Dr. David Haskell, professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of the South, has received a Dapeng Nature Writing Award. The award is China’s first literary prize for books about the natural world. Haskell won the “international” category for his book The Forest Unseen, joining Chinese award winners in environmental and science writing, children’s literature, and translation.
The Dapeng awards are part of the city of Shenzhen’s month-long celebration of the written word. Shenzhen is an international hub for technology and has grown from a rural outpost to a city of 20 million people in just 30 years. As the city has grown, it has kept half of its land area for parks and natural areas. The city also is home to a large public library, high-tech book vending machines, and the world’s largest bookstores. This convergence of commitment to nature and to literature makes the city the ideal location for a revival of the Chinese tradition of nature writing.
Haskell’s award is one part of the University’s extensive and growing number of connections in the global community. University students, staff, and faculty are involved in research, community development, and collaborative education in more than 60 countries. The University’s new Office of Global Citizenship facilitates and advises these many opportunities. Scott Wilson, associate dean of Global Citizenship noted, "David Haskell's award recognizes the importance of Sewanee's extensive global ties, as well as our faculty engagement with global challenges."