The Program for Learning and Community Engagement (PLACE) at Texas A&M University-Texarkana will present an open lecture titled “The Uncertainty of Science? Viktor Pelevin’s Postmodern Assault of the Grand Narrative of Darwin” on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 11AM in the University Center located at  217 on the A&M-Texarkana campus at 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.

According to a press release, Dr. Doug Julien, associate professor of English, will discuss Viktor Pelevin's "Origin of Species". Pelevin is an award-winning Russion fiction writer known for a writing style that combines pop culture, esoteric philosophies, and science fiction.

Texas A&M Texarkana
Texas A&M Texarkana

The free event is open to the public.

“Pelevin presents a funky, postmodern text where he envisions a young, buff, and pony-tailed version of Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle, not exploring the Galapagos Islands making notes, but instead fighting in a wooden cage death match various simians and making notes about those fights,” says Dr. Julien. “Pelevin seems to argue that while Darwin provides a really great story, it has no predictive value.” He further explains that it relates to the A&M-Texarkana PLACE theme of science and technology in that “Pelevin is deftly playing with and critiquing one of the grand narratives of science that asserts itself as scientific fact in our popular imaginings of evolution and notions of the survival of the fittest, rather than a narrative of evolution.”

Dr. Julien, who has a degree in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society, is the 2017 Award for Teaching Excellence/Mentorship recipient at A&M-Texarkana.

PLACE is a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff and the community at large. PLACE chooses an annual theme around which to organize a lecture series and other activities that provide focal points for learning and discussion. This year’s theme is “Science and Technology.”

For more information, contact Dr. Corrine Hinton, PLACE chair, at and visit the PLACE website at

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