“People interested in interdisciplinary connections in history and culture will be interested in this series of lectures,” says Jeffrey Kallberg, associate dean for arts and letters in the School of Arts and Sciences, speaking about the 2012 Mellon Distinguished Lecture series.
This year, Peter Mancall, professor of history and anthropology at the University of Southern California, is Penn's Mellon Distinguished Lecturer. Mancall is internationally known for his work on early modern history and his scholarship in Native American history. He will explore the relationship between people and nature in the Atlantic World in the 16th century on March 26, 28 and 30 at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk.
The first lecture will be “Frejus: The Borders of Nature” today, March 26, at 5 p.m. Lecture No. 2 will be “Vallard: The New Ecology of the Atlantic Basin” on Wednesday, March 28, at 5 p.m. and the last will be “Secota: The Landscape at the End of History” on Friday, March 30, at 3 p.m.
Each of the lectures will include a look at and discussion of paintings: a series of images in a 14th-century cloister in the south of France; a hand-painted atlas, now housed at the Huntington Library, created in Dieppe in 1547; and a 1585 water color of a Carolina Algonquian town by the English artist John White, now in the collection of the British Museum.
With the support of a multi-year $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the School of Arts and Sciences and the University of Pennsylvania Press have partnered to bring prominent scholars whose research speaks to cross-cultural concerns to lecture on campus during the next three years.
Through the Cross-Cultural Contacts Publication Program component of the grant, Penn Press will produce books based on the lectures, other books that develop out of cross-cultural courses taught by Penn faculty, and publish a human-rights journal.