Appears on the Heritage Resources Page
Appears on the Heritage Resources Page
Heritage Resources' regular hours of operation will be modified slightly through the month of June.
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies:
This information is also available on our "Hours and Locations" page.
Sandra Alfers, professor of German and director of the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity at Western Washington University, will discuss her research on the poetry of the Holocaust from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17 in Western Libraries Special Collections on the 6th floor of Wilson Library.
The presentation is free and open to the public.
During her presentation, “Poetry after Auschwitz - Who was Else Dormitzer?" Alfers will introduce the work and life of Holocaust survivor Else Dormitzer and propose a reading of Dormitzer’s poetry collection from the Theresienstadt transit camp.
Else Dormitzer (1877-1958) was a journalist, writer, and activist, who fled her hometown of Nuremberg along with her husband, Dr. Sigmund Dormitzer, shortly after the November pogrom of 1938, also known as "Kristallnacht" (The Night of Broken Glass).
In 1943, the German occupying forces in the Netherlands, where the Dormitzers had lived after their escape from Nazi Germany, deported the couple to the Theresienstadt ghetto. While her husband did not survive the Holocaust, Else Dormitzer returned to the Netherlands and later moved to the United Kingdom. She became a British national in 1951.
With the help of the Association of Jewish Refugees, an organization based in the UK, and of Frank Harris, founder of the “Nürnberg-Fürth Survivors Group” in the U.S., Alfers was able to locate Dormitzer’s surviving relatives in Europe. They opened their extensive private family archive to her, including poetry and diaries from Theresienstadt. Alfers’ German-language book “weiter schreiben. Leben und Lyrik der Else Dormitzer” (Hentrich & Hentrich, 2015) made Dormitzer’s Holocaust writings available in Germany for the first time. The book also places Dormitzer’s contributions to cultural and social history into context as it traces her life in the 20th century.
Alfers teaches a broad range of German language, culture, and literature courses on all levels of the curriculum.
In her research, Alfers focuses on the literature of the Holocaust, particularly on German-language poetry written in Theresienstadt between 1941-1945. Her English- and German-language publications have appeared in international journals such as Monatshefte, Oxford German Studies, and Études Arméniennes Contemporaines, and her work on Theresienstadt has been translated into Czech for “Terezínské Studie A Dokumenty.” Alfers’ book on the German-Jewish activist and writer Else Dormitzer “weiter schreiben. Leben und Lyrik der Else Dormitzer” was published in late 2015 by Hentrich & Hentrich in Berlin, Germany.
This event is being offered as part of the Western Libraries Reading Series, dedicated to showcasing the scholarly and creative work of Western faculty and staff by featuring diverse speakers from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines who are engaged in research, writing, and teaching at Western.
Western Washington University Associate Professor of English Kristin Mahoney will present “Out and Out from the Family to the Community: the Housmans and the Politics of Queer Sibling Devotion" on Tuesday, May 9 at 4:00 p.m. in Western Libraries Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th floor).
In this talk, Mahoney will explore the manner in which Laurence and Clemence’s collaborative relationship became the foundation for broader forms of feminist and anticolonial political thinking. She will also address the ways in which Laurence’s advocacy for sex reform informed his posthumous framing of his brother’s sexuality. For the Housman family, queer kinship practices engendered political activism, and political activism fostered queer kinship practices.
Kristin Mahoney is an Associate Professor of English at Western Washington University, where her research and teaching interests include aestheticism, Decadence, and queer studies. She has published articles in Victorian Studies, Criticism, Victorian Review, Victorian Periodicals Review, English Literature in Transition, Nineteenth-Century Prose, and Literature Compass. Her book “Literature and the Politics of Post-Victorian Decadence” was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. She is currently working on a project entitled “Queer Kinship after Wilde: Transnational Aestheticism and the Family.”
This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program, which are quarterly events featuring presenters who are authorities in their respective fields, and who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research.
The Spring 2017 edition of Heritage Highlights is now available! In this issue you will learn about a variety of Heritage Resources' collections which document local and regional artistic culture, including the digitized correspondence of Skagit County artists, photographs and oral histories related to campus sculpture, and a recent donation of valuable photography books.
Heritage Resources consists of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives & Records Management.
Image: Isamu Noguchi at the dedication ceremony for Skyviewing Sculpture, 1969, Campus History Collection, Special Collections.
Western Libraries Heritage Resources holds vast documentation related to the history of Western Washington University, and beginning March 28, 2017 a retrospective exhibit, featuring historical photographs and other memorabilia illustrating Western’s twelve vibrant decades of institutional life, will bring to light some of these treasures.
This exhibit is free and open to the public, and is available for viewing through June 9 in Western Libraries Special Collections Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed weekends and holidays).
Originally developed for the WWU Centennial Celebration in 1999-2000, the exhibit entitled “Western Tableaux: Redux,” has been updated to reflect Western’s history to the present date. By documenting key events associated with the academic, administrative, and social life of Western, this exhibit unveils pieces of local, state, and national stories.
Through a decade-by-decade series of images, viewers will be able to follow the institution’s trajectory from its earliest days as a normal (teachers’) school, through the expansion of its physical environment and curriculum, and transitions in leadership, programming, and the dynamic and evolving student body.
Keri Krout can still recall the long hot California summers of her childhood, and how they were marked by each arrival from the mail-order Scholastic book club. Krout and her siblings would gather around their mother, eagerly watching as she opened up the cardboard wrapping that encased the book. But the one book Krout remembers most of all is Andrew Henry’s Meadow, written and illustrated by Doris (Wernstedt) Burn.
“We not only read her story, but I remember studying the pictures for hours and imagining my life in a meadow full of friends,” explained Krout. “My home of choice was the bird house built up in the sky. I imagined what a cool breeze would feel like, and the sound of the birds singing just to me.”
Andrew Henry's Meadow is the story of a boy who feels ignored and unappreciated by his family and decides to build a special retreat for himself in a nearby meadow. Other children from the neighborhood join him, so he builds houses for them as well, each one customized to complement their interests and hobbies.
“My brother and I attempted to build a pulley system in his bedroom like Andrew Henry built for his younger brothers, but I admit our attempts fell short,” said Krout. She noted that while other books continued to arrive in the mail, it was Andrew Henry’s Meadow that impacted her the most.
“I grew up working with children,” said Krout, who now works as the manager of the Associated Students Child Development Center (CDC) at Western Washington University. “I think perhaps I understand children’s need to have their own space thanks to Andrew Henry.”
Krout recalled how her favorite childhood story resurfaced when she first began working at Western as she walked through The Outback on her way to work. She encountered a small cabin and was astonished to learn its connection to Doris Burn, as the cabin had once belonged to June and Farrar Burn, Doris Burn’s parents-in-law.
“My beginning started with a simple story of the need to create, to escape, to be understood and accepted. And here I was, standing by the cabin which had belonged to the family of the woman whose life and creating influenced mine in ways I’m sure I can’t count. I felt a sense of utter gratitude of how life can take a person full circle,” Krout explained.
Krout relayed this experience to some of the families of the CDC, and one of the parents later emailed her about a special exhibition featuring the work of Doris Burn that was on display at Western Libraries. As part of this exhibition, Doris Burn’s daughter, the local author and multi-dimensional artist Skye Burn, was scheduled to give a special public presentation about the life and legacy of her mother. Krout knew immediately she would attend this event, and following Skye’s talk, the two women finally met in person.
“What an honor to meet her daughter and to bask in the glow of creative genius,” said Krout. “How can I begin to even thank Doris and her family?”
Burn’s work continues to speak to readers of all ages, and since her death in 2011, Andrew Henry’s Meadow has been reissued by Penguin’s Philomel Books. The title has also been published and is presently available in translation in Korea, China and Japan. Andrew Henry's Meadow won the Washington Governor's Art Award and was a Weekly Reader book club selection.
“Plenty of Things to Do: The Work of Northwest Children’s Author Doris Burn,” will remain on display through March 10th, and is available for viewing weekdays Monday – Friday in Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, a digital version of the Doris Burn exhibit is now available online, as are detailed collection guides to the Doris Burn Artwork and Manuscripts and related collections of June and Farrar Burn Papers and South Burn Papers, housed and available at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
The pieces on display were selected from a far larger collection of Burn’s original works, which were donated to Western Libraries Heritage Resources in 2015 as a gift of the Burn Family via the Doris Burn Legacy LLC. These materials help document the cultural and artistic history of the Pacific Northwest region and were created by an artist and writer who sought specifically to engage with the needs, interests, and creativity of a younger audience.
Skye Burn’s talk, “The Strength of a Dream: A Daughter's Portrait of a Northwest Children's Author and Illustrator,” can be found in Western CEDAR and is viewable from this link.
A backpacker for 50 years, Barney Scout Mann was 13 when he went on his first 50-miler – a week-long backpack in the Sierra Nevada. In 2007, he and his wife Sandy thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, spending more than five months walking a 2,650-mile continuous line from Mexico to Canada. The New York Times calls Mann “the informal historian for the trail” and Backpacker Magazine calls him a “geek for trail history.”
Earlier this year, Mann co-authored the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s new book, The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail, along with Mark Larabee. The book tells the gripping saga of this true American wilderness trail through a series of 250 historic and scenic photographs. It was recently named “Book of the Year” by Backpacker Magazine.
During his presentation, Mann will present stories, photos and videos from the trail, followed by book sales and signings.
This talk is being offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program, which are events featuring presenters who are authorities in their respective fields and who have used Heritage Resources collections significantly in their research.