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"The Day After," Nov. 13

Posted on: November 1, 2018

Topic(s): Events

Masters of Asian Cinema: “The Day After,” Nov. 13

photo of a woman's face, from the film "The Day After"The next Masters of Asian Cinema film is The Day After, which screens at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13,  2018 at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street.)

The Day After is one of three films the prolific Hong Sang-soo released in 2017.  Like many Hong films, this movie focuses on characters in creative professions, in this case a famous author and publisher who hires a new employee, played by Kim Min-hee (who starred in The Handmaiden). Over the course of the film, more is learned about the publisher’s former employee, his wife, and Kim’s character. In typical Hong style, there are subtle games within this narrative that keep the audience guessing throughout the film.  The result is a lighthearted film with serious undertones.

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Asian Cinema series continues the rich tradition that began with the Masters of Japanese Cinema series, one of the Pickford's longest running and most popular series. Each film in the Masters of Asian Cinema series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators. Series curator and librarian from Western Washington University, Jeff Purdue, will introduce The Day After.

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David Mauro: The 'Why?' of Mountain Climbing

Posted on: October 18, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

The 'Why?' of Mountain Climbing

Photo of David Mauro on a snow covered mountainBellingham resident, climber and author David Mauro will give a talk entitled “The ‘Why’ of Mountain Climbing,” at Western Washington University at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 6, in Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The event is free and open to the public. 

The motivations of mountaineers may be a mystery to those who do not climb high mountains, and climbers themselves typically struggle to explain the forces that call these women and men into thin air. Author David Mauro will offer his own answers to this “why?” question through pictures, video, and readings from his recent release, The Altitude Journals, recounting the seven-year period during which he traveled to each continent, climbing its highest summit.

In addition to working as a Certified Financial Planner, David Mauro writes for Adventures Northwest magazine and blogs extensively on topics ranging from mountain climbing to why sardines are safe. He is an improv alumni of The Upfront Theatre, and in the course of his acting career has appeared in several commercials for television, the internet, print and radio. David is the 65th American to climb The Seven Summits, and is also a WWU alumni.

This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program in connection with a new exhibition in Special Collections, “To the Mountaintop,” which explores issues of gender, race, and class in mountaineering. Co-sponsors include the AS Outdoor Center, Center for Canadian American Studies, and Mountain Environments Research Institute. For more information about the event, please contact Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Heritage Resources,, (360) 650-3283.

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Ella Higginson Celebration Nov. 2nd

Posted on: October 15, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Ella Higginson Celebration at Western Libraries 

Photo of Ella HigginsonA special reception  to celebrate the installation of a bronze bust honoring celebrated Pacific Northwest author Ella Rhoads Higginson will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The reception will take place in the Western Libraries Reading Room, (Wilson Library 4th Floor Central) and will include refreshments and live music.

At the turn of the 20th century, Higginson was the most influential Pacific Northwest literary writer in the U.S.  Among her many honors and awards, she was named the first Poet Laureate of Washington state in 1931. However, like many women writers after World War I, over time Higginson and her writings fell into obscurity.  

Higginson was a close friend of Western’s founding librarian Mabel Zoe Wilson, and her papers were ultimately deposited in the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Libraries.  Dr. Laura Laffrado of Western’s English Department conducted extensive research about Higginson in the Western Libraries Heritage Resources collections, which led to the publication of her recent book, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature.  

As part of Laffrado’s work to restore recognition of Higginson as a significant voice in American Literature, she raised donations from generous  faculty, staff, students, friends of Western, and friends of Pacific Northwest women writers to fund the creation of the Higginson bust. The bust will be installed near the north entrance of Wilson Library, across from the portrait of Mabel Zoe Wilson.

“I am thrilled that this beautiful bronze bust will have a home in the foyer of Wilson Library, and am so pleased that Ella Higginson’s connection to Western and the Western Libraries is being recognized and celebrated,” said Laffrado.

For more information, please contact Laura Laffrado ( (360) 650-2886).

Photo of Ella Higginson courtesy of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

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Pipelines and Prairie Protest, Oct.17

Posted on: October 1, 2018

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Western Libraries Reading Series Presents Derek Moscato: “Pipelines and Prairie Protest,” Oct. 17

Photo of Derek MoscatoDerek Moscato, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Public Relations at Western Washington University, will give a talk entitled “Pipelines and Prairie Protest: How Great Plains Environmentalists Win Hearts and Minds and Change the Media Narrative,” at Western Washington University from 4:00-5:00pm on Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the Western Libraries Reading Room (Wilson Library 4th floor Central). The event is free and open to the public.

During his talk, Moscato will explore the role of specific communication and media tactics in evolving an organization’s metanarrative as it toggles between short- and long-term goals. He will explore civic environmental persuasion built upon the attributes of narrative, hyperlocalization, engagement, and bipartisanship in order to build broad support and influence public policy.

Moscato’s research focuses on the use of communication and publicity strategies within contemporary environmental activism. In particular, he draws from the ongoing case of Bold Nebraska, a grassroots advocacy group that has opposed the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL petroleum pipeline in the state of Nebraska since 2008. Such an analysis of activist communication informs several areas of research, including media and public relations, social movement organizations, and environmental communication. 

To understand the successful construction of green communication within such activism, his research draws from social movement framing, media framing, and rhetorical strategies. This approach provides a holistic means to understanding the strategic construction of environmental appeals and the interplay of social movement organizations, public relations, and persuasion. This study also considers the dynamic of populism in environmental activism.

Derek Moscato earned his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. His dissertation was recipient of the school’s 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award. This talk is offered as part of the Western Libraries Reading Series, which is dedicated to showcasing the scholarly and creative work of faculty and staff who are engaged in research, writing, and teaching at Western. For more information about this event, please contact Jenny Oleen, at (360) 650-2613, or via email:

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Librarian Margaret Fast to Retire from Western

Posted on: September 27, 2018

Topic(s): Updates

Librarian Margaret Fast to Retire from Western

Margaret Fast will retire from Western Libraries On October 1, 2018 after twenty-two years of service as a librarian at Western Washington University.

Margaret joined Western Libraries in 1996, and soon thereafter became Assistant Professor and also one of three new college-based librarian positions (Arts and Sciences). 

During her time at Western, she participated in a number of university service opportunities, including the Graduate Council, International Programs Advisory Committee, and Scholars Week. She has also served on the steering and organizing committees as the first Library Steward for the United Faculty of Western Washington University. 

In the Libraries, her service has included the Criteria for Tenure and Promotion Committee, the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Digital Assets Task Force, the Western Libraries Reading Series planning group, and the Undergraduate Research Award Committee.  In January 2016, Margaret was elected Chair of Faculty and has advanced numerous faculty issues, most notably revision of the Unit Evaluation Plan. 

Margaret’s librarianship includes teaching Library Strategies 201 (linked with several college courses) and the Research Paper Tutorial 302 (linked with East Asian Studies). She has served as adjunct professor in the East Asian Studies Program, and as the subject specialist and librarian for the Department of History, Modern and Classical Languages, Art and Design, as well for numerous other departments and programs.  Most recently, Margaret served as Acting Director of Heritage Resources during Elizabeth Joffrion’s professional leave.  

Margaret has also enjoyed an active research agenda, including her recent monograph, The Great War from the German Trenches:  A Sappers Memoir, 1914-1918.  She is a National Endowment for the Humanities grant recipient for “Muslim Journeys,” and a Sasakawa Fellow from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

“For more than two decades, Margaret has exemplified outstanding library service to Western faculty and students,” said Dean of Libraries Mark Greenberg. “As a subject librarian, her expertise and focus on meaningful and effective student research has made her a valued instructor for numerous courses across the curriculum.  I wish her a long and happy retirement.”

A retirement celebration for Margaret will be held on November 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Special Collections. For more information, please contact