Please join us for the final event of the Fall 2014 Hallie Ford Literary Series at Willamette, a reading and talk by acclaimed novelist and story writer Ann Pancake. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of Willamette’s library and is free and open to the public.
A West Virginia native, Ann Pancake is the author of the groundbreaking novel Strange as This Weather Has Been, which revolves around an Appalachian family living beneath a mountaintop removal mine. Based on real events, the novel explores the way communities and the environment are devastated by corporate greed and the insatiable demand for fossil fuels. It has drawn comparisons to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath for its portrayal of ordinary people impacted by social and political forces out of their control and was named one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007. Writer and environmental activist Wendell Berry calls it “one of the bravest novels I have ever read.”
Ann lives in Seattle and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University. Her fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies like Orion, The Georgia Review, Poets and Writers, and New Stories from the South, and her first collection of short stories, Given Ground, won the 2000 Bakeless award. She has also received a Whiting Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her new story collection, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in February 2015.
Please join us this Friday, October 31st at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for the fifth Faculty Colloquium of this year. Treats will be provided to accompany this Halloween related talk.
Our speaker will be: Anna Cox, Assistant Professor, Spanish and Film Studies
Title: The Haunting Resurrection of Spanish Silent Cinema in Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves/Snow White (2012)
Abstract: Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves/Snow White (2012) retells the Brothers Grimm’s fairytale in the form of a black-and-white silent movie set in 1920s Spain. Berger’s project is a revival of time and place. In the digital age, it participates in the resurrection of early cinematic practices by filmmakers in and out of Hollywood. In Spain, it joins cultural production grappling with identity and “haunting” memory.
In this interactive presentation, I propose that the movie’s core theme is Spanish national instability, not just in the period depicted, but through time as it is represented in the movie’s reiterative imagery and sound. I argue that this way of engaging with the movie unlocks its cathartic potential for several generations of Spaniards.
DVD available at Mark O. Hatfield Library AV Video (DVD) (PN1995.9.S5 B5833 2013).
Please join us this Friday, October 24th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for the fourth Faculty Colloquium of this year.
Our speaker will be:
Sue Koger, Professor of Psychology
Title: Rising to the Climate Challenge: Insights from Psychological Research
Abstract: Despite increasing societal rhetoric about environmental sustainability, many relevant behaviors remain unchanged. I argue that this is because effective and sustainable solutions to climate change and other “environmental” problems require an understanding of the human (i.e., psychological) influences that created the problems in the first place, and that maintain the status quo. In this talk, I’ll describe some of the barriers to change, as well as strategies for overcoming them — both as individuals and collectively.
In cooperation with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Hatfield Library is housing a temporary exhibit to go with the museum’s current exhibit, Contemporary Bestiary. The museum exhibit “features work by artists from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana who incorporate animal imagery in their artwork as a means to address a wide variety of issues.” The exhibit includes birds, frogs, dogs, cats, fish, cows, horses, and more and runs from September 13 through December 21, 2014. The library has two wonderful paintings on display near the entrance of the library as well as a collection of books that complement the exhibit.
With election season upon us, be sure and check out the great display of election memorabilia from the political collections of the Willamette archives on the second floor of the library. The exhibit features bumper stickers, lawn signs, buttons and a variety of other interesting campaign materials. An adjoining temporary exhibit showcases campaign items from the personal collections of library staff and friends. Come take a look! And don’t forget to vote!
Please join us for the second event in the Fall 2014 Hallie Ford Literary Series: a New Voices Showcase, featuring readings by poet Jennifer Richter and essayist Elena Passarello on Tuesday, October 21. The event will take place at 5 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of Willamette’s library and is free and open to the public.
Jennifer Richter was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship in Poetry by Stanford University, where she taught in the Creative Writing Program for four years. Her poetry collection Threshold was named a 2011 Oregon Book Award Finalist by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey chose Threshold as winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition.
Elena Passarello’s essays on pop culture, music, the performing arts, and the natural world have appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, Normal School, Ninth Letter, and the Iowa Review, among other publications. Her debut nonfiction collection, Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande 2012), explores the human voice in popular performance, and she co-wrote a series of devised nonfiction monologues for the 2012 music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart (Duke University Press). A recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, she teaches at Oregon State University.
Please join us this Friday, October 10th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for the third Faculty Colloquium of this year.
Speaker: Richard Francaviglia, Visiting Faculty, Department of Religious Studies
Title: Did Muslims Arrive in the Americas Before Columbus? Re-examining a Controversial Premise.
Abstract: The claim that Muslims reached, explored, and even settled the New World before Columbus has been debated for nearly a century. After summarizing the claims made by proponents of this view, as found in their books, magazine articles, and Websites, one regional case study will be highlighted. According to proponents, early Southwestern Native American pueblo architecture, petroglyphs, and place names of the “Anasazi” peoples offer clear evidence of Islam’s early presence. This claim not only challenges Native Americans’ beliefs, but is also in disagreement with the consensus of archaeologists and historians of discovery.
Given the complexity of this issue, this presentation recommends viewing the proponents’ claims differently — not [only] in light of science and objectivity, but also as subjective modern narratives about accomplishments in the “Golden Age” of Islam (ca. 750 to 1258 CE). Interestingly, claims about a Pre-Columbian Muslim presence are similar in design to claims by Afro centrists, and both have a similar sociopolitical dimension in that they serve to unify their advocates. Ultimately, though, religion rather than race is a major component of the pre-Columbian Muslim claims. Since 9/11 2001, when Islam began to redouble its efforts to validate its presence in the Americas, the narratives have become decidedly political. Ultimately, the claims of proponents are revisionist and challenge the established way of understanding and celebrating [American] history. If what proponents claim is true, the ramifications would be enormous: it would not only mean that Muslims essentially trumped the European Age of Discovery, but also that Islam in effect predates Christianity and Judaism in the New World. Small wonder, then, that this subject is so controversial and so passionately debated.
To the right, “Class of 1919 in the shape of a W and 19.”
We’re highlighting the Willamette University Campus Photograph Collection from the University Archives this month. It is comprised of over 2,500 items including photographic prints, negatives, slides, and copy prints of sketches and blueprints, is a rich documentary resource covering nearly a century and a half of Willamette’s history. A strength of the collection is the visual documentation it provides of Willamette’s ever-developing campus, particularly the buildings and landscape. Images show ground-breakings, construction, renovations, fires, and demolitions of various buildings. Below is a sample of what you will find in this wonderful collection.
Please join us this Friday, October 3rd at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for the second Faculty Colloquium of this academic year.
Our speaker will be: Ortwin Knorr, Associate Professor of Classics Title:Extreme Puppy Love in Martial 1.109
Martial’s humorous praise song on the cute little dog Issa in Epigram 1.109 is a favorite among dog lovers and Latin textbook authors alike. Scholars have treated it as an “elegant compliment to a patron” (Fitzgerald 2007:185; cf. Sullivan1991:20: “written in pursuit of patronage”).
Such readings, however, overlook several red flags that suggest a very different type of content. In the very first line, e.g., Martial boasts that his Issa is “naughtier than Catullus’ sparrow”, that is, naughtier than the famous poem by Catullus (c. 2), in which the poet observes his beloved playing sexually suggestive games with her pet sparrow. Moreover, Martial’s praise for Issa in the first three lines of the poem is couched in terms of a “subtle erotic ambiguity” (Citroni 334). And finally, the alleged patron, like other victims of Martial’s invective, bears a suspiciously generic Roman first name, Publius, so that it is impossible to identify him with anyone in particular.
A closer examination of Martial’s Issa epigram will show that the poem cleverly uses the themes and vocabulary of elegiac poetry to lampoon both Issa’s owner as a man who loves his puppy a bit too much and the reader as someone who similarly struggles to decide whether Issa is a dog or a sexually attractive girl.