Billy and Teddy: Fear, Disinterest and Compassion for Wildlife
The birth of the teddy bear, inspired by a well-publicized incident during President Theodore Roosevelt’s black bear-hunting trip to Mississippi in 1902, was an idiosyncratic signal of a larger shift in the United States’ imaginative relationship with bears and other predators at the turn of the 20th century: Americans feared and exterminated bears, but all of a sudden, they also wanted to give a bear a hug. Seven years later, supporters of President-elect William Howard Taft promoted the incoming administration’s answer to the teddy bear: the Billy Possum. The toy was not a success. It was creepy-looking. Nobody liked it.
THE NEXT BIG ONE: Animal Infections, Spillover, and the Threat of Pandemic
David Quammen will present “THE NEXT BIG ONE: Animal Infections, Spillover, and the Threat of Pandemic” on Thursday, November 7, 2013 as part of the Institute for Humanities Research Andrew W. Mellon Foundation /Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes funded “Humanities for the Environment” project and Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing’s Distinguished Visiting Writer Series. David Qummen is a Former Rhodes Scholar, Lannan Foundation Fellow, and Gugenheim Fellow. He is a three-time recipient of the National Magazine Award and recipient of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, the National World Book Prize, the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing, and the Stephen Jay Gould Prize. Quammen’s latest work is Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012). The Humanities for the Environment (HfE) project is concerned with various aspects of environmental humanities and will be animated by questions about the role of the humanities in the age of the Anthropocene. David Quammen will be participating in the first of three workshops “Imagining Communities, Technologies, Responsibilities, and Justice in the Anthropocene.” Click here for more information. This event is sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research, Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, the Center for Science and Imagination, the School of Letters and Sciences, and the Vriginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.