Submitted by Emanuel Costache

October 24, 2007
Contact: Emanuel Costache '09
Media Relations Intern
Caroline Jenkins
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.—Donald Worster, Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas, will deliver the annual Hugh Hawkins lecture, titled “On John Muir’sTrail: Nature in an Age of Liberal Principles,” on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 4:30p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the department of history and Dean of the Faculty, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Worster’s talk will explore the connections between the movement to protect the environment and the culture of modern liberal democracy, and will focus in large part on Muir, the influential reformer and founder of the Sierra Club. Worster is author of many books on American environmental history and related topics, including the Bancroft Prize winner Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s. His latest, A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell, has won the acclaim of critics and historians alike.

Primarily interested in the emerging field of environmental history, Worster studies the changing perception of nature and the rise of conservation and environmentalism. He also has strong interests in comparative history (especially U.S. and Canada), in American regionalism (particularly the West), in agriculture and in science and technology.

The annual Hawkins Lecture honors Hugh Hawkins, professor emeritus of history and American studies. A distinguished scholar of American higher education, the American South, and of cultural and intellectual history, Hawkins retired in 2000 after teaching for more than 40 years at Amherst, where he helped build both the history and American studies departments.