Wes Jackson in conversation with Robert Jensen
Wes Jackson, founder of Salina's Land Institute, headlines an evening celebrating two new University Press of Kansas books celebrating his life and work. Joining him in conversation will be journalist and professor Robert Jensen, author of The Restless and Relentless Mind of Wes Jackson.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
Hogs Are Up: Stories of the Land, with Digressions reveals what makes Wes Jackson tick. What kind of lessons does he draw from his unique life experiences, and how do they shape his profoundly revolutionary worldview? Sometimes funny, sometimes wistful, always insightful, this volume demonstrates that when telling a good story, digressions can be the main point. Born during the Great Depression, Jackson tells stories of his youth on a diversified farm in the Kansas River Valley near Topeka, Kansas, culminating in more than forty years of leadership to radically transform agriculture, literally at its very roots. Wes Jackson draws deeply from the lessons learned from his experience dating from World War II to his work at The Land Institute to establish a new Natural Systems Agriculture. But this book is more than that. It includes an eclectic mix of thinkers and doers he’s met along the way.
In a time when critical thinking and clear understanding are desperately needed if we are to face the multiple, cascading ecological and social crises, The Restless and Relentless Mind of Wes Jackson presents Jackson's crucial insights about the natural world and human societies that can help provide a framework for understanding the tough decisions we will have to make. But just as important is the book’s glimpse into the curiosity that drives Jackson and the creativity that distinguishes his intellectual and activist work.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Wes Jackson, founder and president emeritus of The Land Institute, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina; a master’s degree in botany from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in genetics from North Carolina State University. He established and served as chair of one of the country’s first environmental studies programs at California State University-Sacramento and then returned to his native Kansas to found The Land Institute in 1976. He is the author of several books, including New Roots for Agriculture, Becoming Native to This Place, Consulting the Genius of the Place, and most recently Nature as Measure. Wes is widely recognized as a leader in the international movement for a more sustainable agriculture. He was a Pew Conservation Scholar in 1990, a MacArthur Fellow in 1992, and received the Right Livelihood Award in 2000. Life magazine included him as one of 18 individuals predicted to be among the 100 important Americans of the 20th century. Smithsonian in 2005 included him as one of “35 Who Made a Difference.”
Robert Jensen is professor emeritus in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully, among many other books.