Gary Paul Nabhan is coming to West Virginia University to talk about one of people’s favorite things – food.

Nabhan, Ph.D., is an Arab-American writer, lecturer, food and farming advocate, rural lifeways folklorist and conservationist whose work has long been rooted in the U.S./Mexico borderlands region he affectionately calls “the stinkin’ hot desert.”

He will talk about “Renewing America’s Food Traditions” as part of WVU’s 2010 David C. Hardesty, Jr. Festival of Ideas on Tuesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms.

Nabhan recently accepted a tenured professorship as a research social scientist based at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona – his alma mater.

He teaches geography, and interacts with faculty and graduate students engaged in creative writing and reconciliation ecology research. He continues advising or consulting with many non-profits – including the Renewing America’s Food Traditions collaborative.

For his literary non-fiction, grassroots conservation and community-based ethnobiology projects, Nabhan has been honored with the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing, a MacArthur “genius” award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Pew Fellowship in Conservation and Environment, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology and a Quivira Coalition award for excellence in science that contributes to “the radical center.”

Nabhan’s books have been translated in five languages, and he has lectured at universities in Mexico, Lebanon, Peru, Oman, Guatemala and Italy, including Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo.

Nabhan will be the fourth scheduled speaker at WVU’s 2010 David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas. The lecture series is scheduled to feature nine events and seven outstanding professionals. The series will continue through April

The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment, which was established in 2007 by the WVU Foundation, a private, nonprofit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts from individuals and organizations for the benefit of WVU.

A book signing will follow Nabhan’s lecture.

To listen to excerpts from an interview with previous Festival of Ideas speaker journalist Byron Pitts, go to .

To view the complete 2010 Festival of Ideas schedule, visit .



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