Fred Moten Reading

Please join us for the second event in the Spring 2017 Hallie Ford Literary Series at Willamette University, a reading by Fred Moten, acclaimed poet and scholar of African American literature and culture. The reading will take place on Wednesday, March 8, at 4:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of Willamette’s library. The event is free and open to the public.

Fred Moten, Professor of English, U of California

is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including The Feel Trio, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of a California Book Award. His most recent collections include, The Little Edges, published by Wesleyan University Press in 2015, and The Service Porch, published by Letter Machine Editions in 2016; his scholarly books include In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, and The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, coauthored with Stefano Harney. He teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

In 2009, Moten was recognized as one of ten “New American Poets” by the Poetry Society of America. Poet and nonfiction author Maggie Nelson writes of his work, “With insistence, music, and a measured softness, Fred Moten’s poems construct idiosyncratic, critical canons that invite our research and repay our close attention. … It is hard to make poetry that shimmers on such an edge. Moten does so, and then some.”

Read Moten’s poem “The Salve Trade” here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/53480

And read a recent interview here: http://lithub.com/an-interview-with-fred-moten-pt-i/

(Image source: http://english.ucr.edu/people/faculty/fred-moten)
(Text source: Scott Nadelson, Hallie Ford Chair in Writing; Department Chair of English)


Faculty Colloquium: An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, February 24th at 3 pm. in the EATON 425 for our fourth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. (Please note the change in location) Treats will be provided.

Inga Johnson, Professor of Mathematics

Title: An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory

As part of my last sabbatical, my collaborator, Allison Henrich, and I completed our book An Interactive Introduction to Knot Theory (published by Dover, January 2017). Our text is unique not because of the mathematics that it contains, but rather due to the pedagogy it employs. We have designed the book to be used in an inquiry-based setting where students independently figure out, derive, and create many of the major results of knot theory while using our book as a guide. The book contains definitions, exercises, and statements of theorems, but the proofs and arguments that underlie the theory are left for readers to develop as they progress through the text. This active-learning pedagogy places the students ideas and arguments as the centerpiece of the course. As a result, class meetings include little to no lecture but are instead filled with student presentations followed by a process of questions and vetting by their peers.

In my talk I will discuss the following questions: what is the difference between math research and writing a mathematical book? How does an inquiry-based course compare to a “traditional” mathematics course? What goes into planning and managing an inquiry-based course, and how does one create inquiry-based activities? What is knot theory, and why is it a good topic for inquiry-based pedagogy? I will also discuss current research on student outcomes when inquiry-based methods are used and how those outcomes compare to non-inquiry-based courses.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Prosody and Time in Musical Settings of Emily Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, February 10th at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Marva Duerksen, Associate Professor of Music, Women’s & Gender Studies

Title: Prosody and Time in Musical Settings of Emily Dickinson

Musical settings of Emily Dickinson’s poems—some 3,000 by one collector’s reckoning—comprise a core component of the American art-song repertory and a sustained and wide-ranging constituent of her reception. That said, a mutually insightful conversation between musical and literary scholarly communities lies largely untapped, most especially in that facet of Dickinson’s poems that she herself highlights conspicuously and that constitutes a shared concern in both poetry and music: prosody, and its companion, time.

Several questions arise: how can literary prosodic method inform analysis of musical settings of her works? And, what insights can composers offer the literary community as they interpret the poet’s rhythmic and metric designs? More specifically, how do composers execute in music signal elements of Dickinson’s prosody—the familiar “dash,” a startling approach to rhyme, disruptions of conventional grammar, and idiosyncratic lineation? Then, how do composers’ renderings of such features through specially tempered rhythmic pacing, multi-layered rhythmic designs, and heterogeneous musical vocabularies in turn impact our comprehension of the disruptions endemic to her work? Finally, how can these analyses inform the categories of time—diachronic and synchronic—vital to Dickinson’s poetic project? Exploring these questions through literary models and musical settings by composers Ernst Bacon, Vincent Persichetti, and Niccoló Castiglioni provides a starting point for the dialogue proposed here.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism Exhibit

January 21 – March 26, 2017

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery

The Mark O. Hatfield Library will exhibit a few Modernism art works created by Portland artist Louis Bunce through March 26th, 2017.  Also included in this exhibit are a collection of books from our stacks on the topic of Modernism in the arts, all of which are available to check out.

(From the Hallie Ford Museum of Art’s blog post…)

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is pleased to present a major retrospective exhibition for Louis Bunce (1907-1983), a legendary Portland painter, printmaker, and teacher who taught at the Museum Art School from 1946 to 1972 and who influenced several generations of Oregon artists. Organized by Professor Emeritus of Art History and Senior Faculty Curator Roger Hull, the exhibition will chronicle the artist’s career over a 57 year period and features 49 paintings drawn from public and private collections throughout the United States.

Hull says, “Bunce was Oregon’s archetypal modern artist of the mid-twentieth century. ‘Louie,’ as he was called, was ambitious, gregarious, fun-loving, women-loving, antic and outrageous. He was deadly serious when it came to art-making and engaged with it all: Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Post-Modernism, and at the end of his life almost operatic Romanticism.”

Born in Wyoming, Bunce moved with his family to Oregon in his youth, studied at the Museum Art School for a year, and moved to New York in the late 1920s to study at the Art Students League. At the League, he met Jackson Pollock, another Wyoming native, and they established an on-going friendship that lasted until Pollock’s death. In fact, it was Bunce who introduced Pollock to artist Lee Krasner, who would eventually become Pollock’s wife. Although Bunce returned to Portland, Oregon, he maintained strong ties with many other notable artists of the New York School throughout his career.

As a painter and printmaker, Bunce was a rising star in American art of the 1940s and 1950s. In painting, his WPA work from the 1930s gave way to inventive Surrealist forms in the 1940s, to nature-based abstract expressionist work in the 1950s and 1960s. He and his work were featured in a full-color article in Life magazine in 1957, and he was represented in New York by the John Heller Gallery and the Doris Meltzer Gallery. In the 1970s, he experimented with hard-edge geometric compositions and Pop-related imagery while his last works feature light-saturated seascapes.


Faculty Colloquium: Richard Francaviglia

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this week, Friday, February 3rd at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Richard Francaviglia
, Professor Emeritus
Title: Imagining the Atacama Desert 

Through the analysis of maps and written narratives I will demonstrate how the Atacama Desert of South America was discovered, and then re-discovered, over nearly five centuries in a series of sequential phases. From about 1530 to 1700, “Atacama” designated a remote but strategic political province whose lack of population rather than desert climate was emphasized. After about 1700, however, the Atacama began to be identified as an arid region as a result of increasingly scientific mapping and exploration. In this transitional phase, the Atacama was part of a broader pattern in which the political mapping of empires was gradually supplemented by thematic physical or scientific mapmaking. In the third stage, which began in the mid-1830s, the Atacama Desert became linked to increasingly strong nationalist impulses and the rapidly growing power of international corporate developments in transportation and mineral extraction. In the fourth and current stage, which began about 1945, the Atacama began to be promoted and marketed as the quintessential desert worth experiencing for its uniqueness — something early explorers would have found incomprehensible. Past, present, and future, the Atacama reveals much about how places are discovered, and then re-discovered, through time.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Hallie Ford Literary Series, David Shields

Please join us for the first event of the Spring 2017 Hallie Ford Literary Series, a reading by acclaimed essayist David Shields on Thursday, February 2, at 7:30 p.m. The event takes place in the Hatfield Room of Willamette’s Hatfield Library and is free and open to the public. Books will be for sale courtesy of the Willamette Store.

David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), and Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Just published is War Is Beautiful (powerHouse, November 2015), a critical examination of war photography in the New York Times. His newest book, Other People: Takes & Mistakes, is forthcoming from Knopf in February 2017. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times MagazineHarper’sEsquireYale ReviewVillage VoiceSalonSlateMcSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into twenty languages.

In his review of Reality Hunger in the New York TimesLuc Sante calls Shields “a benevolent and broad-minded revolutionary, urging a hundred flowers to bloom, toppling only the outmoded and corrupt institutions. His book may not presage sweeping changes in the immediate future, but it probably heralds what will be the dominant modes in years and decades to come.”

Read the whole review here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/books/review/Sante-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Or watch David interviewed by Stephen Colbert here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/15/stephen-colbert-author-in_n_538869.html


Faculty Colloquium: Maegan Parker Brooks

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this week, Friday, January 27th at 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Maegan Parker Brooks
, Assistant Professor of Civic Communication and Media
 
Title:  Emmett’s Life Matters: Enthymematic Reasoning and Memetic Representation in Contemporary Public Discourse

The name, the face, and the story of Emmett Till, the black teenager who was lynched in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman, are reemerging in America’s collective consciousness. This presentation will consider how the figure of Till figures within contemporary verbal and visual media. I will examine popular newspaper and magazine articles, as well as widely-circulated memes, explicating their implicit social knowledge premises in relation to three audience groups. For contemporary activists, establishing connections between Till, the mid-twentieth century Black Freedom Movement, and America’s current racial climate offers direction to a nascent movement. For experientially external yet sympathetic audiences, evoking the Till tragedy provides form and substance to the abstract condition of mourning endured by blacks in America. For those external and previously disinterested audiences, memes visually linking Till to the contemporary deaths of unarmed black youth create dialectical tensions which hold the affective capacity to stimulate an acknowledgment of how post-racial inaction perpetuates entrenched patterns of injustice.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Finals Week: Extended Study Hours

The Hatfield Library is now providing extended hours for final exams. Also, don’t forget about the free cookies and coffee provided by the library…usually the cookies are made available after 10 p.m. starting on Sunday, Dec. 11th until they run out.

These are the hours for the end of the term:

Monday, Dec. 5 – Thursday, Dec. 8 — 7:45 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 — 7:45 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10 — 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday, Dec. 11 — 9 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Monday, Dec. 12 – Friday, Dec. 16 — 7 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17 — 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 18 — CLOSED

Winter break begins on Monday, Dec. 19. During the break, the library will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on the weekends. Also, the library (and the rest of campus) will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 2. Regular hours resume on Jan. 17.


Faculty Colloquium: Alexander Rocklin

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this week, Friday, December 9th at 3 pm. in the Library Instruction Room for final Faculty Colloquium of this semester. (Rescheduled from original date of November 11th.) Treats will be provided.

Alexander Rocklin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Title: Race, Religion, and the Magic of Secularism in Antebellum AmericaAlexander Rocklin

Come meet the Fakir of Ava, the unrivaled magician and necromancer who will perform scientific illustrations showing through practical experiments the impositions of the Pagan Priesthood ancient and modern! Taking as my example the magician the Fakir of Ava, this talk examines the mid-19th century spectacle of stage-magic performances as a mode of popular secularism in the United States. If we understand secularism not simply as an inevitable political project but what John Modern calls a “conceptual environment” that makes the category religion a self-evident way of dividing up the world, this paper examines one mode through which the religious and the not-religious were naturalized for Americans. Taking religion and race as defined together, I will also analyze the ways in which popular secularism created particular racial-religious hierarchies that drew on and connected Americas to broader trends in colonial knowledge production across the globe. Prepare to be Amazed (or at least educated)!

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Sarah Bishop

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Sarah Clovis Bishop, Associate Professor of Russian, will talk at this Friday’s Faculty Colloquium on Performing the Poet: Elena Shvarts’s “The Visible Side of Life.” Dec. 2nd @ 3 pm. in the Hatfield Room. Treats will be provided.

In 2010, director Boris Pavlovich and actress Yana Savitskaya created and staged The Visible Side of Life, a one-woman show based on the prose and poetry of Elena Shvarts (1948-2010), a central figure in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russian literature. Then based in Kirov, Russia at the “Theater on Spasskaya,” Savitskaya and Pavlovich had been exploring Shvarts’s verse for over a year, delving into her autobiographical prose to understand it more fully. Just as they were ready to approach the poet about their work, they learned of her death. They abandoned their poetic etudes and turned instead to a dramatic work in which they imagined the last hours of the poet’s life. Pavlovich has described it as a “quasi-biography”; an image of “our Elena Shvarts whom we failed to meet.”

The performance has since traveled to St. Petersburg, Shvarts’s home, and is now part of the repertory at the Bolshoi Drama Theater (BDT). Most recently, the show received its American premiere at Princeton, Harvard, and right here at Willamette. I will discuss the performance in its various incarnations, highlighting the many boundaries that it tests–between reality and fantasy; the visible and invisible; prose and poetry; performer and audience.

All are invited to attend this talk. We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators