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.