Idaho Humanities Council Lecture Series
Sun., July 22, 7 p.m. 2012
Occidental college professor John Swift will present Outside Man's Jurisdiction: Willa Cather and Western Inhumanism. wift will use materials from Cather’s life and novels to discuss her exploration of the vast landscapes of the American West. “Inhumanism” was the poet Robinson Jeffers’s provocative name for the philosophy that mistrusted the works of men and women and preferred instead a natural world utterly indifferent to its human inhabitants. Cather, Jeffers and others of their generation (including D. H. Lawrence and Mary Austin), were powerfully drawn by the very inhumanness of the American West’s vast landscapes. Swift will trace what Cather’s works tell us about living humanely in the West.