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"Thinking with Bees" - UT Humanities Center Distinguished Lecture

Visiting scholar Joseph Campana (Rice University) will give a public talk titled, "Thinking with Bees" on September 18 as part of the UT Humanities Center's 2023-2024 Distinguished Lecture Series.


About the Talk:

Claude Lévi-Strauss said animals are good to think with. That couldn't be more true in the case of bees, whose entanglement with human life spans millennia. This talk begins with a case study of bee books written around the time of William Shakespeare. To read these works of husbandry alongside literary and political works of the era and earlier is to put natural history back into human history and to understand how bees enabled thinking about political and environmental dilemmas still with us as the extinction of bees, or a larger insect apocalypse, is all too easy to imagine.

This lecture is free and open to the public and is held in Hodges Library's Lindsay Young Auditorium (rm. 101) on the UT Knoxville campus. Public parking is available in the Volunteer Hall parking garage for our off-campus visitors. Everyone is welcome!


About the Speaker:

Joseph Campana is a poet, arts writer, and scholar of the literature and culture of Renaissance England, at a time of climatic instability many refer to as the Little Ice Age. Recent projects consider the long impact of early modern understandings of creaturely life, personhood, population, scale, affect, and waste refracted through a range of arts and media, from poetry and theater to political theory and natural history. Current projects include two monographs in progress, Living Figures: Life and its Forms in Early Modernity and Scales of Nature: Thinking with Bees in the Renaissance, a two-volume co-edited collection on Renaissance insect life called Lesser Living Creatures of the Renaissance, and a collection of poems entitled Live Oak. Campana serves as the William Shakespeare Professor of English and directs the Center for Environmental Studies at Rice University.


About the Series:

The UT Humanities Center's Distinguished Lecture Series brings acclaimed humanities scholars and renowned artists to the Knoxville campus for research-based conversations with UT faculty and graduate students and to give a public talk on a topic of the speaker's choosing. Speakers are nominated and hosted by faculty from our nine affiliated arts and humanities departments. Because only speakers with exceptional records of publication and research activity are eligible to receive a nomination as a visiting scholar, the program brings to campus some of the most cutting-edge and prolific intellectuals in the humanities today. Details on this season's program are available on our website.

Dial-In Information

The talk will be live-streamed via Zoom for those unable to attend in person. To register, please visit the link here.

Monday, September 18, 2023 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

John C Hodges Library, Lindsay Young Auditorium (rm. 101)
1015 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville TN