Library News

Laughing into the Abyss: Comedy’s Existential Howl

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, April 11th at 2:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium.

Our speaker will be:

Scott Nadelson, Assistant Professor of English; Hallie Ford Chair in Writing

Title: Laughing into the Abyss: Comedy’s Existential Howlnadelson_sm

Abstract: This talk on the craft and process of narrative writing explores the relationship between comedy and lamentation. I examine work by the Coen brothers, Nikolai Gogol, and Penelope Fitzgerald—with diversions to Lenny Bruce, Sarah Silverman, Richard Pryor, and The Office—to understand how writers use comedy to wrestle with the complexities of mortality, grief, faith, and compassion. I also discuss how comedy has played a role in my own recent work.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Graphic Novels and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, April 4th at 2:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium.

Our speaker will be:

Michelle Bumatay, Visiting Assistant Professor of French

Title: Graphic Novels and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora: A Visual Postcolonial Discoursebumatay_sm

Abstract: Former French President Charles de Gaulle’s famous claim that Belgian character Tintin was his only international rival speaks to the ubiquity of bandes dessinées (comics and graphic novels) in the francophone world. Similarly, in Peau noire, Masques blancs, Frantz Fanon highlights the popularity of bandes dessinées and points to the negative psychological impact of such texts on non-European readers who identify with Western explorer characters rather than with the racialized stereotypical images of non-European characters. One major factor for this is that the emergence and development of French and Belgian bandes dessinées took place during the height of European colonialism and subsequently drew from and participated in a visual culture—such as travel postcards, brochures and keepsakes from colonial expositions, and in particular advertisements for exotic goods such as Banania—that helped construct the European imaginary of Africa. My current work examines how contemporary cartoonists employ a wide range of visual and verbal strategies to subvert existing visual stereotypes of blacks and Africa prevalent in French-language graphic novels (the most ubiquitous example being Tintin in the Congo) and visual culture (including ad campaigns for exotic goods such as Banania). Focusing on cartoonists from West and Central Africa whose work dates from the 1980s to today, my work is chiefly concerned with the representations of postcolonial identity formation. Moreover, I contend that these cartoonists, by challenging mainstream European graphic narrative conventions, invite readers to question meaning-making processes and actively generate new ways of thinking of and visualizing Africa.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Brandi Rowe

Dear Colleagues,
Please join us this Friday, March 14th at 2:00 pm in Cone Chapel for this week’s Faculty Colloquium. (Please note the change of location.)

Our speaker will be: Brandi Row Lazzarini, Associate Professor of Exercise Science

row

Title: Walking and harmony: Studying walking smoothness of older adults using the harmonic ratio.

Abstract:  Similar to the concept of musical harmony, a person’s walking motions can be constructive, or in phase with the base frequency (consonant), or destructive and out of phase with the base frequency (dissonant).  In biomechanics, walking ‘smoothness’ is quantified as the ratio of the amplitude of constructive and destructive acceleration harmonics.  In older adults, walking smoothness breaks down into more dissonant states caused by increased ‘out of phase’ motions, and this breakdown occurs faster in individuals at a higher risk of falling. My current work explores practical aspects of the use of this sort of biomechanical variable, such as whether it is impacted by walking on a treadmill, and whether it can be represented by clinical tests of stepping, which would have implications toward improving clinical assessment of mobility function.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Erik Noftle

NoftleDear Colleagues,
Please join us this Friday, March 7th at 2:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium.

Our speaker will be:

Erik E. Noftle, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Title: Are you a moral person? Examining the substance, stability, and outcomes of explicit moral self-views to gain insight into character

Abstract:  Classic work on moral development was focused on information-processing: how people responded to moral dilemmas was diagnostic of the moral person. Recently, the re-invigoration of a long-neglected personality approach regards morality more broadly as related to character (Hill & Roberts, 2010). Although useful frameworks exist for identifying and classifying traits that represent good character (character strengths, Big Five personality subcomponents), the current work examines morality at the broadest, most explicit level. The current study tracked over 200 participants, who are at the outset of the formative period of emerging adulthood, longitudinally across their first two college years. Several questions about moral development were pursued: Do people see themselves as typically behaving morally? Do those views change over time? Are moral self-views fatally biased or can they predict people’s character traits and important outcomes? Results suggest moral self-views capture some character traits but not all, and predict life goals, moral concerns, integrity, and adjustment in revealing ways.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium, February 28th, 2014

Please join us this Friday, February 28th at 2:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium.

Our speaker will be:fisherfull
Alison J. Fisher, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Title:  Isoprene synthase from heath star moss: A possible window into the evolution and function of isoprene production by land plants

Abstract:  Isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) is the most abundant volatile organic compound (VOC) released from land plants.  Indeed, plants release over 600 million tons of isoprene each year into the atmosphere.  Once airborne, isoprene promotes the production of photochemical smog and other air pollutants and contributes indirectly to global warming.  In many seed plants, the enzyme isoprene synthase catalyzes the production of isoprene from its precursor, dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP).  However, the role of isoprene in plant biology remains elusive. While isoprene production by mosses is common, there are no previous reports of enzymatic production of isoprene in a moss.  We isolated and characterized a DMAPP-dependent isoprene synthase from cell-free extracts of heath star moss (Campylopus introflexus), and efforts are underway in our laboratory to clone the mRNA transcript that codes for this novel enzyme.  The discovery of the first isoprene synthase activity from a moss could shed light on the evolution, and possible biological function, of isoprene production in plants.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Fulbright Scholar Program Panel

Please join us Friday, February 14th at 2:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium panel discussion.

Title: The Fulbright Scholar Program

Abstract: If you have ever thought about applying for a Fulbright–still one of the most highly regarded international exchange programs in the United States and abroad–and have questions, come and talk with our experienced Fulbrighters. What’s it like to take your children to a foreign country on a Fulbright grant? What teaching assignments could you expect? What will you bring to the country you’re living in, and what could you expect to take away from the experience? These questions and many more can all be discussed at this Faculty Colloquium focused on the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Our panelists will include:

Ron Loftus (Japan, twice, Core Scholar Grant)
David McCreery (Jordan, Core Scholar grant and Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad leader)
Joyce Millen (Senegal, dissertation award and current Fulbright panelist)
Pamela Moro (Thailand, as a graduate student and Core Scholar)
Scott Pike (Greece, dissertation award)
Todd Silverstein (Norway, Core Scholar grant)
Bill Smaldone (Germany, twice, Core Scholar grant)
Mike Strelow (Spain, Core Scholar grant)

We hope that you will be able to join us.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium, Spring Semester Schedule

pdmBelow is the spring semester schedule for the weekly Faculty Colloquium.  Their talks will be held each week in the Hatfield Room which is located on the second floor of the library.  Abstracts and reminders for each talk will be broadcast in advance of each session.  Abstracts and additional information will be linked from this page as they are provided; abstracts are typically supplied the week of the talk.  We hope you will be able to join us.  Comments and questions can be directed to the Faculty Colloquium Coordinators Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer

Jan 31st
Emily Drew:  “Under One Roof: The Effects of Immigration Policy on Latino Families in Oregon”

Feb 7th  
Michael Nord:  “Noru Ka Soru Ka: New Work”

Feb 14   
Pat Alley:  A Session by Fulbright Scholarship Winners

Feb 28 
Alison Fisher:  “Isoprene synthase from heath star moss: A possible window into the evolution and function of isoprene  production by land plants”

Mar 7 
Erik Noftle:  “Personality Change”

Mar 14
Brandi Lazzarini:  “Smooth Moves and Staying Upright: Studying Indicators of Fall Risk in the Walking Motion of Older Adults”  [NB:  Location change to Cone Chapel]

Apr 4
Michelle Bumatay:  “Graphic Novels and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora: A Visual Postcolonial Discourse”

Apr 11 
Scott Nadelson:  “Laughing into the Abyss: Comedy’s Existential Howl!”

Apr 25
Professor of the Year Teaching Presentations

Faculty Colloquium: Immigration Policy

Please join us this Friday, January 31st at 2:00 pm in the Library’s
Hatfield Room for this semester’s opening Faculty Colloquium. Our speaker will be:

Emily Drew, Associate Professor of Sociology and American Ethnic Studies

Title: Under One Roof: The Effects of Drew on Latino Families in Oregon

Abstract: The family, an institution responsible for economic and social stability, should ostensibly be safe from inequalities of the broader society. However, for immigrant families whose members have varied statuses, policy affects opportunities, roles, relationships and cohesion. Through interviews with 31 Latino families from 12 cities in Oregon (80 persons total), I discovered how policy (e.g. Secure Communities, drivers’ licenses) creates “divided fates” among members of one family, living under the same roof. Immigration policy creates and accentuates micro-stratification within Latina/o immigrant families, perpetuating a damaging dichotomy–citizen and not citizen. Consequently, it creates “unequal childhoods,” destabilizes families, and contributes to generational separation and cultural amnesia.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

This Week’s Faculty Colloquium: Representing Renaissance Queer Crips

Hobgood_smPlease join us this Friday, November 15th at 2:00 pm in the Library’s
Hatfield Room for a presentation by Professor Allison Hobgood (English Department) on:

Title:  Representing Renaissance Queer Crips

Abstract My latest scholarship explores literature produced by the famous, seventeenth-century poet Andrew Marvell. Specifically, I am interested in a burgeoning theoretical disposition in English Renaissance studies, one that investigates the history and literary representations of disability. In my talk, I use a disability studies framework to show how Marvell’s poetry interprets and makes sense of human variation and bodily difference, from wounds to blindness to castration. I’ll discuss Marvell’s representations of castration, impotency, and non-normative, sexual physicality and then examine how those representations relate to Renaissance medical and cultural ideas about sexualized bodily difference. For example, Marvell’s poem “Upon a Eunuch” might be understood as a kind of disability narrative in which verse is imagined as an alternate means of sexual activity and impregnation; for Marvell, poems become prosthetic objects that enable the eunuch to procreate in ways “typical” able-bodied individuals often do.  In examining Marvell’s meditation on poems as sexual prostheses, my argument also illuminates the useful intersections of sexuality/queer studies and early modern disability studies. Much has been said in the last decade or so about the productive reciprocity between queer and crip identities and theories, though predominately in a modern context: among other things, sexual minorities and people with disabilities share a history of injustice and activist resistance to the prejudicial demand that corporeal “defects” be normalized. This talk aims to open up new conversations around sexualized bodily difference and disability in modernity and, especially, in the context of 17th c England.  

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Colloqium: Gauging and Strengthening Quantitative Skills at Entry

Please join us this Friday, November 8th at 2:00 pm in the Library’s Hatfield Room for a special presentation by Margot Black, Director, Symbolic and Quantitative Resource Center, Lewis & Clark College. James Friedrich (Department of Psychology) is sponsoring Professor Black’s presentation.Margot_Black_sm

Title: Gauging and Strengthening Quantitative Skills at Entry: New Options for Improving Students’ Course Placement and Academic Success

Abstract: Mathematically underprepared students are a large and growing concern in higher education. This can pose special challenges for small, liberal arts colleges with limited course offerings. Identifying and addressing the needs of these students enhances their success across a wide range of courses in the sciences, humanities, and arts. Doing so also contributes to broader institutional success in terms of graduation rates and retention. If a college admits students with such varied quantitative preparation, I suggest that it bears the responsibility of providing certain resources necessary to help them be successful in their courses. In this talk I will discuss how Lewis & Clark College handles math proficiency and placement testing as well as options for remediation for those students who need it most. Such placement and support efforts ultimately contribute to the academic success of all students, including those initially seen as having strong quantitative preparation.