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Univ Virtual Book Club 5

Young Univ Virtual Book Club
Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez, facilitated by Sam Cornish, Postgraduate Researcher in Earth Sciences
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
6.30-7.30pm (GMT)

We are pleased to invite you to this meeting of the Univ Virtual Book Club for Young Univ members. One of the College’s members will propose an insightful read designed to encourage an exciting discussion. Attendees will have time to delve into the book before convening virtually for a roundtable discussion, facilitated by the same College member.

For this book club, Sam Cornish (2012, DPhil Earth Sciences) has chosen Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez. Sam read Arctic Dreams while working as a field assistant on the Arctic coast of northwest Canada. On the wettest days, when they stayed inside their field-hut, they had time to make progress on their books. Lopez’s way of seeing the landscape helped him to make his own connections to the world outside, and feel at home in those weeks of isolation on the tundra. He thinks this way of seeing is helpful now too, in the mode of isolation we have become accustomed to in the last year.

We may be tiring of our surroundings and, perhaps, our own company. Arctic Dreams serves the dual purpose here of being vivid escapism and a handbook to perceiving people and place differently and reconnecting the two. It is a book ostensibly about the Arctic, its landscapes, animals, and people – and is full of scientific interest (Lopez was a biologist)— – but it also stretches what non-fiction can be. It is deeply humane, and weaves between the aesthetic and moralistic. Now that the Arctic is changing so dramatically, writer Robert MacFarlane points out that the book might plausibly “outlive its subject and become its elegy”. As we plot our post-pandemic recovery, face up to how we are changing the natural world, and consider our embedded place within it, this book makes for a wise companion.

The book is mainly available in ebook form from Hive or Google, or for Kindle from Amazon. For a hard copy, please try your local bookshop or library.

Please click here to register for the virtual discussion on Tuesday, 9 March, 2021. As we would like to encourage interactivity, this event is limited to 25 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Young Univ Virtual Book Club.

Sam CornishSam Cornish (2012, DPhil Earth Sciences) is a postgraduate researcher at Univ investigating the physical dynamics of the changing Arctic Ocean. Sam took part in the MOSAiC Expedition to the central Arctic last year and has since produced articles and a podcast to animate the science of this groundbreaking campaign. Coupled with an academic interest in climate change, Sam co-founded Positive Investment Oxford, and has worked with several college bursars and student groups on investment practices fit for the just transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Please note that audio, photographs and video footage may be taken throughout our events. These may be used by the College for marketing and publicity in our publications, on our website and in social media or in any third party publication. Please contact the event organiser if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity.

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