Environmental Studies program to present reading on science, creative writing, and sparrows
Monday, February 27, 2012 - 345 hits
Penn State Altoona will offer a reading by Kim Todd, professor of English at Penn State Behrend, on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in room 150 of the Hawthorn building. Todd will read from her latest book, Sparrow, and will talk about the process of combining scientific study with creative writing. Todd has an M.S. in environmental studies and an MFA in creative writing, both from the University of Montana.
The author of two previous books, Tinkering with Eden: A Natural History of Exotics in America and Chrysalis: Maria Sybilla Merrian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis, Todd's new book explores the complex history, biology, and literary tradition of sparrows. Todd describes the difference between old world sparrows, like the house sparrow, which can nest in a garage or in an airport, and new world sparrows, which often stake their claim to remote islands or meadows in the high Sierra. In addition, she looks at the nineteenth-century Sparrow War in the United States — a battle over the sparrow’s introduction — which set the stage for decades of discussions of invasive species. She examines the ways in which sparrows have taught us about evolution and the shocking recent decline of house sparrows in cities globally — this disappearance of a bird that seemed hardwired for success remains an ornithological mystery.
The reading is sponsored by Penn State Altoona’s Environmental Studies Program and is free and open to the public.