Posted: February 16, 2007
Mount Holyoke College Center for the Environment will host author and professor Mark Lytle for a lecture and reading on his new book The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement. This event is part of their spring series on women, health, and the environment titled Voices of Silent Spring, in honor of the centennial of the birth of Rachel Carson (May 1907).
The event will take place Thursday, February 22, at 4:30 pm in Dwight 101. A reception and book signing will be held afterward in the Cassani Lounge in Shattuck Hall from 6 to 7 pm. This event will be followed by a performance by Kaiulani Lee in her one-woman play A Sense of Wonder, based on the life and work of Rachel Carson beginning at 7:30 pm in the Great Room of the Blanchard Campus Center. Both events are free and open to the public.
Lytle is the director of the Historical Studies Program and chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Bard College. In his book The Gentle Subversive, he offers a compact biography of Carson, illuminating the road that led to her vastly influential book Silent Spring. He explores the evolution of Carson's ideas about nature, her love for the sea, her career as a biologist, and, above all, her emergence as a writer of extraordinary moral and ecological vision. The Gentle Subversiveis a story of success, celebrity, controversy, and vindication. This event is sponsored by the Center for the Environment and the Odyssey Bookshop.
"My interest in Rachel Carson is part of a process of editing a joint issue of the journals of Environmental History and Diplomatic History. From Mount Holyoke's perspective Rachel Carson is significant as a woman who graduated from an all women's college (Chatham) that was meant to be a finishing school, but managed to inspire her passion for science. Carson formed a network of women, beginning with her mother, who helped build her career, shared her passion for nature, and supported her work," Lytle said. "I can't imagine any historical figure who could offer a more compelling role model for Mount Holyoke students."