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Ursula Rothrock
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
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Distinguished professor to lecture on 'co-evolutionary' history

Mon, 02/10/2014

LAWRENCE — Edmund Russell, the Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Distinguished Professor of U.S. History at the University of Kansas, will give his Distinguished Professor Lecture, “Co-evolutionary History,” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Alderson Auditorium at the Kansas Union.

Russell's research integrates environmental history, American history, global history, history of technology and science. He has received several fellowships and awards in recognition of outstanding research and teaching.

This lecture aims to introduce, to a general audience, a way of understanding the past known as “co-evolutionary” history. The central idea is that people have changed the traits of populations of non-human species, and changes in those populations have circled back to shape human experience. A large-scale example of co-evolution is the rise of agriculture, which depended on modifying the traits of wild plants and animals to suit human desires. Russell will also address how co-evolution has shaped life on an everyday scale.

Russell joined KU in spring 2013. He came to the Department of History from the University of Virginia, where he served as professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society, and the Department of History.

Russell is co-editor of the Studies in Environment and History series for Cambridge University Press, distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, life member of Clare Hall at Cambridge University and extraordinary member of the Human Sciences Center of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He has been a Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich and a visiting scholar at Cambridge University.

The first distinguished professors were established at KU in 1958. A university distinguished professorship is awarded wholly on the basis of merit, following exacting criteria. A complete list is available on the distinguished professor website or on view on the landing of the fifth floor of the Kansas Union.

The Department of History at KU is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.



Happy Kansas Day, Kansans! We caught sunflowers standing tall at the Grinter Family Farms just outside Lawrence last fall. You may wonder how the sunflower came to be the State flower in 1903 and we found an excerpt from Kansas legislation: Whereas, Kansas has a native wild flower common throughout her borders, hardy and conspicuous, of definite, unvarying and striking shape, easily sketched, moulded, and carved, having armorial capacities, ideally adapted for artistic reproduction, with its strong, distinct disk and its golden circle of clear glowing rays -- a flower that a child can draw on a slate, a woman can work in silk, or a man can carve on stone or fashion in clay; and Whereas, This flower has to all Kansans a historic symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairies, and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present, and richly emblematic of the majesty of a golden future, and is a flower which has given Kansas the world-wide name, "the sunflower state"... Be it enacted ... that the helianthus or wild native sunflower is ... designated ... the state flower and floral emblem of the state of Kansas.

RT @caboni : Great to host the @Surgeon _General for another stop on his national listening tour at @KUMedCenter http://t.co/jYi0SbaVZt
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times