Cast aside your squeamishness for an enthralling talk by author, essayist and Zen Buddhist Sallie Tisdale on one of nature’s greatest marvels: flies and maggots. Sallie examines their remarkable capacity to thrive almost anywhere, their surprising diversity (with 120,000 species in the Order Diptera alone) and their efficiency (maggots can reduce the weight of a human body by 50 per cent in a few weeks). She also notes the historic belief that flies were the shells and familiars of demons and witches.

Sallie Tisdale (International)

Sallie Tisdale

Sallie Tisdale is the author of nine books, most recently Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them), which The New York Times called “a wild and brilliantly deceptive book.” Her essays have appeared in Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, Antioch Review, Tin House, and Tricycle, as well as many other journals. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including the Pushcart Prize, an NEA Fellowship, and the James Phelan Literary Award. Sallie is the senior lay teacher at Dharma Rain Zen Center. She works part-time as a palliative care nurse.

Sam Shpall (Australian)

Sam Shpall

Sam Shpall is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. He has taught at the University of Southern California, Yale University, and the Yale Law School. He also worked in four New York State Correctional Facilities as a faculty member of the Bard Prison Initiative. Dr. Shpall’s main interests are in ethics, moral psychology, social philosophy, and the philosophy of literature. He is currently writing about love, friendship, and Elena Ferrante.