Feb. 19, 2008 – Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall will speak about her life, work, the Jane Goodall Institute and making a difference in the world at the fifth annual Lyceum II Lecture Series, to be held Tuesday, March 4, at 7 p.m. at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, 123 West South Temple. Tickets are available through ArtTix.
The event, titled “Peace with Nature: Finding Connections,” will explore the integration of community, culture and landscape. Together with writer and environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams and the music of Phillip Bimstein and Red Rock Rondo, Goodall will discuss the importance of finding connections between ourselves and our environment and give reasons for the hope she has for the future. A book signing will follow the event.
“We’re so honored to have these two amazing scholars and activists participate in this year’s Lyceum II event,” says Robert Newman, associate vice president of interdisciplinary studies and dean of the College of Humanities. “Their contributions to the environmental humanities will enrich this year’s lecture in a spectacular way and will directly benefit our students while also supporting our environmental humanities graduate fellowship fund.”
Named a United Nations Messenger of Peace, Goodall began her journey in the summer of 1960, when the 26-year-old arrived on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in East Africa to study the area’s chimpanzee population. Although it was unheard of for a woman to venture into the wilds of the African forest, the trip meant the fulfillment of her childhood dream. Her work in Tanzania would prove more successful than anyone had imagined.
Scientists at the time thought humans were the only species to make tools, but Goodall gathered evidence to the contrary. She defied scientific convention by giving the chimps names instead of numbers, insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions and wrote of lasting chimpanzee family relationships.
Goodall’s numerous honors include: the Medal of Tanzania for her environmental work; the National Geographic Hubbard Medal, awarded for distinction in exploration, discovery and research; and Japan’s Kyoto Prize. She has also received the third Gandhi/King Award for Nonviolence.
A screening of Goodall’s film “Wild Chimpanzees” will take place on March 3 at 3 p.m. in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) auditorium, 410 Campus Center Drive. The program documents her revolutionary discoveries about chimpanzees and gives viewers a rare look into the chimpanzee’s world by chronicling the tense struggle between two brothers, Freud and Frodo, for leadership of their troop. The film is free and open to the public.
Also taking place at the UMFA is an exhibit by local artist Susan Swartz, whose collaboration with Goodall in her new book Natural Revelations reflects their shared commitment to the environment. The exhibit will run until April 13. Swartz will also participate in the book signing following the Mar. 4 Lyceum II lecture.
The Lyceum II lecture series, now in its fifth year, is modeled after Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous Lyceum lectures, with a focus on environmental issues as they relate to the humanities. Sponsored by the University of Utah College of Humanities and the Pax Natura Foundation, all ticket proceeds benefit the Environmental Humanities Graduate Fellowships and the Jane Goodall Institute.
The Environmental Humanities Graduate Program was started with the foundational goal to educate leaders who can help solve some of the critical environmental issues facing our world.
“By ensuring that these students are exposed to an interdisciplinary approach to environmental issues and guaranteeing that they have access to hands-on, real world internship opportunities, we believe they will be better prepared to craft and to promote sound public environmental policy, mediate environmental issues with integrity and be better equipped to seek solutions that are both economically and environmentally sound,” says Newman. “This event brings us one step closer to that goal and exposes students to experts in the field.”