Princeton University perennially offers events that inspire diverse interests. Cases in point: A special performance by a group that celebrates the Mexican dance tradition, Ballet Folklorico, and a lecture by the Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist E.O. Wilson, one of the world’s foremost authorities on evolutionary biology.
For a complete schedule of upcoming events on the Princeton University campus, visit www.princeton.edu/events. Events are free unless otherwise noted. A campus map is available online at etcweb.princeton.edu/pumap/.
Monday, April 8, 8 p.m. Princeton’s Public Lecture Series: E.O. Wilson on “The Social Conquest of Earth.”
What evolutionary advantage could self-sacrifice — an action that would theoretically prevent perpetuation of a species — possibly have? Step aside, Darwin; the 21st century has its own master of evolutionary theory. Professor E.O. Wilson of Harvard University has been advancing iconoclastic theories about the biological basis for human behaviors — about altruism, sex, and worship, for instance — for decades.
In 2012 Wilson provoked new controversy in the scientific community with his book “The Social Conquest of Earth.” In it he argues that the impetus for human evolution was not “kin selection” — the idea that a creature would sacrifice itself for the perpetuation of others to whom it is related. Rather, Wilson posited that our behavior is governed by “group selection.” In other words, a group identity is what motivates us to act selflessly, not a direct genetic connection. In this lecture, Wilson will introduce this contentious theory with a series of examples from the animal kingdom — and might unveil a new way of understanding human behavior in the process.
Co-sponsored by the Council on the Humanities. McCosh 50.
Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, 9 to 11 p.m. Ballet Folklorico de Princeton.
Princeton’s student-run Ballet Folklorico has been bringing the folkdances of Mexico to Princeton for more than two decades. The group performs dances from a variety of regions in Mexico and is careful to represent the dance forms as well as costumes unique to each region. The group performs for university and area audiences and has participated in the New Jersey Folk Festival and several dance competitions. Ballet Folklorico’s spring show will showcase not only the skill of the dance company, but will bring cultural traditions to life.
Tickets, $7 for students and $9 for the general public, are available by calling 609-258-9220 or visiting www.princeton.edu/utickets/tixbuy.html. Frist Campus Center’s Film & Performance Theater, Frist 301.
Thursday, April 4, 8 p.m. Elias String Quartet, Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall. In this concert, this ambitious and talented new group will be performing works by Haydn, Janacek, and Schumann. Princeton University students will perform a musical preview at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $20 to $40 for the general public by calling 609-258-9220 or by visiting www.princetonuniversityconcerts.org.
Ongoing to June 23, Princeton University Art Museum, “1913: The Year of Modernism.”
The Art Museum’s newest exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of a year when artistic and poetic developments bloomed: French poet Apollinaire published his most influential work, cubism began to develop in the visual arts, and Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” was being performed in theaters. With more than 50 prints, photographs, and drawings on view, “1913” will offer visitors a glimpse of that formative year. 609-258-3788 or www.princetonartmuseum.org. Admission is free.