Please join us this Friday, November 1st at 2:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for a presentation by Frederick J. Oerther, III, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics.
Title: Dynamics and Problems of Using Games to Teach
Brief Description: This presentation will argue for the usefulness of games as an educational device. We begin by discussing the nature of games and describing the student’s “game experience” in the classroom. Then we will make some assertions about how the game experience might be expected to contribute to the learning process – including the leveraging of scholastic motivations that games may offer on the basis of social and phenomenological factors. The features and properties of a specific form of game, which may be most useful in the classroom, called the “Fully Human Interactive Game,” are surveyed. We conclude with a discussion of some of the problems which may accompany using games to teach.
All are invited to the following lecture being given by Ed Folsom, the world’s foremost expert on Walt Whitman. Folsom is visiting WU as this semester’s Senior Humanities Seminar guest scholar.
Thursday, October 24, 4:15-5:15pm
“‘That towering bulge of pure white’: Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, the Capitol Dome, and Black America”
Dr. Ed Folsom
This lecture examines how Walt Whitman and Herman Melville responded to the decision to expand the national Capitol building and to crown it with a massive white dome, and it explores how the dome was perceived in racial terms as it was being built and completed.
Folsom is the Carver Professor of American Literature at the University of Iowa. An award-winning teacher and scholar, he is the author, co-author, or editor of many books including Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song (1981), Walt Whitman’s Native Representations (1994), Walt Whitman and the World (1995), Whitman East and West: New Contexts for Reading Walt Whitman (2002), Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman (2005), Re-Scripting Walt Whitman (2005), and Leaves of Grass: The Sesquicentennial Essays (2007). He edits the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review and co-directs the Walt Whitman Archive (http://www.whitmanarchive.org/).
Sounds of Harmony: Traditional Music in the Reconstruction of Identity and Healing/Therapy of the Modern Mind-And-Heart
The Hatfield Library will have on display bamboo musical instruments from Yunnan, China, October 26-November 3rd. Also of note, there will be a public concert on traditional Chinese music and a seminar on traditional music and identity reconstruction (details below).
Please join us for the second event in the Fall 2013 Hallie Ford Literary Series at Willamette. On Thursday, October 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Cone Chapel, internationally acclaimed fiction writer Lydia Davis will read from and discuss her work.
Lydia Davis is one of the world’s most celebrated practitioners of the short story. The author of seven collections of short fiction and a novel, she was recently awarded the Man Booker International Prize, the most prestigious international award for lifetime achievement in literature after the Nobel Prize. Her work has appeared in both the Best American Short Stories and Best American Poetry anthologies, and her collection Varieties of Disturbance was a finalist for the National Book Award. Also an accomplished translator of French literature, Davis recently published a new translation of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.
About The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, critic James Wood, wrote in The New Yorker, “[Hers is] a body of work probably unique in American writing, in its combination of lucidity, aphoristic brevity, formal originality, sly comedy, metaphysical bleakness, philosophical pressure, and human wisdom. I suspect that ‘The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis’ will in time be seen as one of the great, strange American literary contributions.”
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, these were the top 10 books challenged from 2013.
Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week visit the ALA Banned Books web site:
Please join us as we open the Fall 2013 Hallie Ford Literary Series at Willamette University, with author Arisa White on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room.
White is the author of two collections of poetry, A Penny Saved and Hurrah’s Nest, a finalist for the California Book Award and the Wheatley Poetry Prize. Her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival, and she was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List.
Here are some photos from this year’s World Book Night. We hope those who received a copy of the book Glaciers enjoy reading it, and will pass it along to someone else after they’re finished reading it. Let us know what you thought of this book, and what you thought of World Book Night by commenting on this blog post or Facebook!
Please join us for a presentation by Andries Fourie (Dept. of Arts) this Friday, April 12th at 3:00 pm in the Library Hatfield Room. The title of his talk is: “Ancestral Voices: From Slaves to Matriarchs”
In 1652 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) established a colony at the Cape of Good Hope. The VOC almost immediately began importing slaves, about half of which came from South and South East Asia (primarily Sri-Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bengal, the Coromandel Coast and Malabar Coast of India). Male colonists vastly outnumbered women in the early part of the colony’s history. Consequently male, white colonists frequently purchased, manumitted and married Asian slave women (the average Afrikaner today has about 8% Asian ancestry). In this way several slave women became the matriarchs of today’s Afrikaner families, and played an important role in shaping Afrikaner culture.
In this talk Andries Fourie will discuss his research on this subject and his recent installation and performance that explore the role of South and Southeast Asian slave women in shaping Afrikaans language, culture and foodways.
The second annual World Book Night (WBN) will be April 23rd, 2013. On this night, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities to spread the joy and love of reading by giving out free WBN paperbacks courtesy of the World Book Night organization.
This is our second year to participate in this event, and we have selected “Glaciers” by Portland author Alexis M. Smith to distribute to 20 students, faculty and staff somewhere on campus. Last year we handed out ten books at noon by the Mill Stream because it was such a nice day and everyone was outside. We handed out ten more books in the evening in the Cat Cavern. If you’re curious where we’ll hand out the books this year, check our Facebook page on April 22 & 23rd for hints of times and places.
Please join us for a presentation by Inga Johnson (Dept. of Mathematics) this Friday, April 5th at 3:00 pm in the Library Hatfield Room. The title of her talk is: Topology, Homology, and Applications to Data
Abstract: Topology is the subfield of mathematics that is concerned with the study of shape. Mathematicians have studied topological questions for the past 250 years. However, in just the past 15 years topology has been found to have many different applications to real world problems. One of these is to use a topological tool called persistence homology to understand and analyze high dimensional and complex data sets.
This talk will be an introduction to topology and the concept of homology. We will then use homology to a look at examples of how topological ideas can be used to give new and surprising insight towards understanding data. This talk will emphasize examples and concepts. Prerequisites will be minimal.