WATERVILLE — The 2015 Clara M. Southworth Symposium, The Culture of Nature: Garden Design, East and West, will take place from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at Colby College.

The free event aims to bring together scholars and enthusiasts to contemplate the enduring role that gardens play in the attempts to design the environment and the ways in which this has been expressed over time and space, according to a news release from the college.

The Clara M. Southworth lecture series, endowed in 1969 by the interior designer from Portland, is meant to “bring annually to the campus a distinguished lecturer or lecturers to speak on a subject in the broad field of environmental design with emphasis on understanding some of the underlying philosophies of design which relate to the way in which men live,” according to the release. This year’s expanded format for the lecture series ties in to Colby’s 2015-16 Annual Humanities Theme, Human/Nature, which aims to “reflect upon nature, the built environment, and the ways in which our relationship to the natural world has shaped human existence,” according to the release.

Four distinguished scholars will talk about Asia, the Islamic World, Europe and the U.S., in order to explore the delicate relationship between humans and nature in the specific context of the garden, and the ways in which conceptions of gardens and garden design have changed significantly over time and space. The symposium also will identify some common threads to help people better understand the complicated relationship between humans and nature.

Registration and more information about the symposium is available at colby.edu/artdept/lectures/southworth-lectures/.

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