Lara Jung

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20182019 Forum on Stuff

Lara Jung

Health and Societies

CAS, 2019

Lara Jung is a Senior majoring in Health and Societies, concentrating in Public Health. She has been interested in the health benefits of spending time outdoors as a result of the profound impact nature and the outdoors has had on her life. The emergence of interest in a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing in the medical field has implications for what we consider to be the "stuff" of healing and how we engage with the spaces around us. Lara's research will focus on how people understand the relationship between their bodies and nature. It asks questions about what it is that we consider nature, and how people talk about and experience their wellbeing in the context of the environment in which they live, work, and play. At Penn, Lara is involved with the Netter Center's program Community School Student Partnerships, the UPenn Outdoors Club, and she is a Civic Scholar. She is also the recipient of the Mellon Humanities, Urbanism, and Design Research Award and the Kelson Family College Alumni Society Undergraduate Research Grant. 

Reimagining the Country: A Landscape of Children’s Health and Wellbeing from 1875-1975

Through the lens of the one hundred years of work done by the Children’s Country Week Association, this thesis analyzes the history of children’s wellbeing in the country environment. It answers the question of what specifically is the stuff of the countryside (in opposition to the city) that heals and mends children? To look at the development of what it meant to support and create a “healthy child” is to interrogate how the environment interacts with particular societal angsts. The setting of the Children’s Country Week Association serves as a backdrop on which we can analyze these interactions. This thesis demonstrates that regardless of an era’s most pressing anxieties, Americans have imagined the “country” as an environment that can be turned to in order to “restore” the sense of well-being that concerns over physical, moral, and developmental degeneracy threatened.