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Eclipses, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes: Can History Prepare Us?
Start Date: 8/17/2017Start Time: 5:30 PM
End Date: 8/17/2017End Time: 7:00 PM

Event Description
History in the News
Willamette Heritage Center
Thursday, August 17
5:30-7:00 pm

Social media experts forecast that the total solar eclipse of August 21 will be “the most photographed, most shared, most tweeted event in human history,” while highway authorities predict that the days surrounding the eclipse could see the greatest temporary mass migration of humans to see a natural event in U.S. history. Oregonians are steeling themselves for the arrival of perhaps a million visitors, and attendant stresses on highway, sanitation, and cell phone systems; the Governor has even called out the National Guard in advance to handle crowds, traffic, and fires.

This History in the News panel considers the eclipse, and other monumental natural phenomena such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, in social and historical perspective. How did people in our region anticipate and respond to such cataclysmic or cosmic events in the past? Did such events have long term effects on lives and landscapes here? How have they been incorporated into communities’ cultural memories and historical narratives? Does history offer us lessons on how to predict and prepare for such occurrences?

Panelists will include
Astronomer and Williams College Professor Jay Pasachoff, Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Eclipses and a veteran of 65 previous solar eclipses, who is also leading an observational team on the Willamette campus for the eclipse.

Anthropologist Dr. Jason Younker, Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government to Government Relations at the University of Oregon, whose scholarship includes work on Coquille oral histories of tsunamis.

Artist, poet, and writer Christine Colasurdo, author of Return to Spirit Lake: Life and Landscapes at Mt. St. Helens (2016) and contributor to In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mt. St. Helens (2008).
Moderated by Dr. Leslie Dunlap, History Department, American Ethnic Studies and Women's and Gender Studies Programs
Location Information:
Off Campus
Contact Information:
Name: Leslie Dunlap
Admission / Ticket Info:
Free and Open to the public
Event Sponsor(s):
Willamette University History Department
Other Details:
Food and Beverage for sale provided by
Taproot Café

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