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“A Story From Chikamatsu” at Pickford Film Center Jan. 14

Posted on: January 8, 2020

Topic(s): Updates, Events

 “A Story From Chikamatsu” at Pickford Film Center, January 14, 2020

Black and white still image of two people from the film "A Story in Chikamatsu"

The next film in the Cinema East series is A Story From Chikamatsu, which screens at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street).

Also known as The Crucified Lovers, A Story From Chikamatsu continues Mizoguchi Kenji’s exploration of Japanese literary and theatrical traditions. A bunraku puppet play provides the basis for a story about a misunderstanding that puts two people in the crosshairs of a rigid and judgmental social structure. 

Series curator and librarian from Western Washington University Jeff Purdue, describes the film as “A powerful critique and profound emotional experience,” adding, “A Story From Chikamatsu is a film of great visual beauty that will stay with you for a long time to come.”

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, each film in the Cinema East series, (formerly known as the Masters of Asian Cinema series), begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators.  A Story From Chikamatsu will be introduced by Eren Odabasi, Assistant Professor of Global Cinema in the Department of English at Western Washington University. 

Eren Odabasi’s research and teaching interests include media policy and governance, diasporic filmmakers and audiences, and auteur theory.  He has presented and published several articles on film festivals and transnational film production. As a film critic, he has been writing extensively for the Turkish monthly film magazine Altyazi since 2008. In recognition of his work in film criticism, he was invited to the Talents Program of the Berlin International Film Festival twice and served as a jury member in the Semaine de la Critique section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.

For more information about this film event, please see the following link: or contact     

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A Brief History of Jewish Typography - Jan.14

Posted on: December 19, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Artist Hillel Smith to Speak about the History of Jewish Typography, January 14

Photograph of artist Hillel Smith in front of one of his murals.Artist and designer Hillel Smith will give a talk entitled, “A Brief History of Jewish Typography” at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Western Libraries in the Reading Room (Wilson 4 Central). The event is free and open to the public. 

How have changing technologies – from the scroll to the codex, the invention of paper and the printing press, to the inventions of the modern era – changed the ways that Judaism is studied and practiced? What insights can typography offer into Jewish communal identity and relations? What have been the roles of nationalism and romanticism, assimilation and cultural exchange, in the development of Hebrew typography?  This multimedia presentation will cover the four-thousand-year development of the Hebrew alphabet, from its invention to the present, focusing on how technology and geography have shaped the way Jews practice and think about holy texts. 

Hillel Smith is an artist and designer focused on re-imagining the potential of Judaica by utilizing contemporary media to create new manifestations of traditional forms. He has painted dynamic Jewish murals in Southern California, Atlanta, Virginia, Jerusalem, and at the Fendi headquarters in Rome, Italy. Smith revitalizes ancient rituals with online projects, encouraging creative reconsideration of religious practice. Seeing Hebrew as the visual glue that binds Jews together across time and space, he also teaches Jewish typographic history, using print as a lens for Jewish life and culture.  

This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program, in connection with an exhibition in Special Collections, “As Far As Their Books Reach: Jewish Printing and the Global Jewish Diaspora,” which traces the physical, intellectual, and cultural journeys of the Jewish people through their publications. 

The event is co-sponsored by Western Libraries Heritage Resources, the Department of History, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the Western Gallery, and the Department of Global Humanities and Religions.  

For more information contact David Schlitt, Heritage Resources Judaica Project Archivist, at (360) 650-3193 or

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'Canines & Cats on Campus' Program Returns to WWU

Posted on: November 26, 2019

Topic(s): Updates

Canines & Cats on Campus Program Visits WWU

students visiting with a dog from the 'Canines & Cats on Campus' programWestern Libraries will once again be joined by members of the “Canines & Cats on Campus” registered therapy animal program from Monday, December 2 through Wednesday, December 11, 2019. 

Teams of humans and animals will be located in the gallery space at the end of the Mann Family Skybridge on the Wilson side of the library off and on between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. during both the week preceding and the week of final exams. 

During this two-week period, this space will be reserved exclusively for the registered Canines & Cats on Campus therapy animal program, and animals who are not official volunteers with this program are not permitted in this area. 

Additionally, Western Libraries would like to remind everyone that while ADA service animals are welcome in the library, pets may not be brought into library facilities at any time.

For more information about the upcoming Canines & Cats on Campus visit, a schedule which includes the names of the volunteers, photos of the animals, and the times when they will be available for visiting, will be posted on an easel in the designated gallery area beginning Monday, December 2.

Remember to stop by the library to say hi or de-stress when you are in need of a break from studying for finals, working on projects, or writing those last few papers!  

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What is our role in creating just & equitable healthcare?

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Nov. 18 event to explore: “What is our role in creating just & equitable healthcare?”

North entrance to Wilson Library with blue filter and the words "Teaching-Learning Academy" overlayed on top.

"What is our role in creating just & equitable healthcare?" Participants from the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) at Western Libraries invite you to explore this question during the upcoming off-campus dialogue group event co-hosted by the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County and the WWU Center for Community Learning.

This event will be held on Monday, November 18, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Giesecke Ballroom at the Bellingham YWCA, 1026 N. Forest St. The beginning of the session features panelists from various non-profit organizations, followed by small break-out groups facilitated by TLA students.

The goal of these dialogues is to connect with people on topics that affect both the Western community, and the local Bellingham community. Open to everyone, participation in these dialogues is a great way to get involved, meet new people.

Panelists for this event include:

• Monica Burke (Arc)

• Paige Sharpe (Planned Parenthood)

• Kim Sauter (NAMI)

For more information about TLA, please see this site: or contact You can also check out this video:

More Information about our program partners is located here: and here:

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Speaking of Maps: The Story of the Salish Sea Map

Posted on: October 30, 2019

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Stefan Freelan to Speak About the “Story of the Salish Sea Map” Nov. 20

Image of the map "The Salish Sea & Surrounding Basin," by Stefan Freelan. Text on the map reads: "The Salish Sea extends from the north end of the Strait of Georgia to the south end of the Puget Sound and west to the mouth of the Straight of Juan de Fuca.Cartographer and geographer Stefan Freelan will discuss the process for the ‘Salish Sea’ to be recognized as an official name, and the role that the map “The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin,” played in that process at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, in the Map Collection at Western Libraries.

Maps help us understand our environment, and they may also serve political and cultural agendas. In this talk, Freelan will present a collection of maps to compare, contrast, and discuss alongside the map he created, “The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin,” as he explores how this map differs from other maps of the area, and talks about the choices and creative process that went into its creation. This event is free and open to the public.

Freelan began sailing the Salish Sea as a teenager and has called the Salish Sea region home ever since. He created “The Salish Sea and Surrounding Basin” map for Bert Webber in 2008 as part of a campaign asking for the governments of Washington State in the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada for official recognition of the name ‘Salish Sea.’  Freelan is also the Assistant Director of the Spatial Institute at Huxley College of the Environment at WWU, and he teaches courses in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), GPS (Global Positioning System) and Cartography.

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries, Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment, and The Spatial Institute, this talk is part of the “Speaking of Maps” program, which are quarterly talks designed to highlight the use and value of maps in research, in teaching and learning, and in daily life. For more information, please contact Dennis Matthews, Map Collection Manager, at or (360) 650-3272.