Augustana College will host Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Dr. Corey D.B. Walker on Monday, Oct. 2. His presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall, located inside Denkmann Memorial Building, 3520 7th Ave., Rock Island.
The lecture is free and open to the public.
Dr. Walker is the Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities. He is affiliated with the Department of English and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program at Wake Forest University. Dr. Walker defines himself as "a scholar committed to a broad and inclusive vision of human flourishing."
The title of his presentation is "'On Earth As It Is': On Ethics and the Environment in the Age of the Anthropocene."
"Dr. Walker's lecture on our human impact on and responsibility for the environment brings together elements of religion, philosophy, and natural and social sciences."
"Today, we face an existential threat to the very future of humanity as a result of human-induced climate change," Dr. Walker said. "This existential threat to human life on the planet forces us to confront the necessity for deliberate and committed action to create new forms of sustainable human community."
Dr. Walker is the first PBK Visiting Scholar that Augustana has hosted since transitioning from trimesters to semesters in 2019.
"In the spirit of liberal education, Dr. Walker's lecture on our human impact on and responsibility for the environment brings together elements of religion, philosophy, and natural and social sciences," said Dr. Jason Koontz, president of Augustana's Phi Beta Kappa chapter and professor of biology. "His talk will be meaningful for students in a wide range of disciplines as well as for a broad segment of the community."
During his two-day campus visit, Dr. Walker will take part in class and seminar discussions, and meet informally with students and faculty, in addition to his public lecture.
Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society, and celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is among the 10 percent of U.S. colleges and universities to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. The Augustana Zeta of Illinois chapter of Phi Beta Kappa dates back to 1950.
Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has offered undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The program’s main purpose is to contribute to the intellectual life of a campus by enabling faculty and students to exchange ideas with the program’s scholars.
"'On Earth As It Is': On Ethics and the Environment in the Age of the Anthropocene" presented by Dr. Corey D.B. Walker
"We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.... Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, 'Too late.'"
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s bracing words from his 1967 "A Time to Break Silence" speech delivered at the Riverside Church in New York underscore the immediate and urgent need to create a just and sustainable world. Today, we face an existential threat to the very future of humanity as a result of human-induced climate change. This existential threat to human life on the planet forces us to confront the necessity for deliberate and committed action to create new forms of sustainable human community.
This lecture calls for a broad conception of environmental ethics as a critical and necessary response to our contemporary climate crisis. By revisiting King's deal of "beloved community," the lecture articulates an ethical framework that supports the urgent call to create a transformed and livable world.
Nicole Lauer, public relations and marketing specialist, 309-794-7645