What do you get when you mix bugs, people, food, culture, and movies? The answer can be hilarious, fun, and educational. In this seminar, we will examine insects (more commonly referred to as ‘bugs’) in television, movies, music, literature, art, religion, and even as food to learn how they have shaped our world, influenced our lives and our culture, and affected our history. The animated movie “A Bug’s Life” is one of the most popular movies about insects. Other movies and television shows, such as “Fear Factor,” “Men in Black,” “Starship Troopers,” and “X-Files,” have fed upon our phobia with insects – more commonly known as ‘bugs.’ This hands-on (yes, hands-on!) approach will allow you to get up close and personal with insects; you will help to organize and conduct a Cricket Spittin’ Contest, an Insect Zoo, and even an Insect Smorgasbord, where bugs are the main menu item (let the eating begin!)! You also will be director, writer, or actor in group YouTube videos examining human reactions to bugs. Your bug journey will even take you into an active bee hive! Fear is not a factor with bugs.
- Entomology and Plant Pathology
- Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
I grew up on a small farm in eastern Tennessee. I have always been fascinated with the beauty, intrigue and impacts (both good and bad) of insects. I have molded this fascination with bugs into a profession – I am a Professor of Entomology at the University of Tennessee, with responsibilities in teaching, research, and outreach (all relating to bugs!). I received a B.A. in Biology from Berea College (Kentucky), M.S. in Entomology from the University of Kentucky, and Ph.D. from Clemson University (South Carolina). I am active in outreach programs with kids and adults of all ages, where I can share the wild, wonderful world of insects with anyone who will listen. I encourage students to become passionate about things that interest them and to pursue and nurture that passion in their lives and in their professions. Insects provide many opportunities for sharing science and agriculture, as well as observing nature with people of all ages – from 1 to 100. Every person has a ‘bug story’, why not use it as a teaching opportunity?