Special Collections

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I'll Fly Away

Posted on: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 2:01pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Gloria Burgess to Present "I'll Fly Away: A Sojourn Through Poetry and Spirituals"

Award-winning poet, performer and distinguished scholar Gloria Burgess will explore the rich heritage of African-American spirituals and poetry at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4 in Room 16 of Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center.The presentation is free and open to the public.

During this interactive presentation, Burgess will discuss the literary and artistic forms of spirituals and poetry that tied communities together socially and artistically during slavery, and continue to enrich the multicultural fabric of our state today through the work of contemporary African-America poets, musicians and artists. This sojourn through words and music will cover the sometimes hidden meanings of specific spirituals and poems, including how the art helped people cope as they were transported from one continent, and one culture, to another.

Burgess has presented keynotes, master classes, and artistic tributes focusing on African-American, African, and other oral traditions for over 30 years. She has presented, consulted, and performed in a variety of venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Washington National Cathedral, the Kenyan Parliament, and the South African Embassy in Switzerland. Burgess holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from the University of Southern California, and has served as regular and visiting faculty at universities in Washington and California. She is a Poetry Fellow with Cave Canem, a prestigious collective of poets and writers of the African diaspora, sponsored by the American Academy of Poets.

This special talk is presented by Humanities Washington, which offers a roster of cultural experts and scholars who provide low-cost, high-quality public presentations across the state, encouraging audiences to think, learn, and engage in conversation. The event is being co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Western Washington University Departments of English, Liberal Studies, and Music.

James W. Scott Fellowships - Applications for 2017

Posted on: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 11:29am

Topic(s): Updates

James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships - Now Accepting Applications for 2017

About the Awards

The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowships promote awareness and innovative use of archival collections at Western Washington University, and seek to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Fellowship funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a founder and first Director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region. Up to $1000 funding is offered in 2017 to support significant research using archival holdings at WWU’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources.

Fellowship Requirements

  • Applications are accepted from individuals in doctoral programs as well as individuals who have finished the Ph.D.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to spend approximately one week examining CPNWS holdings in support of their research, and to be in residence prior to October 31, 2017. Additional information and detailed guides to collections may be accessed on the CPNWS website.
  • Fellows will be asked to give a presentation about some aspect of their research during the course of their scheduled visit. The audience will vary depending on the time of the year, but may include members of the general public as well as students, faculty and staff from WWU.


  • Applications will be reviewed after October 31, 2016, with announcements of awards expected in November 2016. The number and size of awards granted annually is determined by the application review committee.
  • Applications may be submitted via mail or electronically and should include:
    • Cover letter
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Research plan outlining on-site use of CPNWS holdings and proposed presentation topic
    • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Please send applications via email to Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu or by mail to Ruth Steele, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123. Please enter “Scott Research Fellowship Application” in the subject line of email applications.
  • Funds will be awarded after a Fellow(s) has conducted research at CPNWS and delivered their presentation.
  • Fellowship awards may be subject to taxation in accordance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Applicants are advised that they may need a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (i.e. SSN or ITIN) to receive funds.       

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