Acclaimed Botanist and Author Robin Wall Kimmerer Visiting Campus for Spring 2023 Integrative Studies Lecture

Posted Mar 27, 2023

Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of the acclaimed bestseller Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, will visit Otterbein as the 2023 Integrative Studies Lecturer. She will give a free public lecture, The Grammar of Animacy, from 5-6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, at Riley Auditorium in the Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park St., Westerville.

RSVP here for this free public event. Seating is not ticketed, but your RSVP will help us to plan for the reception, live stream overflow seating, and the book signing.

The lecture will be followed by a conversation between Dr. Kimmerer and interdisciplinary artists Cadine Navarro and Brian Harnetty, whose 2021-22 Otterbein exhibitions, It Sounds Like Love and Common Ground: Listening to Appalachian Ohio, involved deep listening to the natural world and, in some cases, have been informed by themes in Braiding Sweetgrass. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Janice Glowski, curator of the exhibitions and Director of The Frank Museum of Art & Galleries at Otterbein. It will be held at 7 p.m. at Fisher Gallery in Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St., Westerville. A reception and book signing co-sponsored by Birdie Books in Uptown Westerville will follow the presentation.

Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In addition to Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned her wide acclaim, her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.”

Kimmerer is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY, and founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a bachelor’s degree in botany from SUNY ESF, master’s and doctorate degrees in botany from the University of Wisconsin, and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.