We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.Often attributed to Albert Einstein without a clear source
Location || Rewild Portland HQ: 8940 N. Bradford St. Portland OR 97203
Four weeks, $95 || Space is limited (scholarships available)
Wednesdays August 3, 10, 17, 24 || 5:30 pm–8:00 pm PT (In person)
Mondays, September 5, 12, 19, 26 || 9:30am – 12pm PT (In Person)
Mondays, October 3, 10, 17, 24 || 2:00pm – 4:30pm PT (ZOOM)
Mondays, November 7, 14, 21, 28 || 5:30pm – 8pm PT (ZOOM)
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, rewilding is more than just a “back to the land” movement, and this is not an “ancestral skills” class. Rewilding is not a set of skills, per se, but rather, a world view. This class focuses 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 across cultural boundaries, and take a look at how it is shaping up in the mainstream. Rewilding is a new way of thinking, and therefore, all about context. This class breaks down old, outdated ways of knowing, and builds a new way of seeing the world. A new story to live by.
This graduate-inspired course will have lecture and group discussions (via Zoom), readings, and homework (via email). Be prepared to do reading between class sessions and share your thoughts and feelings around the topics presented in breakout groups and with the group at large. The point of the class isn’t just the knowledge but the social connections as well.
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? Much of what is considered to be “common knowledge” of cavemen has long been disproven by science but still remains a core mythology about human origins. We will review a timeline of human evolution and see how humans have evolved and impacted ecosystems in the past and present.
Week 2: Defining Rewilding
“Rewilding” is a buzzword right now, but what does it truly mean? Where did our ideas about “the wild” and “wilderness” come from, and why? Do these concepts hold up? In this class we discuss the different and conflicting ways in which people use the term “rewilding,” and how we can work to shift rewilding communities to come together around a common vision.
Week 3: Etiquette in Rewilding
Rewilding is a transformative worldview. How do we integrate and transform the cultures that we exist in today to be more in accord with natural systems? How do we connect with and elevate place-based people and regenerative systems that have been suppressed by civilization? In this third class we address what stands in the way of rewilding, how to rewild with mutual respect, and how to form bonds of kinship across cultural divides.
Week 4: Rewilding in Action
What does rewilding actually look like? Rewilding isn’t just for weekend warriors or for Luddites looking to run off to the wilderness. Rewilding is a spectrum, or mosaic, of many people trying out many alternative ways of living that align with wildness. We’ll look at examples of current forms of rewilding and explore what is possible in the future.
Peter Michael Bauer is an anthropologist, experimental archaeologist, and historian. He is the author of the book Rewild or Die and founder of Rewild Portland. He has been a catalyst in the rewilding movement for more than twenty years.
“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
More Rewilding Classes
Rewilding Your Health
The vast majority of human health problems have arisen from transition from foraging to agricultural subsistence and living in captivity within a State labor force. While the human body is amazing at adapting to changes in environments, it has its limits. In this class we will examine how domestication harms the body, mind, and soul.
Decolonizing in Rewilding
Join educators Peter Michael Bauer and Dr. Deana Dartt for this fusion of these two popular programs: Rewilding 101 & Decolonization 101. We’ve taken the most fundamental parts of Peter’s Rewilding 101 and Fused it with Deana’s Decolonization 101 to bring together these two parallel movements into a cohesive whole.