Changing Perceptions of Anacapa Island

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Date: March 21, 2016
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Anna Guasco will discuss changes in the ways Anacapa Island has been perceived and represented throughout history during the April From Shore to Sea lecture.

The nineteenth century saw the rise of a concept known as the "American Sublime." This idea was founded on the belief that terror, danger, beauty, and spiritual meaning existed in the striking landscapes of the nation's wilderness. Influential writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau used this concept to encourage interest in nature and in spirituality.

Guasco will examine the ways in which the idea of the sublime helped to encourage the creation of America's national parks and the ways in which it colored Americans' views of wilderness. Guasco will view Anacapa Island through this historical lens, analyzing the island's different representations before, during, and after this movement.

Guasco earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and will be starting a Master of Science in Environment, Culture, and Society at the University of Edinburgh this fall. During her time at college, she served as a Public Scholarship Fellow for the Center for Community and Civic Engagement and a volunteer program director for a student environmental education organization. Her interest in and research on Anacapa Island and the sublime began in the summer of 2014, while working as a park guide at Channel Islands National Park.

The talk will be held on Thursday, April 14, 2016. The From Shore to Sea lecture series is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding marine waters. The 2016 lecture series will take place at 7:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month, January through December, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura Harbor. This extended schedule is in honor of the National Park Service's milestone centennial anniversary, which celebrates 100 years of national parks. The programs are free and open to the public.

This lecture can also be viewed live online at:

Last updated: March 22, 2016

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