Explorer Wade Davis shares insights, images about vanishing cultures in next University Lectures presentation, Feb. 28
Explorer Wade Davis shares insights, images about vanishing cultures in next University Lectures presentation, Feb. 28 January 04, 2007SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
Wade Davis, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, has made a career of visiting some of the most remote and exotic locations on Earth. Davis will share images and insights from these and other remarkable adventures Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. His lecture, “Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey through the Realm of Vanishing Cultures,” is free and open to the public; reduced-rate parking will be available in the Irving Avenue Garage.
Davis has spent years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among 15 indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while collecting thousands of botanical samples. An assignment to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies led to his writing “Passage of Darkness” (University of North Carolina Press, 1988) and “The Serpent and the Rainbow” (Simon & Schuster, 1985), an international best seller which appeared in 10 languages and was later released by Universal as a motion picture. In recent years, his work has taken him to Benin, Borneo, East Africa, Mali, Nepal, New Guinea, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Togo, Vanuatu and the high Arctic areas of Nunuvut and Greenland.
A native of British Columbia, Davis is a licensed river guide, has worked as a park ranger, forestry engineer and conducted ethnographic fieldwork among several indigenous societies of northern Canada. His articles and photographs have been published widely in both scientific and popular articles on subjects ranging from Haitian vodoun and Amazonian myth and religion to the global biodiversity crisis, the traditional use of psychotropic drugs and the ethnobotany of South American Indians.
Other books by Davis include “Penan: Voice for the Borneo Rain Forest” (Western Canada Wilderness, 1990), “Shadows in the Sun” (Island Press, 1998), “Rainforest” (Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1998), “Light at the Edge of the World” (National Geographic, 2002), “The Lost Amazon” (Chronicle Books, 2004) and “One River” (Simon & Schuster, 1996), which was nominated for the 1997 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction.
Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and a Ph.D. degree in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. In 2004, he was made an honorary member of the Explorer’s Club, one of 20 individuals so named in the hundred-year history of the club.
The University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to Syracuse University individuals of exceptional accomplishment in the areas of architecture and design; the humanities and the sciences; and public policy, management and communications. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s trustees, alumni and friends. After Davis, the next University Lectures event will feature election and political analyst Norman Ornstein on Tuesday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. For more information, visit http://provost.syr.edu/lectures/current.asp.