The Many Meanings of Insects

Linda Wiener 

There are many lenses through which we view nature: material, moral, vitalist, mythic, cosmic, etc.  My interest lies in the fruitfulness of all these different approaches.  One kind of truth do they contain and when is it appropriate or inappropriate to use each of these modes?  Do they support or contradict each other or a little of both?  Insects are a particularly good way into many of these questions.  They are both familiar and alien, a source of beauty and fear.  I want to explore and discuss these issues in the context of a field session in which we will look for insects and observe their behaviors and our reactions.