Spring 2015 Calendar of Events

Film and Lecture with David Mrazek and Joel Greenberg: 'From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction'

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February 26, 2015 5:00 PM  – 7:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

This award-winning documentary tells the incredible forgotten story of the passenger pigeon, its unlikely extinction, and its striking relevance to conservation challenges today. Almost 100 years ago on September 1, 1914, Martha, the last known passenger pigeon in existence (named after Martha Washington) died in the Cincinnati Zoo. A superabundant species of billions that darkened the entire sky disappeared in a matter of decades. 

What happened to the passenger pigeon? You could say we happened. Discover how and why this bird went extinct, and how this anthropogenic extinction foreshadows more recent, rapid, ongoing destruction of species in the wake of the deforestation, rising ocean temperatures, acidification of bodies of water, and melting of polar ice shelves that are of vital concern to the current generation of students. 

Director and co-writer David Mrazek and co-producer and co-writer Joel Greenberg enter into discussions with biologists concerning the current unsustainable taking of sharks, acidification of oceans and bleaching of coral reefs, destruction of reptile habitat, and "de-extinction" of lost species through genetic manipulation. 

View the trailer and information on the filmmakers at passengerpigeon.org.

Sponsored by Bowdoin College Departments of Art History, Biology, Cinema Studies, Education, Environmental Studies and Visual Arts.

Open to the public.

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Hester Blum: "Polar Imprints: The News from the Ends of the Earth"

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March 2, 2015 6:00 PM  – 7:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

Narratives of polar voyages enjoyed wide circulation in Anglo-American cultural and political spheres during the long nineteenth century. Yet the familiar travel accounts of adventurous voyage and their fictional counterparts were not the only forms of literary production generated by Arctic and Antarctic exploration. Many expeditions brought a surprising piece of equipment aboard ship: a printing press. With such presses, polar-voyaging sailors wrote and printed newspapers, broadsides, plays, and other reading matter beyond the Arctic and Antarctic Circles; these publications were produced almost exclusively for a reading audience comprised of the mission’s crew members. In this presentation, Hester Blum, associate professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, will examine the first printed polar newspapers. What does this drive toward what she calls “extreme printing” tell us about the state of print culture and coterie publication in the nineteenth century Anglo-American world? Her talk will be attentive to the rhetorical distance between mass-published voyage accounts, and the coterie publications produced and circulated aboard ship. 'Polar Imprints' is attuned to the tension between the global ambitions of polar voyages, and the remarkably circumscribed conditions of their practice.

Sponsored by Africana Studies, Arctic Studies, and the English Department.

Free and Open to the Public

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