Christina Robertson to deliver April 12 Honors Council Lecture

BEMIDJI, Minn. (March 30, 2011) — Anabrus simplex, a long-horned grasshopper, is one of several species that swarm under certain conditions. Known as the Mormon cricket since swarms invaded Utah farmers’ fields in 1848, Anabrus simplex has lived in western North America for eons.

Dr. Christina Robertson, assistant professor of English at Bemidji State University, will how apocalyptic rhetoric and notions of dominion—in the Bible, folklore, newspapers, and government documents—have shaped human reactions toward locusts like the Mormon cricket, as part of the University’s Honors Council Lecture Series.

Robertson’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in Hagg-Sauer Hall 107 on the Bemidji State campus.

Cricket “management” means pesticide use, resulting in widespread destruction of crickets, their habitat, and many non-target species. Far-reaching consequences may include the poisoning of humans through toxic bioaccumulation. Despite annihilation efforts, Anabrus simplex thrives.

Finally, Robertson asks whether Judeo-Christian notions of cultural/natural harmony are historically and ecologically myopic. Could ongoing pesticide use be the harbinger of real apocalypse?

Robertson earned a master of fine arts degree in fiction from Colorado State University and a doctorate in literature and environment from the University of Nevada, Reno. At Bemidji State, she teaches environmental literature, creative nonfiction and composition. She co-editing “Working on Earth: The Intersection of Working-Class Studies and Environmental Justice,” an essay collection to be published later this year. She has had non-fiction work published in “Let There Be Night,” an anthology of essays about the value of dark skies, and will have work included in the upcoming “Pacific Crest Trailside Reader: Volume One—California.” She is also at work on an environmental memoir, “Drift: Kin, Class, and Place,” had has had fiction work published in “Quarterly West.”

Robertson is delivering the final Honors Council lectures for the Spring 2011 schedule. The Honors Council Lecture Series is hosted by the Bemidji State University Honors Council. The council is the advisory group to the Honors Program comprised of 12 faculty members from all three of the University’s colleges. Student representatives also are elected to the council by their cohorts for one-year terms.

For more information about the Honors Council Lecture Series, please contact the honors program at (218) 755-3984.

About the Honors Council
The Bemidji State University Honors Council selects participants on a competitive basis for the University’s honors program. Honors program participants have the ability and desire to engage in academic challenges extending beyond their majors and the University’s liberal education requirements. These students can participate in the Honors Program, an interdisciplinary program of study culminating in an Honors thesis or project. As members of this community, honors students collaborate with a faculty advisor and the Honors Council to plan their studies and manage the responsibilities that correspond with the program’s freedoms.