Faculty Colloquium: “A Hindu is white although he is black”

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, November 6th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Alexander Rocklin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Alexander Rocklin
Title: “A Hindu is white although he is black”: Hindu Alterity and the Performativity of Religion and Race between the US and the Caribbean

Abstract:

This talk uses the controversies surrounding the racially and religiously enigmatic Ismet Ali, a yogi working in Chicago and New York in the 1920s, as a way to get at the complexities of the interrelatedness of the performativity of religion and race. In examining several moments in which Ali’s “authenticity” as Indian is brought into doubt, it opens up larger questions regarding the global flows of colonial knowledge, racial tropes, and groups of people between India, the US, and the Caribbean. The practices of the yogi persona and its sartorial stylings, particularly the donning of a turban and beard, meant to signify “East Indianness” in the US, were one mode through which “Hindoo” stereotypes were repurposed as models for self-formation by both South Asian and African Americans in the early twentieth century. In passing as “Hindoo,” peoples of color could circumvent the US’s black/white racial binary and the violence of Jim Crow. This act of racial passing, though, was an act of religious passing as well. This talk explores the ways in which, in the early twentieth century US, East Indian “authenticity” only became legible via identificatory practices that engaged with and took on Orientalized stereotypes. However, the ways in which identities had to and could be performed changed with context, as individuals moved across national and colonial lines.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium, Environmental Health

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Please join us this Friday, October 30th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Joyce Millen, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Barbara Stebbins-Boaz, Associate Professor of Biology
Title: Environmental Health Research Collaborative Takes Flight on a LARC

Abstract: Environmental health is concerned with the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil upon which we grow crops, the food we consume, and the products we use on our bodies, in our homes, and at work. It is both a discipline and a social movement that aims to promote human health and wellbeing. Effective environmental health research—and activism—requires knowledge of myriad intersections between nonhuman and human organisms, and natural and built environments. In this colloquium, we will introduce our ongoing exploration of environmental health work, in the lab, on the road, and in the classroom. We will present highlights from our LARC summer research collaborative which took us up and down the Willamette Valley, visiting relevant agencies and laboratories and closely investigating local environmental health concerns, including pesticide use in parks and agricultural fields, diesel fuel use, BPAs in food and water containers, toxins in daycare settings, the osteosarcoma outbreak in West Salem, and neurotoxins used in dry cleaning. We will also share ways in which we have integrated environmental health themes in our courses and how we envision expanding Willamette’s contribution to this work.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: My Case is Altered

 

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, October 2nd at 3:00 in a special place, Room 202 in the M. Lee Pelton Theatre Building for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.  Treats will be provided.
Bobby Brewer-Wallin, Associate Professor of Theatre and
Struan Leslie, Director of My Case Is Altered. Mellon Learning by Creating Visiting Artist.(Follow this link to see a video about this upcoming production)
 
Title:  My Case is Altered: Tales of a Roaring Girl

Abstract:
My Case is Altered: Tales of a Roaring Girl explores and transforms current perceptions of race, class, gender, and identity by challenging the audience to consider their pre-conceived notions about an actor performing outside and beyond her normative roles. Solo performer, Lisa Gaye Dixon—a black woman born and raised in middle America—investigates her connections to the world of theatre and the world at large via disparate texts, personalities, and topics ancient & modern. This personal journey of transformation and self-recognition ranges from Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher, & Julius Caesar to American Football, Classical Theatre, & Hip Hop music. This colloquium presentation focuses on the process of developing a new solo performance work, working with collaborators across four time zones and two continents, and the ways visual image research is used to make direct connections to the text and to the body.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Brewer-Leslie


Faculty Colloquium: Doing Disability Studies

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, September 25th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Allison Hobgood, Associate Professor of English

Title: Doing Disability Studies: Equity and Justice Through the Arts and Humanities
Hobgood
Abstract:

“Doing Disability Studies: Equity and Justice Through the Arts and Humanities” invites listeners to consider the role of disability studies in higher education and as an academic pursuit that supports social justice. Specifically, Allison P. Hobgood will explore the power of disability studies in the Humanities, discuss its history and current iterations, and offer some examples of how disability studies helps make our world a more just, inclusive, and equitable place.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Pushcarts and Shtetls Come West: The Creation of Historical Memory in Portland

Please join us this Friday, September 11th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Ellen Eisenberg, Dwight & Margaret Lear Professor of American History

Title: Pushcarts and Shtetls Come West: The Creation of Historical Memory in Portland

Abstract:
Eisenberg
“This presentation explores how the razing of a South Portland neighborhood under an Urban Renewal plan in the 1960s led to the birth of a new Oregon Jewish history. In an effort to tell the story of the immigrant experience in the soon-to-be paved over neighborhood, a group of Jewish women stepped forward to collect oral histories, write an original musical, and prepare a series of exhibits. In the process, they created Old South Portland, the product of communal memory and more general American Jewish tropes. Emerging at a time when the Lower East Side had become the iconic version of the East European immigrant story and while Fiddler on the Roof was playing on Broadway and on the silver screen, Old South Portland drew on both, importing elements of these stories and transposing them onto the local landscape.”

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: “Katriniana”: Literary and Artistic Responses to Hurricane Katrina

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, September 4th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.

Doreen Simonsen, Humanities & Fine Arts Librarian

Title: “Katriniana”: Literary and Artistic Responses to Hurricane Katrina

Abstract:

Katriniana is a phrase coined by Susan Larson, former Book Editor for the Times-Picayune Newspaper of New Orleans, to describe the inundation of books written about Hurricane Katrina and its impact. In the ten years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and precipitated the failure of the federal levees in New Orleans leaving 80% of the city underwater, writers, artists, photographers, musicians, filmmakers and many more have been using their skills to respond to the devastation. Benefit works, sympathetic responses, communal rebuilding efforts, celebrations of the rich cultures of New Orleans, and a little bit of carpetbagging characterize the various types of literary and artistic responses to the storm and its aftermath. Katrina Cross-Stitch

In conjunction with this talk, a collection of these works will be on display on the second floor of the the Mark O. Hatfield Library until September 23, 2015. An online guide to the books on display is available at this site: http://libguides.willamette.edu/katriniana

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinator


Faculty Colloquium: “Composing a World”

Please join us this Friday, Friday, April 17th at 3:00 pm in Cone Chapel for the eighth and final Faculty Colloquium of this semester. It will be a musical treat and a lovely way to wrap up the semester. (Please note the change of location)

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

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Christine Welch Elder, Continuing Adjunct Professor of Music

Title: “Composing a World”: Ricky Ian Gordon sets Langston Hughes

Abstract:

The provocative opening to Langston Hughes’s poem, “Daybreak in Alabama,” claims a special power for music: “When I get to be a composer, I’m gonna write me some music about daybreak in Alabama.” In the poem, Hughes goes on to imagine a world in which hands of all colors touch each other “with kind fingers,” “naturally as dew”—a utopian vision of harmonious race relations the poet can “compose” into being.

American composer Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956) published musical settings of Hughes’s poems in 1993 and 1997, thereby composing a more contemporary reading of Hughes and, at the same time, an opportunity for audiences to enter into Hughes’s poetic and racial world via Gordon’s emotionally charged, well-crafted, and accessible music. The result is a brilliant amplification and expansion of Hughes’s meanings, and one that brings into the present our own possibilities for “composing a world.” Join us for a live performance and discussion of Gordon’s settings.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and James Miley
Faculty Colloquium Coordinator


Surrealism, Stenography and the Ouija Board

Please join us this Friday, April 10th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for the seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided to accompany this talk.

Abigail Susik, Assistant Professor of Art Historysusik_sm

Title: “Surrealism, Stenography and the Ouija Board”

Abstract: “Automatism” was an aesthetic concept and practice that the French Surrealists famously borrowed from the new field of psychoanalysis just after World War I. Starting around 1919, artists and writers such as André Breton and Max Ernst systematically began to investigate the human mind as a source of unconscious and marvelous artistic material, an exploration which soon became the ideological foundation for the Modern Art movement called “Surrealism.”

Several of the Surrealists were veterans of the Great War, and some of them were also medical interns at the Front who had practiced Psychiatry on victims of war trauma. Following the war, these Surrealists often gathered together to play writing and drawing games meant to cultivate unconscious outpourings. Some of the participants even fell into deep trances and uttered fantastic thoughts which were transcribed by other members of the group into a strange kind of dream poetry.

My recent research attempts to extend beyond the now-familiar idea that Surrealism is primarily a product of psychoanalysis. This presentation questions whether there might be a productive comparison between Surrealism and the post-World War I Ouija Board craze in the United States and England, or that matter, between Surrealism and the rise of a secretarial trade for women at this time. Both of these phenomena, the Ouija Board and the influx of women as copyists or stenographers, are direct results of the Great War, and both focus on the same kind of passive “dictation” that so fascinated the Surrealists as the best means of accessing the unconscious. What is the significance of these broad contextual parallels?

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and James Miley
Faculty Colloquium Coordinator


Friday: “Unexpected Writing” Talk by Bill Duvall

duvallPlease join us this Friday, March 13th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for the sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided to accompany this talk.

Bill Duvall, Professor of History

“Unexpected Writing from an Engaged Intellectual: Ahmed Kalouaz and Adolescent Literature”

Abstract: Ahmed Kalouaz is a contemporary French writer of Algerian descent. He is part of the second generation coming out of the immigrant communities, a group that arrived on the French literary and political scene in the 1980s. I will shift my focus a bit in this presentation. Kalouaz has been writing adolescent literature over the past 8 years in an effort to help the third and fourth generations better understand their predicament in the face of the racism and social injustice they experience in the streets of France. Initially I was going to reflect on that literature and on Kalouaz’s continued role as engaged intellectual. But I received a manuscript from Kalouaz on 9 January in which he weaves a number of things together, including the search for his grandfather’s story which ended in his death just after World War II. I will talk about the novels Kalouaz has written in the effort to bring to life the life of his father and the generation of immigrants to France that surrounded him. Because of his father’s unlettered silence (so common to his generation), Kalouaz has had to invent a history and a social memory. What runs through the stories he tells about his family is the memory of the brutal French Algerian war. In Kalouaz’s mind, it cuts like a knife through contemporary French society as the French continue to live out the consequences of that war. The arrival of his manuscript on 9 January seems to bring an uncanny focus on the heritage of the war.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and James Miley
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Echoes of the Folkelig Tradition

Holland-PhillipsPlease join us this Friday, March 6th at 3:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for the fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.  Treats will be provided to accompany this talk.

Dr. Holland Phillips, Instructor of Violin & Viola, Department of Music

Echoes of the Folkelig Tradition in Carl Nielsen’s Præludium og Tema med Variationer, Op. 48″

Abstract: By the time Carl Nielsen composed the Præludium og Tema med Variationer, Op. 48in 1923, the composer had been heavily invested in creating Danish folkelige songs. Especially in the wake of the First World War and the recent reunification of northern Slesvig with Denmark, the folkelig song style had become emblematic of national Danish unity, and Nielsen was intimately tied to this heightened symbolism. The Danish folkelig song tradition is readily identifiable in the tema of the Op. 48, and I argue that the composer arranges the melody from his song Je så kun tilbage [I merely looked back]as the basis of the Op. 48’s theme. In stark stylistic contrast, the prelude that precedes this tema is among Nielsen’s most overtly modernist statements. Within the composition, Nielsen explores the virtuosic extremes of the violin and ventures beyond tonality, yet he presents a distinctively Danish folk character in the theme. Finding these two stylistic voices confined within a single opus helps us to more thoroughly explore the nature of Nielsen’s dual musical identity: a composer of international stature, versed in early twentieth-century notions of European musical modernism, and a composer of Danish traditional folkelige songs.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and James Miley
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators