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Join the University Libraries as we come together as a community to read and celebrate the 2022-2023 Buffs One Read, Braiding Sweetgrass. During this session, we’ll engage with the chapter Asters & Goldenrod. Stunned by the beauty of asters and goldenrod and their frequent intermingling in the landscapes of New England, the author, Robin Wall Kimmerer, was compelled to seek an answer to why they looked so stunning together. When she described that impulse to her college adviser, he expressed that this was not a question of science but of aesthetics. It was one of her first encounters with the conflict between scientific knowledge and traditional ways of knowing. She shares how the experience was demoralizing and difficult to reconcile. Yet, she explores how the two ways of knowing can enrich our inquiries and our search for understanding. She asks, “Might science and traditional knowledge be purple and yellow to one another, might they be goldenrod and asters?” (46) In this chapter and throughout the book, Kimmerer works to bring the ways of knowing into harmony and to seek understanding through “all aspects of our being: mind, body, emotion, and spirit.”

Please feel welcome to attend whether you’ve read the chapter or not. You may read the chapter in the Libraries ebook!

  • Elicia Suren

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