Wade Davis: Between Two Worlds
Famed author, photographer, former National Geographic magazine explore-in-residence, expert in African voodoo and Haitian zombies, alumni and newly minted university instructor Wade Davis returns to UBC and his home province and presented his inaugural first-year class: Introduction to Anthropology.
Almost 300 students and others crammed into his first lecture where he took them on an around-the-world cultural tour and not from the staid, smug Western standpoint but “from a different way of knowing” and sometimes unsettlingly different yet equally valid viewpoints.
“Every culture in the world has something to say and each deserves to be heard,” said Davis. “The whole world is wondrous. “I’m going to speak about our need to change the way we interpret the world.”
And he does.
Polynesian ‘star readers’, shamanic healing, a live demonstration of paralytic blow darts, in his 50-minutes class, the raconteur and author of more than 20 books (such as The Serpent and the Rainbow and Into the Silence) wove a story skein that covered the globe and then back to BC where he spoke of the need to protect the “sacred headwaters” of major rivers and preserve ancient languages and cultures from similar encroachment and the threat of extinction.
At inaugural class end, the response is thunderous applause . . . with more to come. Based at UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, Davis will also teach graduate seminars.
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