Join Pittsburgh’s new network of creative minds working together to strengthen the bond between people and the natural world.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a global Biophilia Network. Read on to learn about our next event!
Virtual Biophilia: Pittsburgh January Meeting – A Story that Shaped the Sky: The Curious Case of Shakespeare’s Starlings
Join us virtually Thurs., Jan. 7 for a conversation with John MacNeill Miller, an assistant professor of English at Allegheny College. How can reading and studying literature enrich our relationship with the natural world? What values and beliefs lie beneath the stories we tell about nature — and how can we be sure those stories are the right ones? These are some of the questions that drive the rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field known as the environmental humanities. Our conversation will explore some of the surprising intersections between literature and the environment by delving into the stories scientists, birders and environmentalists commonly tell about one of the most widespread birds in North America, the European Starling.
How to Attend
Register in advance for the meeting here. The Zoom meeting will begin promptly at 6 p.m. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Meet the Speaker
John MacNeill Miller is an Assistant Professor of English at Allegheny College, where he teaches courses in literature, animal studies, and the environmental humanities. His research and writing focus on the many ways humans imagine and respond to our encounters with the nonhuman world. He has published essays on a range of topics in this area, from the history of animal actors to the ecological import of Victorian graveyards. He is currently working on a book about why written descriptions of scenery are so boring.
Meetings are free to attend; however, advance registration is required. To R.S.V.P., please use this link.
Discover Our Additional Resources
Inspired by the Biophilic Cities initiative, the Biophilia: Pittsburgh Directory seeks to present an overview of the biophilic organizations, events, activities and projects in Pittsburgh, to aid the public in enhancing their connections to nature and discovering collaborative opportunities.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh meets monthly at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where, over delicious small-plates and light refreshments, a discipline or behavior is identified — often by an expert guest speaker — and discussed among the participants in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities.
• To welcome and inspire others with the concept and principles of biophilia
• To foster collaboration and learning between professionals from a wide variety of disciplines
• To communicate biophilic principles in action-oriented ways to a wider audience for exponential and regional impact
What Is Biophilia?
The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who defined it as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.”
The implications of biophilia extend across a vast array of disciplines including design and engineering, nutrition, psychology, public health, education, biology and the humanities. Biophilia is expressed all over the world every day, through complex collaborations such as the design and construction of buildings and landscapes; and intimate, personal encounters including nature hikes and home gardening.
Photo © Paul g. Wiegman, Phipps staff