College News Archive
- LAS News
Idea of “Ecotones” to Highlight Department of English Symposium
AMES, Iowa – Writers, artists, scholars and scientists will converge at Iowa State University for the 5th Annual Symposium on Wildness, Wilderness & the Creative Imagination. The seminar is Feb. 8-9, 2009 at the Brunnier Art Museum and Memorial Union.
This year’s topic is ecotones, on a literal and metaphorical level, as they occur in both the natural world and the creative environment. An ecotone is a transitional zone between two ecological communities, such as between a forest and grassland.
The symposium is presented by ISU's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Creative Writing and Environment within the Department of English. All events are free and open to the public.
Keynote speakers include:
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, an assistant professor at St. Olaf College, will read from her collection of poetry, Paper Pavillion, which strives to bear witness to international stories of environmental degradation and political upheaval. Born to a Korean mother, given up for adoption, and adopted by an Oklahoma family, Kwon Dobbs renders in her poems the difficulties of separation from one’s home culture, as well as the ambivalence of trying to belong to two places at one time.
Novelist and nonfiction author, William Kittredge of the University of Montana, will read from his book, Who Owns the American West? Kittredge is also the author of numerous books including a memoir about growing up in Oregon, Hole in the Sky, and a recent novel, The Willow Field. Kittredge will talk about his experience with the Western landscape, both as a child on a cattle ranch and as a writer. Kittredge, with his partner Annick Smith, co-edited the groundbreaking anthology of Montana literature, The Last Best Place.
Annick Smith, author, environmental activist and filmmaker, will read from her books, including Homestead and In This We are Native. Smith’s work honors the past but also foregrounds the present stories arising from her homeground, making a passionate argument for saving the Montana wildernesses. In addition to co-producing A River Runs Through It, the film based on the Norman MacLean novel by the same name, Smith has made documentaries on environmentalist Doug Peacock and the Montana poet, Richard Hugo.
Several other events highlight the symposium, including:
For more information about the symposium, go to http://engl.iastate.edu/event_details/5th-annual-symposium-on-wildness-wilderness-the-creative-imagination-1.ics.
The event is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Committee on Lectures (funded by GSB), the Creative Writers’ Milieu (CWM), LAS Miller Lecture Fund, Center for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities (CEAH), ISU Bioethics Program, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology, Environmental Studies, Department of Geological & Atmospheric Sciences, Department of English, and the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture.