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The Harding Lecture

Dr. Carolyn Finney is a storyteller, author, and cultural geographer who is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing. She pursued an acting career for 11 years, but five years of backpacking trips through Africa and Asia, and living in Nepal, changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, Finney returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a BA, MA (gender and environmental issues in Kenya and Nepal) and a PhD (as a Fulbright and a Canon National Science Scholar Fellow). Along with public speaking, writing, media engagements, consulting, and teaching, Finney served on the US National Parks Advisory Board for eight years.

The author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors (UNC Press, 2014), Finney has also recently published “Self-Evident: On the visibility of Black bodies in environmental histories” (BESIDE, Spring 2020), and “The Perils of Being Black in Public: We are all Christian Cooper and George Floyd” (Guardian, 3 June 2020). She is a columnist at Earth Island Journal and is currently working on a performance piece about John Muir (The N Word: Nature Revisited) as part of an Andrew W. Mellon residency at the New York Botanical Gardens Humanities Institute.

Finney was recently awarded the Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal from the American Geographical Society and is an artist-in-residence in the Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College.

Sponsored by the English department, the Walter Harding Lecture honors the life and legacy of Distinguished Professor of English Walter Harding, a scholar of the works of Henry David Thoreau, and is made possible through the generosity of the Harding family.

Photo credit: Marlon Co

Thursday, October 28 at 6:15pm to 7:15pm

Doty, Recital Hall
Doty Hall, Park St, Geneseo, NY 14454

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience

Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public


Arts & Culture

English Department
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