Americans.
Week 3: Barriers & Hazards in Rewilding
We’ll address cultural appropriation and privilege and how they relate to rewilding.
Week 4: Rewilding in Action
What does rewilding look like? What are some barriers to rewilding? We’ll look at examples of current rewilders and see possibilities for rewilding in the future.
Week 5 Field Day: Embodied Rewilding
Theory is important for dismantling cultural concepts that we have created. However, rewilding is something that must be felt in the body. In this final day, we venture into a biodiverse setting into a world that isn’t made solely for the purpose of humans. Through a series of sensory expanding exercises and hands-on skills, we will learn more basic tools and frameworks for *feeling* rewilding as opposed to just *thinking* rewilding. This field day encapsulates and rounds out the experience: from the mythic story to the embodied ritual.
“I took this class last Autumn and it was so much fun. I met some really cool people, learned a ton and loved Peter Michael Bauer’s approach to teaching. If you are looking for something completely different and possibly mind blowing, you should take this class.”—Martha Grover
“I highly recommend this class! It was super fun—so great to have a chance to talk about rewilding in depth with likeminded folks, guided along by someone as knowledgeable and passionate as Peter Bauer. I came away with a much clearer picture of the movement and a stronger sense of my own role in it.”—Mindy Seale Fitch
“In this time of cynicism fueled by a culture ruling over the Earth, a lot of us are looking for new ways to live that could have a positive impact on ecosystems. Rewilding 101 goes over the history of human-life on Earth to try and understand how our problems came to be and, ultimately, discusses possible paths forward. This is the class that reenergized me at a time I really needed it. I met a bunch of awesome people and discovered a perspective on life that left marks on me much beyond what you’d normally expect from such a short class.”—Alexandre Normand
“Peter’s rewilding class was paradigm shifting for me. It gave me a new framework. Specifically, a new way to think about human behavior in the context of current day civilization and systems. More specifically, it helped me to understand that for the main of human existence, we have lived peacefully and cooperatively and that, furthermore, such a way of life is possible and quite possibly genetically hardwired. I know I am sounding like a new freak, and the fact is that vetted information and logic are very important too and Peter is very careful to make sure he has the most up-to-date information. He also uses a feminist and a racial justice lens through which he teaches this class, which is extremely refreshing and important.”—Christine Dupres
“I enrolled in Peter’s course during a time of personal transition. Expecting information, I received powerful insight-into how we got to this place in history, what really mattered to me at my core, what I could contribute going forward. The scope of Peter’s knowledge is amazing!”—Trish Stormont
Peter Michael Bauer is an environmental educator, author of the book Rewild or Die, and founder of Rewild Portland.
Photo Credit: Right Time, Wrong Place by Kristaps Bergfelds