Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Audubon Institute at IU

Twenty high school teachers from around the country will attend a four-week institute at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, "Picturing John James Audubon."

The institute, funded by a $200,000 NEH grant and directed by Christoph Irmscher, will "feature experts on Audubon, American art and natural history. In addition to becoming immersed in all things related to Audubon, the institute's ... attendees will hone their own writing skills under the tutelage of three award-winning authors who are institute faculty members -- renowned writer Scott Russell Sanders, author of, most recently, A Private History of Awe; poet Dave Smith, chairman of the Hopkins Writing Seminar; and Canadian novelist Katherine Govier, author of Creation, a novel about Audubon. Also participating in the institute will be PBS filmmakers Diane Garey and Larry Hott, who directed Drawn from Nature, an 'American Masters' documentary about Audubon."

Many of the events and classes will be held at IU's Lilly Library, which houses a remarkable collection of Audubon materials (including a double elephant Birds). Participants will also be able to visit nearby Audubon-related locations (including Henderson, KY and Cincinnati, OH). The teachers come from a variety of disciplines (school librarians, science, history, art and literature teachers).

What a fabulous idea!