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Updated 2:30 PM April 12, 2006




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Take a hike to April 8 walking lecture

The Walking project, which explores desire lines or paths made by people who walk across fields in South Africa and vacant lots in Detroit and what connects the two, will present a free lecture on the history of walking 1:30-3 p.m. April 8 at the Exhibit Museum of Natural History.

Noted historian and alumnus Joseph Amato will discuss walking as a way to understand power and human relationships, past and present. Anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology Laura McLatchy will talk about evolution, bipedalism and walking.

Amato, author of "On Foot: A History of Walking" views walking as a way to understand power and human relationships, past and present, and shows how mechanical innovations have led to a society in which walking has become obsolete. The author of 15 books and an emeritus professor of history and rural and regional studies at Southwest Minnesota State University, Amato says bipedal walking consumes about 35 percent less energy than ape-like knuckle walking. Scientists speculate that the extra energy gave early humans increased brain functions as well as freeing human hands to be used as tools.

The Walking Project evolved from a 1999 bike ride along paths through abandoned lots in Detroit and now includes walking, theater, music and spoken word events, a print exchange, workshops, humanities events and international presentations.

The event is co-sponsored by Arts at Michigan. Admission is free. In conjunction with the walking programs, the Michigan Union has mounted a display of program activities through April 30.

For more information call (734) 763-6085 or visit or

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