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Wade Davis

Recorded July 20th, 2020


Wade Davis, July 20, 2020

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On Monday, July 20 at 9:00am, Wade Davis will discuss his new book (to be released September 15, 2020) Magdalena: River of Dreams: A Story of Columbia, which brings to life the story of the great Río Magdalena and illuminates Colombia’s complex past, present, and future.

From the waterways of the Amazon to the highlands of Tibet, across the wide plains of Africa and Australia, from the jungles of Polynesia to the ice fields of the Arctic, writer and anthropologist Wade’s travels have spanned the globe as he gathers the valuable age-old wisdom that indigenous cultures offer. An influential and articulate advocate for the knowledge that can be gleaned from the sensitive exploration of native customs and societies, Wade was Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society from 2000 to 2013.

A prolific writer, photographer, and filmmaker, he is currently Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. He earned his anthropology and biology degrees and ethnobotany Ph.D. at Harvard. Author of 22 books, including One River, The Wayfinders, and the prizewinning Into the Silence, his latest book is Magdalena: River of Dreams. His film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for the National Geographic Society, and El Sendero de la Anaconda, a documentary about Davis’s return to visit Amazonian river tribes as they fight to slow the onslaught of disastrous deforestation.

One of 20 Honorary Members of the Explorers Club, Wade is the recipient of dozens of international awards, honors, and honorary degrees. In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2018 he became an Honorary Citizen of Colombia.


Get ready to join Wade in conversation, Monday, July 20.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation:

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any of the ones that match your own interests.

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    How has it been adjusting to life in a pandemic as someone for whom travel and adventure is such a large part of your life?

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    As you are traveling, what is your process for note taking? Do you keep a journal? Do you ever struggle with wanting to be “in the moment” while also making sure you will be able to recreate the moment in your writing?

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    What is the last thing that you have read that has moved you?

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    What is your philosophy/stance on being an outsider in a culture when you travel? How do you navigate language and cultural barriers?

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    How did the concept of the ethnosphere come about?

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    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?