Roxbury series to focus on ‘Land and Culture’
Minor Memorial Library has announced it has received a grant from Connecticut Humanities for its spring lecture series, “Land and Culture: A Deep Look at the History of Land Use.”
A collaborative program with the Roxbury Conservation Commission and the Roxbury Land Trust, the series of four lectures and a site visit will explore different aspects of our local geology, geography, and the different ways people have used the land for food, shelter, and in the pursuit of wealth.
The first program will be held Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. with Professor Robert Thorson of UConn, who will describe the geological history of Roxbury and northwest Connecticut, and how landforms have influenced human activities throughout history.
A snow date of Feb. 14 is planned.
Future programs will be held Feb. 21, March 7, March 21 and April 6.
From an exploration of the geology that sets the stage for the kinds of activities that are possible in our area, through Native American land practices and cultural values, to the rise and fall of water powered industry in the Litchfield Hills, the programs will help attendees understand the intersection of culture and land.
In addition, the grant will provide for the purchase of books that further address these issues.
Professor Thorson, professor of geology at UConn’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Anthropology and faculty affiliate in the American Studies Program, has written “Stone by Stone,” a history of the stone walls that snake through the woods throughout New England and that unites the histories of New England’s geology, environment, culture and economy with science and passion.
More recent work includes a look at the writings of Henry David Thoreau as a keen scientific observer and writer as well as the Transcendentalist and early father of the Environmental Movement.
The series will continue Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. with a presentation by Lucianne Lavin of the Institute for American Indian Studies on the ways in which Native Americans interacted with the local landscape; March 7 with a discussion of the rise and fall of water-powered industry in Litchfield County presented by Peter Vermilyea; March 21 with Kyle Turoczi, who will talk about how to read the landscape; and April 6 with a field walk on Roxbury Land Trust property with Turoczi.
For information, call 860-350-2181.