Chordas to discuss utopian thinking

Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2008

JUNEAU - This week's Evening at Egan lecture will be "Renaissance Utopian Thinking and Genocide: Why is it still Relevant?" by Nina Chordas, assistant professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast, at 7 p.m. Friday at the UAS Egan Lecture Hall.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, utopian thinking in Western Europe had a ready outlet in the newly encountered Americas. Many utopian projects, such as those of the French Jesuits in the Great Lakes region and the English Puritans in New England, were intimately connected to the indigenous peoples of those areas. Paradoxically, idealistic literary productions such as Jesuit ethnographies and Puritan sermons had the effect of contributing to the genocide of Native Americans.

Ways in which this tragic result came about is the focus of this Friday's lecture.

Next week's Evening at Egan lecture, "European Anthropocentrism vs. American Ecocentrism: Clashing Values Regarding Wolves" by Alex Simon, UAS assistant professor of sociology, will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Egan Lecture Hall. Simon will discuss his research about propaganda used to justify predator control programs in Alaska.

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