Montana State University

Author, activist to give MSU's Friends of Stegner Lecture on March 9

February 14, 2011 -- MSU News Service


Terry Tempest Williams will present MSU's Friends of Stegner Lecture on March 9 in Bozeman.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN -- Author and activist Terry Tempest Williams will present Montana State University's "Friends of Stegner Lecture" on Wednesday, March 9.

The Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah, Williams will speak at 6 p.m. at the Emerson Cultural Center in Bozeman. The lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. They will be available that evening on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Williams will open by discussing Wallace Stegner and her own work. She will then engage in a conversation with MSU undergraduate and graduates students sharing the stage with her. The students represent environmental history, Western history, and women's studies.

William's lecture is sponsored by the Wallace Stegner Endowed Chair in Western Studies at MSU. The chair continues Stegner's legacy by focusing on teaching and research in history, literature, and philosophy with a concentration on pressing Western issues. Past Friends of Stegner speakers included Jane Goodall and Peter Matthiessen.

Following the lecture, Williams will sign her books, including: "Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place," an environmental literature classic; "The Open Space of Democracy," a dialogue on the paramount question of leadership in America; "Red," a collection of essays dedicated to protecting the desert from human forces of destruction; and "Finding Beauty in a Broken World," William's most recent book about the collision of human and natural worlds.

A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, Williams shows how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.

"So here is my question," she asks, "What might a different kind of power look like, feel like, and can power be redistributed equitably even beyond our own species?"

Williams has testified before Congress on women's health issues, such as environmental links to cancer. She has camped in remote regions of Utah and Alaska, and has won numerous awards for her writing. In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, the highest honor it gives to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She received a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change.

The Stegner Lecture is hosted each year by the MSU Department of History and Philosophy.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu