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Annette Giesecke is an organizer of the "Earth Perfect?" symposium and co-author of a book by the same title that examines nature, utopia and gardens.
Everyone who appreciates the beauty of nature and gardens — from backyard enthusiasts to art historians — will find something to learn and enjoy at the "Earth Perfect?" symposium, being held June 6-9 at locations at and near the University of Delaware.
"Earth Perfect: Nature, Utopia and the Garden" will combine themed tours of some of the area's most renowned gardens with lectures, panel discussions and academic papers on topics related to the garden. Designed for members of the public who are interested in the importance and meaning of gardens, as well as for professional gardeners and scholars, its expert speakers will focus on such aspects as landscape architecture, history, art, literature, botany, environmental impacts and garden design.
The symposium follows the publication of an essay collection by the same name, co-edited by Annette Giesecke, professor of ancient Greek and Roman studies at UD, and Naomi Jacobs, professor of English at the University of Maine (Black Dog Publishing, 2012), that explores the relationship between humanity and the garden through a variety of disciplinary lenses. A second collection of essays is in development.
"This is not an event designed primarily for scholars," Giesecke says of the symposium. "Just about everyone seems to have some connection to gardens — their own, their grandmother's, a public garden. People really light up when they hear about this event."
Following are a few highlights of the symposium.
For a detailed program and registration information, visit the website. The symposium offers attendees 20 American Society of Landscape Architects CEUs.
UD sponsors of the symposium are the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, the Center for Material Culture Studies and the departments of Art, Art Conservation, Art History, English, Fashion and Apparel Studies, History and Philosophy, all in the College of Arts and Sciences; the colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources and of Earth, Ocean, and Environment; and the Delaware Environmental Institute. Other sponsors and participants include Longwood Gardens, Chanticleer, Winterthur, Mt. Cuba Center, the Delaware Center for Horticulture and the American Public Gardens Association.
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