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Writing to Heal the Earth A Conversation between Robin Wall Kimmerer and Ursula Goodenough
Thursday, August 31st at 4:00PM On the Outdoor Stage at Featherstone
THIS EVENT IS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT we are at people and parking capacity. Please NO WALK INS.
Featherstone Center for the Arts welcomes Robin Wall Kimmerer, botanist and best-selling author of Braiding Sweetgrass, in conversation with Ursula Goodenough, biologist and author of The Sacred Depths of Nature as they discuss what it means to write about the earth during this time of climate crisis. The conversation will be moderated by Marc Favreau, Editorial Director of The New Press and author of Unequal: A Story of America, and will be followed by a brief Q&A and author signing.
Robin Wall Kimmereris a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. In 2022, Braiding Sweetgrass was adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith. This new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us.
Robin tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. In 2022 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.
As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS, and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.
Ursula Goodenough is Professor of Biology Emerita at Washington University who retired to Martha’s Vineyard in 2017. She taught cell biology and evolution and engaged in research that focused on the sexual cycle of the green soil alga Chlamydomonas, on ciliary motility, and on algal biofuel precursors. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Microbiology Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and served as president of the American Society for Cell Biology. She and many others are developing what is called a religious naturalist orientation religious-naturalist-association.org and a new edition of her book, The Sacred Depths of Nature: How Life Emerged and Evolved (Oxford University Press) sacreddepthsofnature.com, describes her understandings of this orientation. She has five children and nine grandchildren.