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Sanford to Present Annual Mary Olive Woods Lecture

August 27, 2013

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MACOMB, IL - A. Whitney Sanford, associate professor of religion at the University of Florida will present the 27th annual Mary Olive Woods Lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Western Illinois University Grand Ballroom of the University Union. Her lecture is titled, "Bread Labor: Food, Freedom, and the Mainstreaming of Sustainability."

Sanford received her Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in north Indian devotional traditions. She teaches and researches in the areas of religion and nature and religions of Asia, and her current work lies at the intersection of religion, food (and agriculture) and social equity, focusing on south Asia.

In 2012-2013, she held a Robin and Jean Gibson Term Professorship. Her 2012 publication, "Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture," uses Hindu agricultural narratives to consider how we can provide food in a sustainable and just manner. Her current book project, "Being the Change: What Gandhi Can Teach Us About Sustainability, Self-Sufficiency, and Non-Violence," explores how intentional communities are translating aspects of Gandhian social thought—for example, non-violence, voluntary simplicity and appropriate technologies—into practices around food and agriculture.

Sanford has also published, "Singing Krishna: Sound Becomes Sight in Paramanand's Poetry," and has published articles in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, International Journal of Hindu Studies, Worldviews and Alternative Krishnas."

The 27th annual lecture is sponsored by the Mary Olive Woods Foundation and the WIU Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. The Mary Olive Woods Foundation also provides up to 12 student scholarships each year in addition to the annual lecture presentation.

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