Friday, Jun. 07, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (PT)

(Summer Short) Cast Out of Eden: The Untold Story of John Muir, Indigenous Peoples, and the American Wilderness

John Muir is rightly lauded as the nature mystic who added wilderness to America’s vision of itself. That vision came at a cost, however: the dispossession of the tribal peoples whose homelands the national parks once were. Muir argued for wilderness that would offer spiritual enlightenment to the conquerors, not the Indigenous peoples they conquered.

"Cast Out of Eden" tells this neglected part of John Muir’s story, his take on the tribal nations he encountered, and his embrace of an Indigenous-free wilderness ethos. Fortunately, this longstanding injustice is beginning to be undone, as tribal nations and the federal government work together to ensure that public lands serve all Americans equally.

About the Speaker

Robert Aquinas McNally has long sought out stories linking the human and the wild. His recent book-length works —The Modoc War (2018) and Cast Out of Eden (2024) — continues that concern by focusing on little-known aspects of America’s troubled and troubling history with Indigenous peoples and their homelands.

About Summer Shorts

Summer Shorts are one-time livestreamed and recorded seminars open to OLLI @Berkeley members and non-members. Just $30 a Short. Shorts take place on Fridays in June, from 10–noon.