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Galápagos tortoise


All the Way Down


Elizabeth Hennessy

Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Department of History, UW–Madison

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

6:30-7:30 p.m. CST

View the event video here

On the Backs of Tortoises
The Nelson Institute invites you to a discussion and celebration of Vilas Associate Professor Elizabeth Hennessy’s 2020 book, On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden. The event will be moderated by environmental writer Emma Marris and focus on the entangled social and natural history of the Galápagos Islands, and their namesake species the giant tortoise.

Made famous by Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection in the 1800s, the Galápagos Islands have long been an area of interest for everyone from pirates to professors. As charismatic icons of conservation, the tortoises at the heart of the book embody the paradox between attempts to restore endangered nature and the tourism industry that drives the local economy. Nelson Institute Vilas Associate Professor Elizabeth Hennessy will discuss these tensions during this virtual event. Join us as we explore the ways in which human and nonhuman life are entangled through the lens of the Galapagos Islands.

If you’d like to purchase On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden.

Elizabeth Hennessy
Elizabeth Hennessy

Emma Marris
Emma Marris

Presented in partnership with:

Event contact: Emily Reynolds