Spring 2016

January 18
Days of Heaven
Part of Monday Night Movies: Human / Nature
7pm, Waterville Opera House

Days of HeavenTerrence Malick’s 1978 movie Days of Heaven was never a huge hit, but it was such a departure and so deliberate an attempt to have the audience stirred by beauty that it felt calming and inspiring. Without shame or caution it was trying to address the pre-modern era of American history, the natural conflict between landowners and newcomers. But it was just as interested in the vanity of men and women trying to tame and organize the wild parts of the country. Beyond that, was this perhaps the most beautiful picture ever made?”—David Thomson. The answer may be a simple yes. Shot largely in “magic hour” at dusk or dawn, Malick’s deceptively simple fable is set in the pre-World War 1 Texas Panhandle, and follows two young lovers (Richard Gere and Brooke Adams) and his 13-year-old sister who try to make a life for themselves fleeing industrial Chicago for the beauty of nature on a huge wheat farm presided over by a rich owner (Sam Shepard). Unimaginably gorgeous and astonishingly moving, this may not only be the most beautiful movie ever made but perhaps simply one of the best.

January 29-30
Colby On Tour
We Don’t Have an Algorithm For This
8pm, DanSpace Project, New York, NY

Dance&TheaterPosters_REV3-page-001An original dance theater work directed by Annie Kloppenberg, Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance at Colby College, featuring Colby students, this work was created collaboratively in response to this year’s annual campus-wide Humanities theme: Human / Nature, the work explores ideas from multiple disciplines that have encourage us to reflect upon nature, the build environment, and the ways in which our relationships to the natural world has shaped human existence.

For tickets please visit www.danspaceproject.org or by phone at 866.811.4111.

February 10
Eye of Newt and Lizard’s Leg: Our Perceptions of Amphibians and Reptiles
Dr. Marty Crump
7pm, Olin 1

9780226116006As a tropical ecologist, Marty studies behavior, ecology, and conservation of amphibians. Much of her research has involved frog reproduction and parental care, as well as declining amphibian populations. She has worked mainly in Latin America—especially Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. Marty is currently studying Darwin’s frogs in Chile. Marty has published 65 scientific papers, book reviews, and book chapters.


February 15
The Wild Child
Part of Monday Night Movies: Human / Nature
7pm, Waterville Opera House

the-wild-childThe film’s a rarity: case study as poetry. “The Wild Child” is based on the true story of the Wild Boy of Aveyron, a feral 12-year-old who was found wandering naked in the forests near Toulouse in 1798. Scarred, savage, and unable to speak, he was taken to the National Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Paris, where he came under the personal care of a young doctor named Jean Itard. Brimming with Enlightenment ideals, the latter saw a chance to test his theory that morality and language are what separate man from beast, and that these are learned. Given an animal, he would educate a human. Itard is played by the filmmaker himself as a gentle and caring intellectual, moved to compassion by the boy’s atavistic state yet roused by the challenge he presents…Four decades after its release, “The Wild Child” remains startling for its humane clarity, for Nestor Almendros’s brilliant black-and-white photography, and for the sense that Truffaut is achieving filmmaking mastery on a very small scale.

February 20
Build a Biome
10:00am, Mirken Education Classroom, Museum of Art

biomeIn conjunction with the annual arts and humanities theme, Human/Nature, create and investigate your own living biome, a microhabitat, made from a two-liter bottle. Sponsored by the Colby College Museum of Art.




February 23
Avoiding Random Acts of Conservation: Setting Priorities for People and Landscapes
Ole Amundsen
7pm, Olin 1

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 11.36.55 AMWhether the goal is protecting land for wildlife habitat, working lands, recreation areas, or watersheds, how can you evaluate which land is most important to conserve, protect or restore? How are demographic changes, market forces, and a changing climate, among other drivers, pushing us to do more than commit “random acts of conservation”? Learn about a variety of techniques and tools that are effectively being used to move beyond business as usual to set priorities for land and water conservation while attending to community (and regional) planning needs. Ole Amundsen is the Executive Director of Maine Audubon, one of the oldest and most respected conservation groups in the country. Before joining Audubon, Ole led strategic conservation planning projects around the country and managed a land conservation lending program for The Conservation Fund, a national land trust.

Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program.

March 1
John Ott
The Pigeon and the Grid: Animal Locomotion, Comparative Biology, and the Genesis of Ecological Consciousness
5:30pm, Olin 1

Eadweard Muybridge’s serial stop-motion photographs of humans and animals in his landmark text Animal Locomotion (1887) rank among some of the most iconic images of the nineteenth century, but most scholars tend to fixate on his human studies. But since he created his animal studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s new School of Veterinary Medicine (the second oldest in the nation) and relied upon the collections of the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens (the country’s oldest), these photographs provide rare insight into changing conceptions about the relationship between human and animal Americans. On the one hand, Animal Locomotion promises human domination over the animal world; on the other, it reveals a growing recognition of the fundamental interconnectedness of human and animal species, and signals the emergence of a new and modern ecological consciousness.

John Ott is Professor of Art History at James Madison University in Harrisonburg,Virginia and author of Manufacturing the Modern Patron in Victorian California: Cultural Philanthropy, Industrial Capital, and Social Authority (2014).

March 14
Red River
Part of Monday Night Movies: Human / Nature
7pm, Waterville Opera House

Red RiverHoward Hawks’ epic yet intimate 1948 western is at once “classic: and “revisionist,” pitting John Wayne’s so-determined-he’s-tyrannical settler against his much more humane “adopted son” Montgomery Clift as they launch an insane cattle drive that will either make or break a lifetime of work on the frontier. Howard Hawks’ amazing western is quite unlike those of John Ford with its emphasis on the group of men involved in the drive, its tougher-than-the-guys heroine (Joanna Dru) and its languorous appreciation of the Texas landscape, its beauty and emptiness.

March 30
Students in Nature Panel
7pm, Bobby Silberman Lounge

Human-Nature Storytime Poster-page-001In keeping with this year’s Humans/Nature theme, the Student Advisory Board to the Center for Arts and Humanities will host a student/nature story event this Wednesday at 7pm in the Bobby Silberman Lounge. Julia Von Ehr ’19, Thomas Gregston ’16, Sara LoTemplio ’16, and Parwana Mohammad ’16 will each speak briefly about their relationships to nature with a short question/answer/discussion period to follow.

There will be light refreshments and an open bar (21+ bring ID)”

April 1
The History of Early American Ornithology
Dr.Herb Wilson
1pm, Olin 1

IMG_2588 (1)This talk will focus on the art and scientific observations of Mark Catesby, Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon. Each man contributed to early American ornithology in significant ways. The strengths and weaknesses of each of their contributions will be discussed. The artwork of each man is available for viewing in Special Collections of the Colby Library, thanks to a loan from the Dorros family.

April 4
Ellen Sharp
Butterflies and Their People
7pm, Ostrove

butterfly_hands-resized“Butterflies and Their People,” looks at the competing stakes involved in transnational efforts to protect the annual monarch butterfly migration from Canada to Mexico. Despite well-meaning efforts to foster development projects that will keep forest-dwelling Mexicans from logging in the butterfly sanctuaries, communications between scientists, citizen-scientists, transnational NGOs, and local populations are fragile and often fraught with misunderstanding. To research this conjuncture, Ellen has been living in one of the ejidos that makes up Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in order to better understand how multi-layered efforts at development and conservation are experienced on the ground.

April 7
Bill McKibben
In the Hottest Year, the Hottest Fight
7:30pm, Lorimer Chapel

BillMcKibbenNancieBattaglia)-HighResBill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel.” His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”

A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently for a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. In 2014, biologists honored him by naming a new species of woodland gnat—Megophthalmidia mckibbeni—in his honor.

April 7-9
Community, Culture, and Conservation: Sustaining Landscapes and Livelihoods Conference
Colby College

Image: Detail of Virgil Williams, View of Mt. Katahdin from the West Bank of the Penobscot River, 1870, oil on canvas, 26 1/4 x 40 in. Colby College Museum of Art. The Lunder Collection, 001.2008

The conference will bring together noted writers, scholars, performers, public officials, and community members to facilitate discussion, make connections, and find solutions to economic and conservation challenges faced by communities in Maine, New England, the country, and the world.The conference coincides with the 100th anniversary in 2016 of the Organic Act, the law that created the U.S. National Park Service, as well as the centenary of the establishment of Sieur de Monts National Monument, now Acadia National Park, the first national park in east of the Mississippi River and the first national park in Maine. Confirmed speakers include Bill McKibben, award-winning author, activist, and founder of 350.org; Terry Tempest Williams, award winning author; Peter Forbes, co-founder and director of the Center for Whole Communities; Wesley McNair, Poet Laureate of Maine; Lucas St. Clair, Board Member of the Quimby Family Foundation and Elliotsville Plantation, Inc.; Terry Anderson, Former President and Executive Director, Property and Environment Research Center and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; among many others. The Colby College Museum of Art will offer a variety of programs related to the exhibition, Robert Adams: Turning Back, featuring 164 photographs that explore human impact on our forests.

For more information please visit http://web.colby.edu/communitycultureconservation/

April 8
In the Garden of Live Flowers by Attilio Favorini and Lynne Conner
7:30pm, Strider Theater, Colby College

In the Garden graphicThe Colby College Department of Theater and Dance is pleased to present a special One-Night-Only performance of In the Garden of Live Flowers, winner of the Kennedy Center David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award and co-authored by Colby professor Lynne Conner. This original play about environmentalist Rachel Carson’s valiant fight to publish Silent Spring will be presented in Strider Theater on Friday, April 8, 2016 as part of the Community, Culture, and Conservation: Sustaining Landscapes and Livelihoods Conference (April 7-9, 2016).

Tickets are free and can be reserved at colby.edu/theaterdance.

April 19
Miles and Katharine Culberston Prentice Distinguished Lecture: Maya Lin
7pm, Lorimer chapel

16Colby_LinPoster_R7-page-001(1)Through her art and architecture, Maya Lin explores landscape as a reflection of time, history, and memory. In this lecture organized in conjunction with Colby College’s 2015–16 humanities theme, Human/Nature, Lin will speak about her work and What Is Missing?, her ongoing project that proposes we look at a memorial not as a singular static object, but as a work that can exist in multiple forms and at multiple sites simultaneously.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Starting April 14, tickets will be available online at: mayalincolby.eventbrite.com. Limit 1 per visitor.

The Miles and Katharine Culberston Prentice Distinguished Lecture, part of Colby’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence Series is cosponsored by the Colby Museum, Center for Arts and Humanities, Art Department, Environmental Studies Program, and the Office of the President with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

April 22
Dr. David Strayer
3pm, Kassman Auditorium

IMG_0032 (2)In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “How important is a constant intercourse with nature and the contemplation of natural phenomena to the preservation of moral and intellectual health!” (Journal, May 6, 1851) Have you ever wondered what happens to your mind and brain when you take a walk in the woods or go for a hike? Come learn about some exciting research by Dr. David Strayer from the University of Utah on how time spent in natural environments changes how we think and how our brains function.

Brought to you by the Department of Psychology and the Center for the Arts and Humanities Human/Nature Theme.

April 23
Human / Nature Scavenger Hunt
11am-1pm, Old Rugby Field, Colby College

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 10.47.29 AMTeams of 2-4 will venture into the arboretum to find marked locations where humans have interacted with nature.
CASH PRIZES for the following: Fasted Team, Highest score on Human / Nature quiz, Most litter collected around campus. To register a team, please visit:

Brought to you by the Center for the Arts and Humanities Student Advisory Board.


April 26
Dr. Pritam Singh
Ecological implications of the rise of new economic powers
4pm, Lovejoy 215

Singh Poster 2.psfThe lecture analyzes the shift in the global economy through the rise of BRICS. It examines the sustainability implications of this shift with particular reference to the multi-dimensional character of human-nature relationship. Three aspects relating to food, fuel, and finance will be the focus of analysis, and how the eco-socialist perspective provides a refreshing way forward will be elaborated.



May 6
Open Spaces: Reimagining Pastoral Maine
4-6pm, L.C. Bates Museum

Open Spaces Poster-page-001

This beautiful exhibition is the result of a collaborative effort between the L.C. Bates Museum staff and Francesca Soriano ‘16 and Nora Hill ‘18, working under the supervision of Professor Véronique Plesch. It explores the natural beauty of Maine’s fields and the flora and fauna that fill them. Defining fields as an expansive space, the exhibition seeks to combine scientific and artistic methods of looking at fields. Works in a variety of mediums from contemporary Maine artists will be featured. The exhibition gives visitors a broad perspective of how artists view and portray nature.

A lovely way to say farewell to the 2015/16 Human/Nature theme: art, wine, and some tasty appetizers!

Fall 2015

September 15
Human / Nature in the Anthropocene
Professor Jim Fleming
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 11.06.39 AMThe neologism Anthropocene (or age of humans), coined by ecologist Eugene Stoermer and popularized by geochemist and Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, has recently struck a cultural nerve, pointing as it does to what may be the decisive epoch of our planet. What does it mean for humanity to be moving from the age geologists call the Holocene—where the historical records originated, to the Anthropocene—where it seems we may meet our demise? Are humanists and social scientists wise to appropriate this term, and what can we say about the history and cultural implications of what are apparently multiple Anthropocenes? What is the influence of this concept on us?

Fleming (STS,Colby) has written extensively on the social, cultural, and intellectual history of weather, climate, technology, and the environment.

September 15
Crowded coastlines as coupled social-ecological systems
Dr. Stephen Scyphers, NSF Fellow at Northeastern University
7pm, Olin 1

scyphers-400x260Coastal habitats along shorelines host diverse ecological communities and provide numerous ecosystem services that affect the health, security and quality of life of human societies. Dr. Scyphers talk will highlight our recent and ongoing efforts to understand the social and economic factors that promote sustainable decision-making along residential coastlines, as well as how these decisions scale-up to affect the overall resilience of coastal ecosystems.

September 17
Tiny Giants
5pm, Miller Library

Three-chain diatom for LauraMarine microbes matter. They play an important role in keeping the planet healthy and balanced, well beyond their diminutive size. These tiny, nearly invisible plants and animals provide a foundation for life both in the ocean and on land. They consist of plants – phytoplankton that provide half of the oxygen we breathe – and animals – zooplankton that serve as the source of food for all marine life from fish to whales. These very small and vital life forms are being affected by climate change in serious ways, yet they are also helping to mitigate its effects by fixing and holding excess carbon in the ocean, preventing additional heating on land. These large-scale photographic enlargements of marine microbes tell a collective story of ongoing changes in the global marine environment. Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay, Maine, the only independent basic research institution in the world that focuses on microbial oceanography. Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is proud to share the beauty, wonder, and fascinating stories of these amazingly intricate and adaptable organisms upon which our lives depend.

Sponsored by the Libraries, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Environmental Studies, The Colby Museum of Art, and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

September 17
Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves
Carolyn Chute
7pm, Waterville Opera House

unnamedRenowned Maine author Carolyn Chute will kick off a new literary series, Two Cent Talks, at the Waterville Opera House, by reading from her latest novel, Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves, which won the PEN New England Award. Chute is the author of The School on Heart’s Content Road, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Beans of Egypt, Maine; Letourneau’s Used Auto Parts; Snow Man; and Merry Men. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Thornton Wilder Fellowship. Boston Globe reviewer Caroline Leavitt wrote: “Fiery, impassioned, and unlike anything else you will ever probably read, you can take Chute’s book as a warning, a letter from the future—or from the present—from people who are tired of promises and lies and just might not be willing to take it anymore.” Chute is looking forward to addressing the Human/Nature theme during the event.

Sponsored by Colby’s Office of the President, Center for the Arts and Humanities, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, the Department of English and Program in Creative Writing, and Waterville Creates!

September 22
Mimesis: Reality in Renaissance Art
Professor Véronique Plesch
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 11.11.27 AM

The period we call the Renaissance is traditionally conceived of as a rebirth of Ancient ideas and ideals; but it could be argued that Renaissance artists were fundamentally concerned with the creation of a convincing depiction of reality. This lecture will explore the means at the service of such agenda (for instance linear perspective and oil painting), the motivations for such an interest and the functions it fulfilled, while also considering the differences between Italian and Northern Renaissance Art in this quest for mimetic illusionism. Given this year’s Humanities theme, special attention will be paid to depictions of nature.

Plesch (Art, Colby) is the author and editor of eight books and has published over forty articles in Europe and the U.S. in English, French, and Italian on subjects ranging from late medieval and Renaissance iconography to Alpine art, and from Passion plays to early modern graffiti, with forays into contemporary art.

September 29
Re-Imagining the Promise of Conservation
Peter Forbes
7pm, Ostrove Auditorium

peter_1On the eve of the centennial of our national park system, what is the promise of conservation to an America that is rapidly changing demographically, culturally, and physically? What ideals and values need to guide conservation in the next 100 years? Author and conservationist, Peter Forbes, will guide us across a landscape of meaning about the motivations for creating our first national park and how those same instincts toward healing and repairing now guide innovation in conservation across the country, especially in Maine. By examining the sweeping technological and cultural forces changing our country, and looking at how our desire to connect to nature and to one another endures, Peter will offer insights into the special opportunities and obligations facing the next generation to re-imagine conservation from where our different lives intersect. How might we promise to make this powerful concept of Forebearance relevant, useful and durable for the next century? What are the principles of this promise? What might it look like? Do you see yourself within it?

Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Environmental Studies,  Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, and the Colby Museum of Art.

September 29
The Artificial Cryosphere and Public Appreciation of “Aeroir,” with Nicola Twilley, Edible Geography and Gastropod
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 11.17.17 AMNicola Twilley will be exploring two atmospheric conditions that exemplify Human/Nature by presenting two ongoing projects: an exhibition and book exploring the artificial cryosphere and an artist project to develop new experiences that enhance the public appreciation of “aeroir.” For the past four years, Twilley has been exploring the largely invisible thermal infrastructure of refrigeration—a vast, distributed winter that has reconfigured both the contents of our plates and the shapes of our cities. In addition to sharing some of her research in this area, Twilley will also discuss her more recent, ongoing collaboration with the Center for Genomic Gastronomy to develop a multi-sensory array of devices, installations, and experiences that aim to make the aesthetics and politics of urban air pollution sense-able as an artifact. From smog meringues to street food-air quality pairings, the project aims to create a series of poetic intermediaries between humans and our collective atmospheric emissions.

September 29
Landscape Futures, with a discussion of artificial replacements for natural phenomena
Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG
8pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 11.20.51 AMGeoff Manaugh will explain the curatorial vision behind Landscape Futures, a 2012 exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art that foregrounded the instruments and devices through which the planetary sciences and landscape design are performed. By centralizing these mechanisms, the exhibition’s goal was to reveal how humans have become deeply dependent upon machines and other technical intermediaries for interpreting the landscapes around them. Manaugh will also present his ongoing research into the world of artificial replacements for natural phenomena, including legal patents registered for new forms of artificial snow, artificial trees, and even new forms of artificial geology. Discussing these in the context of several site visits performed by Manaugh and Twilley as part of their “Venue” project—including a landscape tour of the nation’s largest active landfill and a trip to the AstroTurf® factory northwest of Atlanta—will show the often-unexpected side-effects of replicating nature.

September 30
The Pope and the planet
Debra Campbell and Travis Reynolds
12pm, Silberman Lounge

15360-1qo4qg6Lunch discussion with Professors Debra Campbell of Religious Studies and Travis Reynolds of Environmental Studies. Together we will ponder Pope Francis’ call to care about the changing climate of our common home. Simple Lunch Provided, Sponsored by the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life.

September 30
Environmental Studies Lunchtime Lecture Series
12pm, Roberts / SmithRobins

Center for Arts and HumanitiesPlease join the Environmental Studies Program to celebrate the work of our alumni here in Maine! They will reflect on what they see as the strengths of the conservation movement in Maine and also where they see as challenges ahead.

Emmie Theberge, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Aaron Megquier, Friends of Baxter State Park
Kaitlyn Bernard, Appalachian Mount Club
Garrison Beck, Damariscotta Lake Association

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Goldfarb Center, and the Colby Museum of Art

September 30
Emmet Gowin Photography
7pm, Olin 1

gowin-land001While earning his MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, Emmet Gowin studied under photographer Harry Callahan, who became one of his mentors and greatest influences. Gowin’s first notable work was a series of intimate portraits of his wife, Edith, and her family in Virginia. Since then he has expanded his vision to include landscape photographs depicting the devastation and beauty of Mt. St. Helens, the ancient Jordanian city of Petra, and aerial views of man-altered landscapes. Most recently he has been photographing living moths in Ecuador, Panama, and Bolivia. Gowin’s work has earned him a Guggenheim Foundation Artist Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts from the State of Pennsylvania, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His photographs have been exhibited extensively throughout this country and around the world and are included in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

October 6
War and Wounds
Ana Carden-Coyne (via Skype)
1pm, Diamond 242

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 11.31.09 AMAna Carden-Coyne will be discussing her recent book, The Politics of Wounds (Oxford University Press, 2014), which explores military patients’ experiences of frontline medical evacuation, war surgery, and the social world of military hospitals during the First World War. The proximity of the front and the colossal numbers of wounded created greater public awareness of the impact of the war than had been seen in previous conflicts, with serious political consequences. She will also present images from “The Sensory War, 1914-2014,” an art exhibit on the experience and imagining of war for the WW1 centenary, at the Manchester Art Gallery and Whitworth Art Gallery.

Carden-Coyne has edited a volume on Gender and Conflict Since 1914: Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Palgrave, 2012), which brings scholars from the humanities and social sciences together to consider the impact of war on gender roles in the past and present. She has acted as acted as consultant for the Wellcome Trust’s War and Medicine exhibition and made other contributions to international events such as the Sydney Festival and the Sydney Mardi Gras, and has published a commemorative booklet with the Guardian newspaper on “Wounded Visionaries.”

October 6
Futurism, Violence, and the Re-making of the World
Professor Gianluca Rizzo
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.06.40 PMSince its beginning Futurism, the first of the historical avant-garde movements, strived to establish a radically new way of representing the world. In the Founding Manifesto, published in le Figaro on 20 February 1909, Marinetti writes: “Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.” Violence was their preferred mode of interacting with reality, and the key to unlocking a new sense of Aesthetics, as well as the path to creating of the New Man. An entire century and two world wars separate us from that manifesto: what, if anything, can we learn from Marinetti and the Futurists? Can we admire their aesthetic achievements and at the same time condemn their warmongering activities? Is it even possible to separate the two? This lecture will attempt to answer these and other related questions through an analysis of manifestoes and works of art, tracking the evolution of the Futurist appreciation of violence before and after World War I.

Rizzo (Italian, Colby) is the Paganucci Assistant Professor of Italian at Colby College. His research focuses on modern and contemporary macaronic writing, contemporary poetry, and aesthetics. He published numerous articles, poems, and translations, both from English to Italian and vice-versa (in Or, Chicago Review, l’immaginazione, il Verri, Autografo, etc.)

October 14
Growing Power and the Good Food Revolution
Will Allen
7pm, Ostrove Auditorium

Will_Allen_holding_fishWill Allen is the son of sharecroppers who returned to his roots in agriculture after a career in profession basketball and marketing. With words and images, he will describe his quest to grow both strong communities and healthy food in urban Milwaukee.

Cosponsored by the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights, and the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

October 15
A Symposium Presented by the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies on James McNeill Whistler and his International Contexts
9am-5pm, Colby Museum of Art

Chelsea in Ice, oil on canvas, 1864 2013.293_001_cdWhistler: Nature and Nation is a one day symposium dedicated to the exploration of how American artists working abroad or exposed to an international milieu in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reimagined ideas of nature and nation in light of their global experiences. The symposium is generously supported by a grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Co-sponsored by the Colby College Center for the Arts and Humanities, Colby’s Art Department, and the Museum, and held in conjunction with Whistler and the World: The Lunder Collection of James McNeill Whistler and Aesthetic Harmonies: Whistler in Context.

October 19-23
Puppet-Making Workshop for Activists!
Anna Sapershteyn
1:30-4:30pm daily, Museum Classroom

clay_and_paperAnna Sapershteyn, a puppet artist with Clay and Paper Theatre in Toronto, is coming to Colby the week of October 19 – 23 to lead a series of workshops on building giant puppets to help promote social activism around the intersecting themes of food sovereignty and Human/Nature. Anyone — students, staff, faculty, administrators — should feel free to join us for some or all of the hands-on fun! Drop in and check out as needed. The workshop will run Monday 10/19, Tuesday 10/20, Wednesday 10/21, and Friday 10/23 from 1:30 to 4:30 in the museum classroom. A planning lunch is scheduled for the Roberts private dining room on Monday October 19th from 11:30 to 1 pm.

Cosponsored by the Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the Department of Theater & Dance.

October 20
The Sweet Way
Charles A. Traub
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 9.12.18 AMCharles H. Traub, photographer of the real world, will be talking about his long involvement with the delights of the street, here there and anywhere, but particularly those of Italy. Drawing from his two recent books, Dolce Via and Lunchtime –which are monographs of his color works from the 70s and 80s–, he will talk about change and the realities of then and now, as cultures have blended and issues of representation have radically changed the nature of the lens arts.
What can be said in passing by one stranger to another at 1/125th of a second? Is one picture worth a thousand words? Or does it take a thousand pictures to really say anything? In a time when anybody and everybody is photographing anytime and everywhere, what makes for a significant body of work? Traub believes that in essence, the dialog of the lens is a matrix for understanding all of our activities, and that visual arts literacy is essential to this understanding.

October 20
Film Screening: This Changes Everything
Q&A with Loren McClenachan (ES, Colby College)
7pm, Railroad Square Cinema, Waterville

TCE_FilmWhat if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world? Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international bestseller of the same name, This Changes Everything is a stunning and shocking look at the real effects of capitalism on the environment as it follows seven communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these powerful portraits of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better. With support from executive producers Alfonso Cuaron, Danny Glover, Seth MacFarlane, Shepard Fairey, and Pamela Anderson, along with environmental and activist organizations, this one time theater event will be a night not to miss, and one that really might help change the world! Unrated. 89 min.

Cosponsored with Environmental Studies.

October 22
Christian Marclay, Bollywood in Gstaad
7pm, William D. Adams Gallery, Museum Lobby

Christian Marclay Bollywood Goes to Gstaad, 2013 video, 17 minutes (color, sound) Edition 3 of 5, 2 AP © Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Organized in conjunction with the 2015-2016 humanities theme of “Human / Nature,” this event will feature a screening of Bollywood Goes to Gstaad (2013), a video by Christian Marclay composed of Bollywood scenes filmed in the Swiss Alps. This short (17 minute) work will be preceded by a presentation of Marclay’s Telephones (1995, 7:30 minutes). Steve Wurtzler, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Colby College will offer introductory remarks and lead a post-screening discussion.

Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Colby Cinema Studies, and the Colby College Museum of Art.

October 23
Banned: Are We Safer Since They Banned DDT?
Professor Fritz Davis, Florida State University

4639Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” challenged Americans to consider their dependency on chemical insecticides and led to the ban on DDT. In “Banned” Frederick Rowe Davis examines the history of pesticides and the science of toxicology across the Twentieth Century. Has our reliance on chemical insecticides changed since the DDT ban? Were the chemicals that replaced DDT safer?

Sponsored by History and the Environmental Studies Program.

October 26
Re-imagining Our Relationship to the Natural World
Professor/Performer Andrea Olsen
7pm, Strider Theater

UntitledBody is Earth, our bones breath and blood are the minerals, air and water inside us, not separate but same. And dance—movement—is an essential way to experience this interconnectedness. In this lecture/performance we explore somatic movement practices and the process of “changing lenses” to increase awareness beyond personal, familial, and cultural views. We reflect on the role of the amygdala in fear responses and alertness, and listen to the concerns and questions of younger voices—those who are coming next. Throughout we focus on the potency of place, finding a home for the heart as we engage new visions of what it means to be human in this time.

Andrea Olsen is Professor of Dance and has held the John C. Elder Professorship in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont. She’s the author of a triad of books: The Place of Dance, Body and Earth, and Bodystories in collaboration with Caryn McHose, and she performs and teaches internationally.

October 26
Modern Times (1936)
Part of Monday Night Movies: Human / Nature
7pm, Waterville Opera House

03.tifCharlie Chaplin takes on the Industrial Age, which somehow seems not too different from the Technological Age, in what is absolutely his most riotously funny film, a masterpiece known to cause outright pain from laughing. Made during the sound era, and using both sound and music extensively, yet resolutely refusing to incorporate dialog (completely unnecessary and counterproductive given Chaplin’s nonpareil gifts for expressive facial and body gestures) Modern Times is clearly Chaplin’s masterpiece. His “Little Tramp” persona becomes an everyman at loose in the Great Depression, on an assembly line, and in cahoots if not love with an “Orphan Girl” (Paulette Godard) imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. Chaplin’s passion for social justice is exceeded only be his passion for ingenious, beautifully performed hilarity. 96 Min.

October 27
Human/Nature in Antiquity
Kerill O’Neill
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Medea-AFASandys1868No different from people in our times, the Greeks and Romans exhibited a wide range of behavior vis-à-vis the natural world: awe at its majesty, greed for its resources, and fear of its secrets. The witches of antiquity, however, laid claim to special status because they said that they could control, dominate, and destroy nature. What dread powers did they claim to possess? How and why did ordinary people turn to them for help? What connection did Roman poets share with these purveyors of spells?

O’Neill (Classics, Colby) is Director of the Center for the Arts and Humanities. His teaching and research interests span Latin literature (especially the influence of love magic on love poetry), Greek tragedy, and Bronze Age Archaeology. He is the Field Director of the Mitrou Archaeological Project.

October 30
Big Dams, Big Damage? Why Big States Destroy Nature and Move Millions of People in the Name of Progress
Paul Josephson
4pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 11.38.24 AMOver the last 100 years national powers have focused tremendous resources on such big projects as dams (Hoover, Tucurui, Three Gorges), canals (Panama and Suez), and other extensive earth-moving operations. These projects have had tremendous human and environmental costs as we learn more and more. Less well known is why governments as different as Russia, Brazil and the US continue to support them — from Amazonia, to the Tennessee Valley, to Washington State, and to the Arctic and Siberia.

Josephson (History, Colby) is a specialist in the history of twentieth century science and technology, Russian and Soviet history, and environmental history. He is working on a history of major nature engineering projects in the former Soviet Union.

November 3
Re-writing the World: Italian Poetry in the 1960s and 1970s
Beppe Cavatorta, University of Arizona
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.12.04 PMThroughout the second half of the Twentieth Century, and especially in the 60s and 70s, Italian poets have attempted a radical renovation of the literary institutions and conventions they had received from tradition. Their efforts gave birth to what critics have called the neo-avantgarde. What had begun as an effort to reconsider literature, soon turned into a political experiment aimed at re-writing the world itself. These intellectuals formulated a sharp criticism of traditional power structures and the excesses of capitalism by unmasking its linguistic strategies. This new kind of “realism” did not aim at describing the world but rather at changing it. This lecture will reconstruct the interesting path these writers followed, looking at the way in which the natural world is presented in their poems.

Cavatorta is Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Arizona, Tucson. His research interests are varied, with scholarly publications on Renaissance authors such as Machiavelli, Savonarola, and Tasso as well as contemporary writers like Alberto Savinio, Antonio Delfini, Tahar Lamri and Adriano Spatola. Among his other interests are Italian Futurism, the neo-avant-garde of Sixties, and the Partisan War as depicted in literature and film. His essays have appeared in several journals.

November 4
Owning Seeds, Accessing Food: Agro-biodiversity, Food Sovereignty, and Food Security in a Changing World
Gloria Otieno
7pm, Diamond 122

Otieno_diverse_seedFeeding the hungry is a world problem we all want to solve. But who and how do we meet this challenge? Should we leave it up to Big Agriculture? Big Government? Big Philanthropy? Gloria Otieno, a development economist and food policy expert, believes local communities have a major role to play in their own agricultural fates. In this talk, she argues that local communities in places such as East Africa have a basic human right to decide what seeds to plant and what techniques to use in feeding their own people. She also outlines the critical role rural farmers and seed-savers have in ensuring the long-term viability of local, regional and even global food systems.

Cosponsored with the Oak Institute and the Environmental Studies Program.

November 7
2015 Clara M. Southworth Symposium,
The Culture of Nature: Garden Design, East and West

9:30am-5:00pm, Colby Museum of Art

André Le Nôtre’s formal parterre gardens at the Château of Vaux-le-VicomteThe Clara M. Southworth lecture series, endowed in 1969 by the interior designer from Portland, Maine, is meant to “bring annually to the campus a distinguished lecturer or lecturers to speak on a subject in the broad field of environmental design with emphasis on understanding some of the underlying philosophies of design which relate to the way in which men live.” As Colby’s 2015-16 Annual Humanities Theme Human/Nature aims to “reflect upon nature, the built environment, and the ways in which our relationship to the natural world has shaped human existence,” the Art Department is organizing a symposium entitled The Culture of Nature: Garden Design, East and West.The Culture of Nature brings together four distinguished scholars who will speak on Asia, the Islamic World, Europe, and the United States, to explore the delicate relationship between humans and nature in the specific context of the garden, and the ways in which conceptions of gardens and garden design have changed significantly over time and space. The symposium will also identify some common threads to help us better understand the complicated relationship between humans and nature.

For more information about this event please visit https://www.colby.edu/artdept/lectures/southworth-lectures/

November 10
Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives on the Environment
Keith Peterson
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 8.59.20 AMThe themes of anthropocentrism, the intrinsic value of nature, and an ecological worldview have preoccupied environmental philosophers for decades. What are some of the common ways that philosophers have considered these topics, and which of their conclusions are relevant today? We’ll consider whether anthropocentrism motivates the concept of the Anthropocene, how intrinsic value theory bears on the commodification of ecosystem services, and ask whether an ecological worldview is the best meta-scientific stance for environmentalism in this period of global climate disruption.

Peterson’s (Philosophy, Colby) primary areas of interest include philosophies of nature and environment, value theory, philosophical anthropology, and Continental philosophy.

November 11
Mutated Growth
Artist Jackie Brown
5pm, Olin 1

jackie-brown-2014Brown’s primary focus is sculpture installation. She works to create immersive environments that invite viewers into imagined biological systems, where it’s often ambiguous whether the forms are benign or toxic. An important undercurrent in the work is an interest in the human manipulation of living systems, particularly advances in bioengineering that are fraught with both exciting and frightening implications. With this in mind, she hopes to encourage viewers to consider the shifting nature of the world around them.

Brown is an Assistant Professor of Art at Bowdoin College where she runs the sculpture program and teaches a variety of courses as part of the Visual Arts Department. Brown received her BA from Hamilton College and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

November 16
Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)
Part of Monday Night Movies: Human / Nature
7pm, Waterville Opera House

aguirre-wrath-of-god“Werner Herzog’s Aguirre: The Wrath of God looks more magnificent and mad than ever, one of the great folies de grandeur of 1970s cinema, an expeditionary Conradian nightmare like Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. Just as for that film, the agonies of its production history have entered into legend, almost equivalent to the movie fiction itself. It is based loosely on the true story of 16th-century conquistador Lupe De Aguirre (Kinski), the second-in-command of a Spanish force journeying down the Amazon in search of the mythical riches of El Dorado. Driven half-mad by the heat, hunger and danger from native attack, the commander declares a retreat – but Aguirre mutinies, kills the leader and announces they must carry on. Unrated. 93 Min. In German with English subtitles.

November 17
Green Is Not White
8:30pm, Pugh Center

GreenisnotwhiteWhat is your connection to the outdoors? How did you develop your connection to the outdoors?
What impact did the outdoors have on your physical and intellectual development? Are some people able to more strongly identify with the Colby identity because of their ability to connect with the outdoors? Do the outdoors need to be part of the Colby experience? Do you think that outdoor presence is reflective of people’s commitment and/or care for nature and environmental issues in general?

Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be provided. Co-hosted by the Colby Outing Club (COC). All are welcome.


November 17
Extreme Makeovers: The Visual Culture of Plastic Surgery
Tanya Sheehan
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

unnamedFocusing on the 20th-century and contemporary United States, this lecture explores the relationship between plastic surgery and visual culture. First, it presents plastic surgery as an increasingly popular practice motivated by a subject’s concern with being seen in a social environment. Second, it emphasizes the cultural importance of documenting visually, and especially photographically, the changes to the body and self produced through surgical operations. By reading closely images from the popular media and fine arts, Professor Sheehan will shed light on how and why Americans have sought to remake human nature through the visual culture of cosmetic medicine.

Sheehan (Art, Colby) teaches American and African American art history. She is the author of Doctored: The Medicine of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (2011). Her edited books include Photography, History, Difference (2014), Photography and Its Origins (2015), and the forthcoming Grove Guide to Photography.

November 19
Visiting Artist: Jen Casad
7pm, Colby Museum of Art

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 12.00.08 PMJen Casad is the rare combination of an artist and clam digger, and she will join the SAB in a conversation on this year’s Humanities theme, “Human/Nature.” In tandem with her visit, the Colby Museum will host a screening of the art film Double Tide, which features Casad at work while clamming in Boothbay on the Maine coast.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts & Humanities and Museum of Art.

December 1
Humans in space
Roger Launius
7pm, Kassman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 12.06.32 PMTrips to the Moon, humans in Earth orbit, and plans for exploring Mars all dominated thinking in the twentieth century. Even so, as the twenty-first century dawned an expansive vision for human spaceflight has not emerged. The Space Shuttle has been retired without a clear follow-on human spaceflight vehicle in the United States, and efforts to generate public excitement in lunar and Mars exploration have faltered. What does the first half of the twenty-first century hold for humans in space? In this presentation I will survey more fifty years of space exploration, reviewing the major human programs from the first efforts through the successful spaceflight programs of the recent past and offering comments on the possibilities available in the decades to come.

Launius is Associate Director for Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. He has written or edited more than twenty books on aerospace history. Between 1990 and 2002 he served as chief historian of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He is frequently consulted by the electronic and print media for his views on space issues, and has been a guest commentator on National Public Radio and all the major television network news programs.

December 14
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2005)
Part of Monday Night Movies: Human / Nature
7pm, Waterville Opera House

Wild Parrots of Telegraph HillOne of the most wildly loved films of the recent independent American Cinema—and of audience at MIFF, who gave it their Award for Best film at the festival when it debuted in 2004— The Wild Parrots of Telegraphy Hill is the true story of a Bohemian St. Francis and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild red-and-green parrots. Mark Bittner, a dharma bum, former street musician in San Francisco, discovers the flock as he searches for meaning in his life, unaware that the wild parrots will bring him everything he needs. Not only “gorgeous” (New York Times) but “that rare documentary that has romance, comedy and a surprise ending that makes you feel as if you could fly out of the theater” (San Jose Mercury News.) 87 Min.