Dean of Academics and Faculty in Humanities Pavel Cenkl has been busy. Some say he never sleeps. Along with regular updates on his blog Suspect Metaphor, Pavel has been multi-tasking with a vengeance.
He calls it his “book thingy” but the reality is a lovely collection of essays linking the natural woods to culture and community. Pavel edited the anthology entitled: Nature and Culture in the Northern Forest: Region, Heritage, and Environment in the Rural Northeast. The essays are set in what is termed the “Northern Forests,” almost 30-million acres of woodlands stretching across New York, New Hampshire, and Maine. The 14 pieces in the just-released book speak of the relationships between these forests and the communities and culture that surround them. Sterling Board Member Dr. John Elder wrote the preface, and the cover photo of sugar maples and sap buckets was taken by Sterling student Laura Lea Berry. Some of the essays were written by past Rural Heritage Institute participants. Pavel’s book is available through University of Iowa Press.
Pavel also scribed a chapter in North Country Stories edited by Mike Dickerman. Continuing with the forest theme Pavel’s chapter is entitled, The Luxury of the Forest: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Finding One’s Way.
Pavel also reviewed When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist, by Chet Raymo for Orion Magazine.
And, finally, Pavel gave two presentations in the fall. He was an invited roundtable participant at The Keene State College 6th Biennial Symposium, From Local to Global. His presentation, “Teaching the Local in an Age of Globalization,” discussed locating and defining the boundaries of local in a global era. Pavel was in good company sharing the stage with other “leading voices of New England studies,” including: John Elder, Kent Ryden (University of Southern Maine), John Harris (Franklin Pierce), Mark Long (Keene State). Pavel was also an invited speaker at The Vermont Osher Institute’s Reflections on What We Mean by a Healthy Environment, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. His presentation prompted a short interview on News 7.