Library News

Curricular Innovation: Wendy Petersen Boring and Marshall Curry

Title: “Curricular Innovation: Sustainability as a Catalyst for Pedagogical Creativity and Institutional Change”

Presenters: Wendy Petersen Boring, Associate Professor of History and Marshall Curry, Senior, Sociology Major


What does it mean to teach with a focus that is simultaneously bio-regional and global? What might a place-based curriculum look like? What good ideas are out there for courses that cross multiple disciplines to address divergent problems, or engage significantly with community partners, or develop student’s ethical, civic preparation, personal growth and self direction? How can universities function as centers for public political discourse and catalysts for political action and social change?

This presentation, which grows out of research for our LARC project (2012), “Ritual, Sustainability and Community” and (Wendy’s) forthcoming book, Teaching Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences, aims to address these questions by surveying a range of pedagogical innovations across the country that fall under the rubric of “sustainability curriculum” Nationally, sustainability has begun functioning as a key innovator and instigator of systemic change across the university, causing a re-orientation of curriculum, research, pedagogy, university-community relationships, organizational change, policy, and institutional ethos. Sustainability curricular projects are on the cutting edge of pedagogical innovation, including project-based learning, place-based pedagogy, transformational learning, and partnerships with community, business, and non-profit partners. Integrating sustainability into the liberal arts provides a particularly compelling opportunity to integrate theory and practice into the liberal arts in a way that addresses increasing need for curriculum relevance, salience, and practicability.

Date/Time: Friday March 1, 2013, 3:00 PM
Location: Hatfield Room, Hatfield Library

Faculty Colloquium: Altman on Myosins

Title: “Regulation of the Motor Protein Myosin in the Cell”

Presenter: David Altman, Assistant Professor of Physics


Generation of force is critical for many processes in the cell. Central to these processes are molecular motors, biomolecules capable of creating directed motion. My lab studies myosins, a molecular motor family with members implicated in processes including muscle contraction, trafficking of cargo in the cell, and cell motility. Specifically, we seek to understand how the complex cellular environment regulates these motors. To this end, we study both purified myosins outside the cell as well as myosin motors within their cellular niche. This approach requires us to probe myosin activity at a variety of sizes and in systems of varying complexity. For example, we study both the small-scale motions (one-billionth of a meter) of individual motors, as well as the relatively large motions (one-thousandth of a meter) of ensembles of myosins in muscle fibers. In this talk, I will describe some of these studies and discuss how our results are beginning to reveal important factors in the regulation of myosins in the cell.

Date/Time: Friday March 8, 2013, 3:00 PM
Location: Hatfield Room, Hatfield Library

Sacred Scraps Exhibition

Five NW artists have come together and created an exhibit showcasing their use of found, recycled, and discarded treasures. Raw materials, found objects, the tools they use, and unique finished pieces of art will be incorporated into the display. The Sacred Scraps Exhibition will run February 1st to the 28th on the second floor in front of the Archives & Special Collections. An Opening Reception is planned for Friday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m. For directions and more information please visit:

Artists: Dayna Collins, Shelly Caldwell, Tory Brokenshire, Jennifer Campbell, Stephanie Brockway

With permission from the artists, below are some photos from the exhibit and reception.

Everyday Reading: Mike Chasar

Please join the English Department in celebrating the publication of Mike Chasar’s monograph Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America (Columbia University Press, 2012).

Everyday Reading is the first full-length critical study of the culture surrounding American popular and commercial poetry in the twentieth century. Exploring poetry scrapbooks, old-time radio show recordings, advertising verse, corporate archives, and Hallmark greeting cards, among other unconventional sources, Mike Chasar casts American poetry as an everyday phenomenon consumed and created by a vast range of readers in different and complex ways. Capturing American poetry’s truly diverse forms and appeal, Chasar shows how the genre helped set the stage—before television, rock music, video games, and the Internet—for the dynamics of popular culture and mass media today.

Chasar investigates twentieth-century American poetry’s audience of millions and maps its range of aesthetics, cultural uses, relationship to canonical verse, and unexpected presence in many parts of modern life. Far from being a marginal art form read by a select group of educated individuals, poetry was part and parcel of American popular culture, spreading rapidly as the consumer economy expanded and companies such as Burma-Shave exploited the form’s profit-making potential. Poetry also offered ordinary Americans a wealth of opportunities for creative, emotional, political, and intellectual expression, whether through scrapbooking, participation in radio programs, or poetry contests. By reenvisioning the uses of twentieth-century poetry, Chasar enables a richer understanding of the innovations of modernist and avant-garde poets and the American reading public’s sophisticated powers of feeling and perception.

The book has been widely praised and nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Wednesday afternoon, December 5th, Professor Chasar will introduce and describe the book, answer questions, and perhaps be persuaded to autograph your copy.

We will gather at 4:15 in the Hatfield Room of the Hatfield Library. All are welcome.

The Art of Collaboration

Please join us on Thursday, November 29, for The Art of Collaboration, a special event of the Fall 2012 Hallie Ford Literary Series. The event will take place at 5 p.m. in the Hatfield Room and is free and open to the public.

The event will feature a reading by Minnesota poet Katharine Rauk, followed by a moderated discussion between Katharine and James Miley, jazz composer in Willamette’s Department of Music, about collaborating across media. Katharine and James have collaborated on an original composition, part of which will premiere later that evening in a performance by the Willamette Jazz Collective.

Katharine Rauk is the author of Basil, a chapbook published by Black Lawrence Press in 2011. She has poems published in Harvard Review, Georgetown Review, Cream City Review, and elsewhere, and she is an assistant editor of Rowboat: Poetry in Translation. She lives in Minneapolis and teaches at North Hennepin Community College and The Loft Literary Center.

Composer and Jazz Pianist James Miley joined the faculty of Willamette in the fall of 2009 as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies. Recent recordings include Dan Cavanagh’s Jazz Emporium Big Band ‘s Pulse (OA2 Records, 2008) and Altered’s Angular (House of Drumming, 2008), along with releases by the jazz collective BUG (with saxophonist Peter Epstein) and classical trumpet virtuoso John Adler, both available on Seattle’s highly acclaimed Origin Records. He is also a founding member of the composer collective ECHO, which premiered his composition “Necessary Angels” for piano trio, electric guitar and human beatboxer in April, 2009.

Read one of Katharine’s poems here:

Listen to a couple of James’ recordings here:

Faculty Colloquium: Meredyth Edelson

Please join us on Friday, November 30th at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium being presented by Meredyth Goldberg Edelson, Professor of Psychology.

Why have all the boys gone? Gender differences in prosecution acceptance of child sexual abuse cases.

Cases of child sexual abuse (CSA) referred to the District Attorney (DA) are not necessarily accepted for prosecution. Two pilot studies sought to investigate whether there were gender differences in whether cases of CSA referred to the DA’s office were accepted by the DA and, if they existed, what might account for gender differences in decisions to accept cases and file charges. The results of the first study indicated that cases involving male victims were significantly less likely to be accepted for prosecution than cases involving female victims. Comparisons of acceptance rates were based on expected frequencies given CSA prevalence rates by gender in the literature and on the proportion of males and females seen at a Child Abuse Assessment Center (CAAC) from where the DA referrals were obtained. The second study assessed both disclosure-related variables (assessed by content analyses of disclosures made at a CAAC) and abuse-related variables (that occurred at or near the time of the abuse) that might explain these differences. Few variables were found to significantly differentiate males’ and females’ cases; these were the relationship of the child to the perpetrator, whether the child was offended by a juvenile, whether the child told someone of the abuse, pornography exposure, whether the child displayed concerning behaviors, and whether the child was questioned about possible abuse. Implications of these results are discussed.

Faculty Colloquium: Obama Fought the Battle of Jericho

Please join us on Friday, November 16th at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium being presented by David Gutterman, Associate Professor of Politics.

Title: Obama Fought the Battle of Jericho

Abstract: In his first campaign for President, Barack Obama described himself not just as part of the Joshua Generation, but as the American Joshua – prepared, able, and destined to lead the nation beyond the place of Moses on the mountaintop down into the promised land. In part, this portrayal was indicative of Obama’s determination to write himself into the American story, but this story of Joshua is also an effort to tell the nation a story about itself. From his March 5, 2007 speech in Selma, Alabama where he positioned himself figuratively as a son of the civil rights activists to his November 4, 2008 acceptance speech where he answered Sam Cooke’s plaintive hopes by declaring that “change has come to America,” Obama consciously framed his mission as fulfilling the promise of the “Moses generation.”

But this story largely disappeared once Obama began governing. Indeed, one of the remarkable – and for many disappointing – aspects of Obama’s first term in office is that despite the powerful tales he told on the campaign trail, we are still waiting for him to be, as Matt Bai wrote recently in The New York Times, the “narrator in chief.” Even on the campaign trail in 2012, Obama rarely ascended to the heights of his power as storyteller that he demonstrated in the previous campaign – and he never returned to the story of Moses and Joshua. In this essay I address the disappearance of this political narrative during Obama’s term as President and in his campaign for re-election. Is this failure to tell this resonant political narrative indicative of a problem in the story itself – or in the storyteller?

Poet David Biespiel

Please join us for the third event in the Fall 2012 Hallie Ford Literary Series, with a reading by poet David Biespiel on Wednesday, November 14. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of Willamette’s library and is free and open to the public.

David Biespiel is the author of five books, including The Book of Men and Women, winner of the 2011 Oregon Book Award in poetry. He is the founder and executive director of the Attic Institute, an independent literary center in Portland, and writes a regular column on poetry for The Oregonian. Among his many awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry, and a Lannan Fellowship. He currently teaches at Oregon State University and in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University.

In citing it as one of the best books of the year, The Poetry Foundation had this to say about The Book of Men and Women: “In his book about regret, longing, and loss, Biespiel explores the intricacies of relationships between men and women in settings both real and imaginary.”

Read some of David’s poem’s here:

Read his provacative essay on the role of the poet in public and political discourse here:

Read his latest poetry column in The Oregonian here:

Crisis of Global Capitalism

Please join us on Tuesday, October 30, at 7:00 pm in the Hatfield Room of the Library, Willamette University will be hosting a talk by Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin entitled “The Crisis of Global Capitalism: A Left Perspective.” Both authors are well known political economists, historians, and activists. Panitch is the editor of the Socialist Register and the author of The End of Parliamentary Socialism among many other works. Gindin was a research director for the New Democratic Party in Manitoba and was a regional research director of the Canadian Auto Workers’ Union. Both men are now professors at York University and have recently co-authored The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire. Their talk promises to be an eye-opening analysis of the ongoing crisis and of the prospects for progressive politics.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Environmental Science, History, Politics and Sociology.

Please urge your students to go and we hope to see you there!

For further information please call Bill Smaldone (503-375-5440).

Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece

The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Greek and Roman Artworks Travel to Oregon!

Professor Ann Nicgorski, Chair & Professor of Art History and Archaeology, will lecture on The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, Thursday, October 25th at 7:30 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall at the Law School.

This fall, the Portland Art Museum is hosting a blockbuster exhibition of Greek and Roman art entitled The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece (October 6, 2012 to January 6, 2013). There are over 100 exquisite objects in this exhibit, which are all on loan from the renowned British Museum in London.

This lecture provides an overview of the exhibition with a focus on its key themes and selected, noteworthy objects, such as the iconic Discobolus, or discus-thrower, from the 5th century BCE, which will be making its first trip to the United States.  In addition to several other large-scale works of stone sculpture, the exhibit also features smaller figurines in a variety of media, as well as numerous vases with figural decoration. Key themes include the human body and face; character, portrait and realism; gods and goddesses in human form; athletes and Herakles-superman; birth, marriage, sex, and death; and composite human-animal creatures of mythological legend, such as the famous Theban sphinx.