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July 11, 2015 

Human beings have always tried to understand Earth’s place in the universe and their own place in the natural world, but these issues have taken on increased urgency in an era of climate change and continuing threats to ecological systems. This wide-ranging seminar will explore changing perceptions of our planet among both scientists and creative artists. Adrienne Erickcek will discuss recent studies of the “Big Bang” and current astronomical knowledge of the earth’s long-term trajectory within the universe. Carolyn Allmendinger will show how artists have portrayed nature in great paintings since the Renaissance. Eliza Richards will explain the literary uses of environmental themes in nineteenth-century American poetry. Finally, Joel Kingsolver will analyze new scientific accounts of evolutionary changes in the natural world. Join us at the NC Botanical Garden for an interdisciplinary seminar that will explore how both science and the arts have shaped our understanding of the earth and of human connections with Nature.

Topics & Speakers

The Earth’s Place in Space and Time: From the Big Bang to the Ultimate Fate of the Universe
Adrienne L. Erickcek, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Representing Nature in Western Art
Carolyn Allmendinger, Director of Academic Programs, Ackland Art Museum

Lyrical Ecologies: 19th-century American Poetry and the Natural World
Eliza Richards, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Darwin‘s Tangled Bank: Webs, Trees, and the Nature of Humans
Joel Kingsolver, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Biology

Understanding Our Place in the Natural World
A panel discussion with our speakers

Time & Cost

9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Saturday, July 11, 2015. The tuition is $140 ($125 by May 22). Tuition for teachers is $70 ($62.50 by May 22). Teachers can also receive a $75 stipend after attending (click here for more information) and 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. Lunch is included.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.