Updated February 24, 2013
How About a Naturism
Naturist Studies Institute
Book and movie reviews
The Harrad Experiment
Co-ed Naked Philosophy
Living in the State of Dreams
What if there was a small
college--say 100 students and a faculty of 10? What if nudity
possible at any time and in any place on campus?
What if the centerpiece of the college
ancient Greek gymnasium: a shady park-like area where physical
self-development and philosophical discussion intermingled?
if no modern clothing were allowed in the gymnasium--only the Greek
chlamys thrown over the shoulders, or nothing at all?
It’s time to think outside the
Colleges spend much of their maintenance budget heating and cooling
buildings. What if this college were located in a warm
climate? What if the school year ran from mid-March through
mid-November? There would be no need for heating.
need for air conditioning when people can simply remove clothing or
take a quick jump in the pond between classes. For that
buildings need be little more than roofed pavilions. Students
sit on the floor or benches like they have for thousands of
years. And the schedule would free students for winter jobs
Christmas sales or at ski resorts. This is not just a
dream. This is possible.
What if the core curriculum were
and organized around the great civilizations, as well as the periods of
Western culture? The courses might even be paired so that
students begin to understand where influences came from:
||Greece & Rome
||China & Japan
What if the courses were holistic, and students learned to understand
Arab algebra and Greek geometry in the context of those
What if they learned music theory while studying the
Enlightenment? What if we revived the ancient goal of a well
developed mind in a well developed body, and students participated for
a term in Greek athletics or learned American Indian survival
skills? What if they developed ballet movement as a part of
Romanticism? Maybe they would practice yoga (or even Tantric
while studying India. Life can be whole.
Each of the core courses would be the
a four-credit class. Students would be expected to take three
courses, and three little one-credit classes. One-credit
electives form an important part of the Whatif curriculum.
Teachers would be free to follow their interests in creating
mini-courses of their choice. How about a class on Emily
Brontë? Or birds in the arts? Or
Letting professors pursue their diverse interests is how we keep them
willing to teach for fulfillment, rather than a competitive salary.
Could such a full curriculum also
with the specific skills they need for careers or graduate
I’m not sure. Perhaps Whatif College should be a
institution, with students picking up more traditional courses
elsewhere. But if so, which two years? Should
on to more specific study, or should they come in at the beginning of
their Junior year with their basic science and language requirements
behind them? Squeezing the curriculum into two years would
require a quarter--rather than semester--calendar.
Or should Whatif College be spread over
traditional four years--then capped with a year-long Grand Tour of the
Each of these ideas has been tried
before, and each
has worked very well. But the best parts of each educational
system have not yet been tried together. Why
Here’s another workable idea:
the Indian guru
system. Each incoming student would pick (by mutual
professor he or she wants to work closely with. Ten such
would live in five two-person cabins in a compound around the
professor’s house. These groups would prepare
meals in a community kitchen. It would be necessary to locate
a county with relaxed building codes--where tiny cabins such as summer
camp staffs live in would meet approval. The cabins
wouldn’t need plumbing--just electricity.
Let’s talk money:
Except for the
air-conditioned library and the professors’ houses, classroom
pavilions and cabins could go up for less than $2,000 each.
of course any building could be named after the donor who underwrote
the cost. Maybe house construction could be a credit course
first year--saving on labor costs. Once the land and original
buildings have been paid for, this college could run on tuition of
$3,000 a year. That’s $2,000 a year for the
professors’ salaries, and the rest for library and
Are there professors who would teach in
a Garden of
Eden for $20,000 a year plus free housing? I think
These professors would divide up the administrative jobs; Each group of
students would spend an hour or two each week maintaining the
campus. There is no need for administrative or janitorial
The college should be kept small and
very selective in attracting only the brightest students.
the years, enrolment and faculty might double, but should not go much
Whatif College is not
impossible. Each of its
main ideas has been tried successfully before. The initial
financial outlay is not entirely beyond our reach. Who will
Paul LeValley's proposal for Whatif College is quite
intriguing. However, a number of issues would have to be resolved
to determine even preliminary feasibility. I offer the following
questions, comments, criticisms and suggestions as a means of focusing
discussion on some specific points.
Do we know for sure that students would be
interested in attending a nude college? Enough qualified people
to fill the 100 student enrollment? How would we recruit these
How would accreditation be handled?
Would accreditation bodies even consider a nudist college? Would
you forego accreditation until the school is established? If so,
would students be willing to spend their money on a non-accredited
school? Would a degree (or 2 years of course work) from a
non-accredited college "count" as education (e.g. could it qualify a
student for law school)?
Even a rudimentary level start-up would require well
into the 5 figure range. Are there any prospects of locating
donors with deep enough pockets to support a social educational
Books are expensive. Professors making their
personal libraries available for student use would help. But such
resources are out of date nearly as soon as they are shelved.
Additionally, professors would have a difficult time maintaining a
professional library on a salary of $20K. Assuming Whatif is
located close to a larger college, would it be possible to make
arrangements for Whatif students to use the neighboring school's
Offering either a major or minor concentration in a
science is not feasible for at least a decade; laboratories,
specialized equipment, etc. would be prohibitively
expensive. However, some science is usually required
as part of the core education for most colleges. A few
introductory courses could be developed to satisfy general education
considerations, without the need for costly gear.
Given the uncertainties perhaps some pilot projects,
to get our feet wet, would be in order. One-to-three-week short
courses could be offered.
1. Could one of our colleagues be able to offer
credit through their schools of employment?
2. Possibly offer a course through or sponsored by
the Naturist Society (NEF?) or AANR. Students might be able to
"sell this to parents" as a valid educational experience (which I
believe it would be). It might be possible
for some students to petition their colleges for 1-3 credits.
3. Many/most public institutions would likely not
want to open the nudist can of worms. Private colleges might be
more promising. Some private schools have a 4-1-4 semester
structure, with 4 courses in standard Fall/Spring terms, with a 1-month
January pass/fail course, where students are encouraged to explore
non-traditional or unconventional opportunities. A college friend
spent about 3 weeks living with an Amish family, to understand the
community and life style. I personally took a Jan plan entitled
"Creative Writing in the Wilderness Experience" (one prof and 11
students canoed through the Everglades).
4. If living with the Amish or paddling through the
Everglades has educational merit, visiting nudist clubs, beaches and
families should be an equally valuable course of study. Field
trip courses seem to be fairly popular. A variety of short
courses might be developed such as nude art in Europe, visiting U.S.
artists specializing in nudes, sociology of nudism, etc. Perhaps
several instructors could lead a Colorado River raft trip: nature and
Learning is not just for traditional college
students anymore. (A larger net could be cast to attract
non-traditional students by targeting the Elderhostel crowd.) We
might even approach Elderhostel with a course such as, "Insights into
Naturism and Social Nudism".
Paul LeValley’s response:
Though this is leading into a new topic, I like
Bruce’s idea of supplemental three-week intensive inter-term
courses. January would be too cold for anywhere but the
southernmost United States. And January falls during those
resorts’ high season, when they are already overcrowded and
charging more expensive prices. Three-week summer courses would
be more practical in most of the country. Students do travel
around, picking up summer courses not offered at their own colleges; I
have had a few such wandering scholars in my more specialized classes.
The American Nudist Research Library or one of the
new AANR regional libraries might make a respectable venue where an
off-campus course could be offered through an accredited college
offering transferable credit. Classes would not necessarily have
to meet in the library if there is a bigger hall available on the
grounds. The ANRL is on the grounds of Cypress Cove, where AANR
has, in the last few summers, offered their week-long Nude U and Youth
Ambassador programs. We would certainly not want to detract from
those successful programs.
I have simply gotten too old to begin creating a
whole new college. But a single course is something I could
handle. Someday when I can afford to retire, I could see myself
moving to Cypress Cove, becoming a librarian in my dotage, and once a
year offering a course on the nude in art history. Several of you
have your own nudity-related specialties--and perhaps more immediate
means of forging some academic connection. This idea merits
Bruce’s further response:
Paul, I think your summer suggestion might be a better way to offer
short courses. Students can also tent camp to save on lodging
expenses; Cypress Cove has tent spaces by the lake.
How About a Naturism
The author of
Co-Ed Naked Philosophy, has expanded our discussion of visionary
colleges by posting the following (plus some great pictures) on his web
How about a Naturism Studies major? (There are
plenty of "Fill-in-the-Blank Studies" majors already, like Southeast
Asian Studies or Women's and Gender Studies.) The program could
start with a core course that all majors would complete, something like
The History and Philosophy of Naturism, and then beyond that the
students could fill out the required number of total credits by
choosing from a variety of course offerings including Life Drawing;
Aesthetics of the Body; Ecotourism and Sustainability; Ecological
History of the United States; Human Anatomy; Naturist Health, Nutrition
and Well-being; Human Sexuality, etc. Perhaps there could be a
required number of credits in Physical Education, with selections such
as Canuding; Nude Yoga; Gymnos Gymnastics; Co-ed Naked Volleyball;
Gymnos Track and Field; No-Swimsuit Swimming, etc.
The implementation of such a curriculum, let alone
an entire school, would require not only willing professors but also
willing students—as well as advocacy from naturist or nudist
groups as well as professional education organizations. Perhaps
it could become a reality somewhere like Florida or California, where
both climate and abundance of naturist and nudist groups, beaches, and
resorts would be favorable factors. Perhaps, in such a context,
and given the viability of programs like Hotel and Restaurant
Management, Naturism Studies could be considered an economically