Florida Humanities Speaker Series to Conclude with a Cultural, Historical Look at Rain

Cynthia Barnett

Stetson University and the Florida Humanities Council will conclude its speaker series with “Rain: A history for stormy times,” featuring Cynthia Barnett. It is an engaging natural and cultural tour of rain, from its key roles in civilization, religion and art, to the peculiar history of the world’s first raincoat and the rain obsessions of our “Founding Forecaster,” Thomas Jefferson, all building to the uncharted rains of climate change.

Last in a series of four engaging talks on various aspects of Florida’s environmental history, this event is scheduled for Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Marshall & Vera Lea Rinker Welcome Center, 529 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, Florida, 32723. This event is free and open to the public.

“As home to the Stetson Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience and an institution committed to environmental science, we understand the importance of the vital and delicate relationship between rain, people, animals and the land. Not enough can lead to starvation, while too much — if not planned for — can have equally devastating effects,” said Wendy Anderson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Science at Stetson University. “We are pleased to provide the forum for Cynthia Barnett to share with guests her view on how rain is intertwined in so many areas of our lives and where we are today.”

During the lecture, Barnett also will look at how many communities are coming to live differently with rain and all water, part of a new water ethic in America. She says rain connects us in all sorts of ways – as profound as prayer and art, as practical as economics, as genuine as an exchange between strangers on a stormy day. Too much and not enough, rain is a shared experience and one of the ways climate change can become a conversation rather than a confrontation.

Barnett teaches environmental journalism, and nature and adventure writing at the University of Florida. She is an award-winning, environmental journalist who has reported on water and climate change around the world. Her latest book is Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, nominated for the National Book Award and a finalist for the 2016 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

The Florida Humanities Council (www.FloridaHumanities.org) partners with community organizations around the state. Support for the speaker series is provided by the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.

-Heather Hunter

Graphic image for Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs

Graphic image that says Florida Humanities Council