Author Rebecca Solnit is consistently fascinating no matter what her topic. In 2001's Hollow City, she shone a bright light on the issues created by gentrification. Her award-winning 2003 book, River of Shadows, used photographer Eadweard Muybridge as an entry point to a lively discussion about the effects of technology on society and culture. For her latest project, Infinite City, she created an atypical atlas of San Francisco, working with artists, cartographers, and writers to create 22 maps that offer unusual perspectives on Bay Area history and geography. Today in "Alternative Cartographies," she speaks about Dharma Wheels and Fish Ladders, a map that juxtaposes the spread of Soto Zen Buddhism in the Bay Area with the annual salmon migration now under way just off the coast. To help link these seemingly disparate topics, she is joined by experts in spirituality and environmental issues -- the Rev. Furyu Nancy Schroeder and naturalist Derek Hitchcock. Before and after the talk, the studios of Headlands artists-in-residence Richard T. Walker and Seher Shah are open to visitors, and the center's renowned mess hall serves handmade udon and other treats.
Sun., Nov. 21, 2 p.m., 2010