EPISODE ONE: Structures of Privilege in the American Outdoors


For my final project, I have made a podcast about the history of conservation, preservation, and outdoor recreation in the United States with a specific focus on the colonization, privilege, masculinity, and whiteness at the core of this historical narrative. I have paired this historical focus with a discussion of what is being done to make the outdoors (and outdoor communities) a more diverse/inclusive/anti-racist space. It’s important to both understand and talk about the outdoors as a historical space of exclusion while recognizing the work being done to change that. I have included two interviews in my podcast from folks doing work in this field, highlighting new ways of knowing and thinking about the outdoors, both presently and historically. The podcast features a conversation I had with Danielle Williams, founder of #DiversityOutdoors and the senior editor of Melanin Base Camp. I also had a chance to speak with Bani Amor, a travel writer who explores diasporic identities, the decolonization of travel culture, and the intersections of race, place, and power.  The beginning (first half or so) of my podcast takes a loosely scripted historical narrative approach and then I close with a more present-day, forward-looking discussion about work being done to confront this history.

(the stuff that helped me put this all together)


Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. Edited by Camille Dungy. University of Georgia Press, 2009.

Finney, Carolyn. Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Kimmel, Michael S. “The Cult of Masculinity: American Social Character and the Legacy of the Cowboy.” In Beyond Patriarchy: Essays by Men on Pleasure, Power, and Change. Edited by Michael Kaufman. Oxford University Press, 1987.

Kimmel, Michael S. Manhood in America: A Cultural History. New York: Free Press, 1996.

Mills, James E. The Adventure Gap. Mountaineer Books, 2014.


Emel, Jody. “Are You Man Enough, Big and Bad Enough? An Ecofeminist Analysis of Wolf Eradication in the United States.” Society and Space: Environment and Planning D 13:707-34 (1995).

Little, Jo, and Michael Leyshon. “Embodied Rural Geographies: Developing Research Agendas.” Progress in Human Geography 27 (3): 257-72 (2003).


Bitch Media’s “The New Outdoors” Series

Diversify Outdoors coalition


Reclaiming Our Time: Black Faces, White Spaces & the Possibility of Us with Dr. Carolyn Finney at Sterling College

REI Presents Brothers of Climbing


Dig: A History Podcast’s National Parks in America: Health, Manhood, and Wilderness episode


on its way!