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Sustainability speaker series kicks off Sept. 22 with Bill McKibben

Posted by on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 in Events, News, Sustainability Project.

By Jim Patterson

Bill McKibben (Nancie Battaglia/

Environmentalist Bill McKibben will kick off a year of nationally recognized sustainability experts who will speak at Vanderbilt University as part of the American Studies Sustainability Project.

McKibben, author of one of the first books on climate change for a general audience (The End of Nature, 1989), and founder of the activist group, speaks at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in Ingram Hall at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music.

The lecture, “Global and Local: Reports from the Fight for a Working Planet,” is free and open to the public.

Issues of sustainability are being incorporated into many phases of the academic year at Vanderbilt University, including curriculum, a documentary film series and road trips. The American Studies Sustainability Project is supported by the College of Arts and Science Fant Fund.

Other lectures in the series:

  • Laura Dassow Walls, author of Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America, will speak at 4:10 p.m. Sept. 29 on “Alexander von Humboldt’s American Horizon.” The venue will be announced later. Walls, William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, describes her work as healing “the breach between the humanities and the sciences.”
  • Gabriel Warren, a sculptor who works with natural ice formations as source material, will speak at a reception 5 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery in Cohen Memorial Hall. Examples of Warren’s work will be displayed in the gallery Oct. 13 to Dec. 8. The Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities are co-sponsors of this exhibit.
  • Van Jones, a human rights and clean energy activist, will speak Oct. 19 in Sarratt Cinema as part of the Harry C. Howard Lecture series presented by Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. He will speak on “Rebuild the American Dream: Green Jobs and Beyond.”

Details on upcoming lectures by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and environmental writer Amanda Little will be announced later.

Contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS

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