Chilmark library hosts Thoreau talk and more

Chilmark library. — Mae Deary

On Saturday, August 8, at 4 pm, the Chilmark library hosts a virtual talk, “Mind Prints: Arrowheads and Thoreau” with Duncan Caldwell. This virtual talk corresponds to the culminating lecture of a symposium titled “Uses and Abuses of Thoreau at 200” held at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, on May 4, 2018.

The presentation will move from an examination of Thoreau’s relationship with

prehistoric artifacts to a demonstration of the ways that collecting them affected his

relationship with the natural world, time, and Native Americans. “Arrowheading,” as Thoreau called it, changed his thinking so radically that he moved from seeing the “American Race” as being doomed to seeing it as enduring, according to a press release from the library. This essay will show that “he died with a cry against the persecution of Native Americans on his lips,” the release states. Thoreau left enough journal entries and other texts to reconstruct both the ways arrowheading altered his thinking and the scope of the book, which would have become a monument that would have changed how Thoreau is perceived today.

Admission to the virtual program is free. Email to sign up and to get the Zoom invitation.

On Wednesday, August 5, at 5 pm, the library hosts “The Shellfish Recovery Partnership: How the M.V. Shellfish Group Uses Raw Bar Refuse for Oyster Restoration” with Emma Green-Beach. Since 2011, MVSG’s Shell Recovery Partnership has collected shells from restaurants and events for use in their oyster restoration projects in Tisbury and Edgartown Great Ponds. Although they are most often thrown away as trash, shells are a valuable natural resource, the press release says. They provide substrate for settling oyster larvae, and buffer against coastal acidification, which threatens calcifying animals like shellfish.

Admission is free. Email to sign up and get the Zoom invitation. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library.

On Wednesday, August 12, at 5 pm join the library for “Locking Down the World: Was it a Public Policy Disaster?” with Richard A. Shweder, cultural anthropologist, University of Chicago.

Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, seems to think the answer to the question is yes, the release states. He was recently quoted as saying, “We sought a total lockdown without thinking about the consequences for the daily wage earners, the street vendors, the laborers, all of whom face poverty and hunger. May God forgive us our sin.” Does he have a point? Has the lockdown been reasonably calibrated to the threat? Was closing the schools necessary? Did it do more harm than good? Richard A. Shweder is a cultural anthropologist and the Harold Higgins Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. Email to receive the Zoom invitation.