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   from the issue of September 6, 2007

Eiseley centennial kicks off with Sept. 7-8 lectures, tours


The name Loren Eiseley may be familiar to Nebraskans, but many may not be attuned to the international significance of the native Nebraskan and highly respected anthropologist, science writer, ecologist and poet.

The Friends of the Loren Eiseley Society are using the centennial of Eiseley's birth to kick off a yearlong celebration and campaign to educate and energize potential Eiseley fans of all ages by planning lectures, tours and panels, and educational outreach to Nebraska schools.

"Loren Eiseley: A Centennial Celebration, 1907-2007" will

bring people together in Lincoln Sept. 7-8 to talk about the significance of Nebraska's literary naturalist, poet, scientist and humanist.

"There are so many people interested in Eiseley, all from different perspectives," said Bing Chen, president of the Friends of the Loren Eiseley Society and a professor of computer and electronics engineering at UNL. "Eiseley inspired budding scientists and prose writers, and his writings make Nebraska appear to be exotic. We'd like to identify in this centennial year all of the people interested in his works and get them together to collaborate to engage a new generation and energize a new level of appreciation for him."

Eiseley's writings, in addition to his scientific and academic publishing, included "The Immense Journey," a collection of writings about the history of humanity. In his later career he published many volumes of essays and poetry.

Eiseley Centennial events start Sept. 7-8 with a two-day event based at UNL. On Sept. 7, a 10 a.m. ecocriticism discussion at Bailey Library at Andrews Hall at UNL will be followed by a 2 p.m. presentation, "Loren Eiseley's Lincoln," at Bennett Martin Public Library, 14th and N streets. On Sept. 8, a 9 a.m. bus tour of Eiseley's Lincoln begins the day, followed by a centennial program at 1:30 p.m. at Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, 12th and R streets. The program will include a panel discussion, a showing of the NET-TV documentary, "Reflections of a Bonehunter," and a keynote address, "From the Ice Age to the Space Age, to the Age of Climate Change Consciousness: Loren Eiseley as Writer, Activist and Role Model," by Scott Slovic, professor of literature and environment and ecocritical scholar at the University of Nevada in Reno. It concludes with a 5 p.m. reception. The reception is the only event for which a fee is charged, all others are free and open to the public, although reserving a space at the organization's Web site is requested,

The events are the first of UNL's Nebraska Colloquium, a series of events and activities that build community engagement and discussion on broad and substantive issues.



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