Thursday, November 16, 2023
Olin Hall, Room 129
Passcode: +hz4!nYH if needed
“HER VOICE HAD BIG ROUND EYES –
Wild Species at the Intersection of Time and Eternity” with Don Snow, PhD
Many Native American stories emanate from the deepest recesses of the human span on the planet. “Time immemorial” is the phrase captured in the language of the law applied to things such as Indian water rights or tribal food-gathering practices protected by treaties. But some students of Native American literature have a different term for stories that occur in deep antiquity: mythtime. Tales set in mythtime — the longest of the long-ago – are invariably strange. Huge events are taking place. Giants and gods abound, landforms and seascapes are being shaped. Newly created human beings can speak fluently with other creatures, and animals are “people,” too. Trickster species, much older than humankind, show up everywhere, hilariously messing with gullible men and women. And yet there are already complex matters of moral delicacy found in every human culture.
This presentation to the Blue Mountain Audubon Society will draw on several ancient stories of the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains to take note of how complex notions of morality and propriety take shape, especially in matters related to interspecies relations and ecology.
After a twenty-one-year career in the Whitman College Environmental Studies Program, Don Snow retired in 2022 as Senior Lecturer, Emeritus. In his time at Whitman, he helped to create and develop the college’s unique Environmental Humanities major. He taught courses in the British-American nature-writing tradition, the literature of the American West, and creative writing.
- Birding locations in and around Walla Walla:
- Birds Seen near Walla Walla County