Associate Professor of English, UA
Wednesday, March 25, 2020,
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.,
The Arizona Senior Academy Building
The moon floats above us – a mere quarter of a million miles away – but it has held its mysteries and fascination for humankind since we first looked up at the sky. The astronauts who made history by walking on the moon, earth’s closest neighbor, did not know much about its mythology or folklore or even the early scientific theories about who or what might live there. Yet the human narratives about the moon before the Apollo missions can be seen as a rich archive of human yearning. The moon was our first time-piece. It was worshipped as a goddess. It was later a symbol of God’s perfection. After Galileo’s telescope revealed the moon as a world – with landscape features and the possibility of life – observers began centuries of heated debate about the surface of our nearest celestial neighbor. Christopher Cokinos’s presentation will travel in time from the paleolithic to the present, and demonstrate how the Apollo missions were a watershed in human perception of the moon. The moon may no longer be a goddess, yet even from a scientific perspective it remains sublime.
Christopher Cokinos is Associate Professor of English at the University of Arizona, the lead mentor in a science-communication program, and affiliated faculty with the Institute of the Environment and the Global Change program. He received his BA from Indiana University and his MFA from Washington State. He has published poetry, essays, reviews, and criticism, as well as three books of literary nonfiction.
Written by Carol and Donald Gilzinger, Academy Village Volunteers