“The Culture of Dolphins & the Dolphins of Culture”
Professor of English, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Author of Dolphin (Reaktion Books, 2014)
February 25, 2014, 7–9 PM
Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, Florida 32611
Sponsored by: the Department of English, University of Florida;
HHMI-UF Science for Life; and the Florida Museum of Natural History
This event is free and open to the general public
Dolphins are remarkable creatures by any definition. We love them for their beauty, their intelligence, and their obvious perception that we, too, can be interesting. Dolphins fascinate us because of they are both familiar and strange. But it is difficult for us to comprehend the real lives of these engaging and highly social beings, who live in an aquatic environment that is unforgiving to us. And thus, part of our captivation with dolphins is not because they are like us, or because they seem to enjoy our company (some may, but most are indifferent at best); rather, it is because they are fundamentally unlike us.
In this presentation I will explore dolphin biology, behavior, anatomy, as well as dolphin “culture,” and the human cultures in which they play important roles.
Alan Rauch is Professor of English at UNC Charlotte. A native of Montréal, Québec, he earned a B.Sc. in biology and zoology from McGill University. After working closely with dolphins at Montréal’s Alcan Aquarium and at several research sites in Florida, he obtained his M.S. in zoology and M.S. and Ph.D. in literature from Rutgers University. His most recent book, Dolphin—which includes numerous photos and illustrations from his personal collection—is a scientific and cultural view of all dolphin species.