Journalist presents relationship of environment to Chinese society

Journalist Bill Porter, aka “Red Pine,” will make two presentations about the relationship of the environment to Chinese history and culture at Bates College on Thursday, March 22. Both events are free and open to the public.

At 9:30 a.m. in Room 204 of the Carnegie Science Center, 44 Campus Ave., Porter will discuss the Chinese hermit tradition and associations around the hermit in Western culture, with some forays into poetry and philosophy. The presentation includes slides and discussion.

At 4:15 p.m. in Room 104 of the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St., Porter will give a slide presentation titled Yellow River Odyssey, based on a 1991 journey he took from the mouth of the river to its source on the Tibetan Plateau. His original trip to the river’s source, the first ever undertaken by a Westerner, resulted in a series of 240 radio programs introducing listeners to Chinese history and culture and their relationship to the river.

Porter is a translator of Chinese poetry and Buddhist texts. He worked as a journalist at English-language radio stations in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where he produced more than 1,000 programs about his travels in China. Porter has published more than a dozen books and won a number of literary awards. His recent publications include translations of the most important sutras used in Zen Buddhism and China’s most popular anthology of its poetry.

Porter’s visit to Bates College, offered in the context of the Bates environmental studies seminar “Nature and Human Culture” taught by Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Jonathan Skinner, is sponsored by the environmental studies program. For more information, contact Skinner at thisĀ jskinner@bates.edu.

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