Odum Environmental Ethics Lecture – David Haskel – “The Forest Unseen: Ecology, Ethics, and Contemplation,” January 29, 2016

David Haskell is an author and professor of biology at The University of the South. Among many other awards, Haskell’s book The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature won the 2013 Best Book Award from the National Academies and was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.

His visit to UGA was co-sponsored by the Willson Center, the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program, and the Integrative Conservation Ph.D. Program. Haskell’s lecture was the keynote for the Third Annual Symposium on Integrative Conservation.

The Odum Environmental Ethics Lecture is named for Eugene Odum (1913-2002), a UGA instructor from 1940 until his retirement in 1984. He has been called the “father of modern ecology” and was the author of the pioneering book Fundamentals of Ecology. Odum was instrumental in the creation of the Institute of Ecology at UGA, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, and the Sapelo Island Marine Science Institute.


Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding – “A Conversation with Alice Walker,” October 15, 2015

The Delta Visiting Chair, established by the Willson Center through the support of the Delta Air Lines Foundation, hosts outstanding global scholars, leading creative thinkers, artists and intellectuals who teach and perform research at UGA.

Alice Walker is the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, for her 1982 novel The Color Purple, which also earned a National Book Award. She has written six other novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry.

Walker joined Valerie Boyd, associate professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, for a public conversation in the historic Morton Theatre in downtown Athens. Boyd is the editor of a forthcoming volume of Walker’s journals.



Global Georgia Initiative promo video featuring Ntone Edjabe, February 26, 2013

On February 26, 2013, Cape Town, SA journalist, publisher, and DJ Ntone Edjabe visited the University of Georgia to speak in the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts’ Global Georgia Initiative. Edjabe is the founding editor of Chimurnga, an internationally acclaimed pan-African journal of politics, art, and culture. The same evening, Edjabe performed a DJ set at Athens, Georgia’s legendary 40 Watt Club.

The Global Georgia Initiative brings world-class thinkers to Georgia. It presents global problems in local context by addressing pressing contemporary questions, including the economy, society, and the environment, with a focus on how the arts and humanities can intervene.



Global Georgia Initiative – “In the Footfalls of Diaspora: Reflections on the Wanderer,” March 5, 2013

Highlights from the talk at Ciné by Valerie Babb, professor of English and director of the Institute for African American Studies at UGA. The Wanderer was a converted luxury vessel that, in 1858, brought 409 Africans from the region of present-day Angola to the Georgia coast to be sold into slavery. Professor Babb spoke on the human legacy of that voyage, which took place nearly 50 years after the passage of the federal Slave Importation Act, which made the foreign slave trade illegal in the U.S.  The talk was part of the Willson Center’s inaugural Global Georgia Initiative.



Global Georgia Initiative – ”Bertis Downs in Conversation: Don’t Get Me Started – on Athens, music lessons, and of course, good schools for all kids,” February 18, 2013

Highlights from Willson Center Director Nicholas Allen’s conversation with longtime R.E.M. advisor Bertis Downs in the UGA Chapel. Downs, a resident of Athens, Georgia for more than 35 years, is active in numerous community issues, especially public education. The discussion was part of the Willson Center’s inaugural Global Georgia Initiative.



Spotlight on the Arts Roundtable – “Creativity in the Research University,” November 7, 2012

Highlights from the panel discussion featuring (from left) Martijn van Wagtendonk (Chair, Art X: Expanded Forms area, Lamar Dodd School of Art), Susan Thomas (Musicology; Women’s Studies), Mark Callahan (Artistic Director, Ideas for Creative Exploration [ICE]), David Zucker Saltz (Head, Department of Theatre and Film Studies), and Nicholas Allen (English; Director, Willson Center). Part of the University of Georgia’s 2012 Spotlight on the Arts festival.



Paul Tough at the UGA Chapel, October 1, 2012

Highlights from the talk by the renowned education journalist and author. Tough’s first book, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, was instrumental in making the Harlem Children’s Zone a central topic in the national conversation on poverty and education. His widely acclaimed second book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, was published in September 2012.



Cinema Roundtable – “Animation, Art, and Careers for UGA Students,” September 28, 2012

Highlights from the panel discussion featuring Chris Wells (CG Supervisor for Hydraulx on films including AvatarBattle Los Angeles, and Take Shelter), Valentina Tapia (Program Development at Adult Swim), Neal Holman (Producer, Art Director, Archer, FX Network), Mike Hussey (Head of Dramatic Media Area, UGA Department of Theatre and Film Studies), Josh Marsh (PhD student, Theatre and Dramatic Media, UGA), and moderated by Richard Neupert (Film Studies Coordinator, UGA Department of Theatre and Film Studies).