Wilderness & Enlightenment

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 7:30pm to Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 4:30pm


Wilderness & Enlightenment: On the Value of Desert in the Western Religious and Historical Tradition, from Biblical Sojourns to Southern California

December 9-10, 2016

Matthew T. Herbst
Associate Teaching Professor, Eleanor Roosevelt College, UC San Diego
Director, Making of the Modern World Program 

This class explores western perceptions of desert environments, from Biblical sojourns and monastic ascetics to the incorporation of desert into the American landscape. We will consider how this setting was perceived, the ways it was valued (and not valued), and the technological and historical changes that made a grand cultural transformation possible in the twentieth century.

Hike Level: Moderate; hikes will take place in the West Butte Borrego Mountain area with possible stops in Hawk Canyon and Hills of the Moon Wash.

Bring: water, lunch and snacks, sun protection, camera, sturdy hiking shoes, pen and journal.

Class Schedule and Pricing

Friday Lecture
7:30-9:00 p.m.
$5 at the door; open to the public

Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
401 Tilting T Drive
Borrego Springs
Saturday Field Class
9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
$60 - Public Rate (includes lecture)
$50 - ABF Member Rate (includes lecture)

ABF Office
587 Palm Canyon Drive #110
Borrego Springs


About the Instructor: Matthew T. Herbst is an Associate Teaching Professor at UC San Diego and faculty director of the Making of the Modern World general education world history program.  Prof. Herbst is a proponent of experiential learning, leading undergraduate history programs abroad each summer and seminars in the deserts and mountains of Southern California each quarter. For more information see: http://ucsdherbst.org