Jonathan Marks, Tales of the Ex-Apes


Jonathan MarksJonathan Marks

In this talk, Jonathan Marks explores the emergence of the imaginary—the universe of metaphors, possible futures, symbolic meanings, remote ancestors, spirits, magic, and most importantly, stories—as a crucial element in human evolution.


Jonathan Marks is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, where he has taught since the beginning of the present millennium, after brief stretches at Yale and Berkeley. His primary training is in biological anthropology and genetics, but his interests are broad. In 2006, he was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In the last few years, he has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the ESRC Genomics Forum in Edinburgh, at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, and a Templeton Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Notre Dame. His work has received the W.W. Howells Book Prize and the General Anthropology Division Prize for Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship from the American Anthropological Association, and the J.I. Staley Prize from the School for Advanced Research. He is the author of What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee and Why I Am Not a Scientist, both published by the University of California Press. Paradoxically, however, he is about 98% scientist and not a chimpanzee.


A theological response will be given by Robert Song, Durham University, and Thomas Tweed, University of Notre Dame. 

Free and open to the public. Reception following. 

This event is made possible in part by funds from the John Templeton Foundation and the Henkels Lecture Fund, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame.