Rewilding modern life. A genealogical assessment of a counter-culture. 01/11/2021 - 31/10/2025


Rewilding has recently gained rapid popularity, becoming a buzzword in nature conservation, environmental philosophy and activism, as well as in subculture and new alternative circles aiming for a rewilding of human life. This type of rewilding seeks to reconnect humans with nature, and often manifests itself openly as a counter-culture of modernity. While rewilding has mostly drawn attention by scholars as an ecological practice and ideology, it has not been thoroughly studied as a (counter-)cultural movement and vision for modern life. This research proposal aims to fill that gap by assessing rewilding as a modern counter-culture. By means of a genealogical investigation, it seeks to uncover a common dynamic of modernity critique underneath the diverse manifestations of rewilding. Two traditions in particular are crucial in exposing this cultural-critical dynamic: views on the Dionysian in romantic literature and Nietzsche's philosophy, and the discourse of enchantment that developed in reaction to Weber's disenchantment theory. Detecting these critical legacies behind the emergence of rewilding allows for a profound assessment of the philosophical irations and implications of the rewilding vision in modernity. This assessment will not only consider the theoretical relevance of rewilding as a modern counter-culture, but also its practical potential for cultural transformation.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project