Appears on the Heritage Resources Page
Appears on the Heritage Resources Page
Western Washington University’s Cornelius Partsch, Professor of German, was awarded a grant to sponsor a special exhibition entitled “Germany: Integrating Immigrants,” which will be located in Western Libraries Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor), opening on October 24, 2017 and remaining on display through the end of fall quarter.
The exhibition is free and open to the public, and is offered as part of the German Information Center at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany’s annual German Campus Weeks program. “Germany: Integrating Immigrants” explores the experiences of first- and second-generation immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and provides contextual information about Germany’s history, economy, and public policy. The exhibition comprises 30 posters that illustrate individual stories and viewpoints from immigrants and refugees, as well as from German volunteers and professionals who are working towards better integration.
Worldwide, more than 65 million people are fleeing persecution, violence, and human rights violations. In Germany, refugees are granted asylum if they can prove that they have been persecuted in their home countries for political reasons or have fled from a war-torn region. Refugees fleeing civil war and other political catastrophes have found a safe haven in Germany, and the strong German economy continues to attract migrants from inside Europe and from all around the world. Today, the percentage of Germans with at least one parent born abroad is roughly the same as in the United States, with similar opportunities and challenges on both sides of the Atlantic.
The primary goal of the German Campus Weeks program is to preserve and foster the friendship between Germany and the United States through programs and exhibitions in American university and college campuses. This year's theme, “Germany Making Choices,” refers to the choices and political directions at stake in the September 24 federal elections, in which the future of the EU, the integration of refugees and immigrants into German society, and the transatlantic partnership with the US were among the most important issues voters were considering.
“Germany: Integrating Immigrants” will be available for viewing Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays). To schedule a class or group visit, please contact Special Collections Manager Tamara Belts at (360) 650-3193, or via email to Tamara.Belts@wwu.edu. For questions about the exhibition, the German Campus Weeks program, and further events scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit, please contact Cornelius Partsch at (360) 650-3929, or via email to Cornelius.Partsch@wwu.edu.
This exhibition is sponsored by the German Embassy in Washington D.C. and is supported through a partnership from Western’s Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Western Libraries, and the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.
Western Washington University Associate Professor of History Jared Ross Hardesty will discuss his recent book, Unfreedom: Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston, (New York: NYU Press, 2016) on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Western Libraries Reading Room (Wilson Library 4th Floor Central).
The presentation is free and open to the public.
Hardesty’s talk will explore the lives and worlds of enslaved Bostonians in the eighteenth century, reconstructing a world of "unfreedom" that stretched from Europe to Africa to America. Boston’s slaves lived in this place that was characterized by many different forms of dependence and oppression, including Indian slavery, indentured servitude, and apprenticeship.
By reassessing the lives of Boston’s slave population as part of a social order structured by ties of dependence, Hardesty not only demonstrates how African slaves were able to decode their new homeland and shape the terms of their enslavement, but also tells the story of how marginalized peoples ingrained themselves in the very fabric of colonial American society.
Hardesty is Associate Professor of History at Western Washington University, where he is a scholar of colonial America, the Atlantic world, and the histories of labor and slavery. His articles and book reviews have appeared in Early American Studies, Slavery & Abolition, The Journal of Early American History, The William and Mary Quarterly, The New England Quarterly, Itinerario, and Common-place. Beyond his publications, Hardesty’s work has been recognized with grants and fellowships, and he is currently working on a monograph exploring the intersection of labor and empire in the early modern Atlantic world.
This special talk is offered as part of the Western Libraries Reading Series, which began in 1997 and is now celebrating its 20th anniversary! The Western Libraries Reading Series is 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.
Eastern Oregon University Professor of History Ryan Dearinger will give a talk entitled “Dirty Work: Hop-Picking Cultures and the Perils of Diversity in the Pacific Northwest” at Western Washington University from 4:00-5:00pm on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Western Libraries Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The event is free and open to the public.
Dearinger’s research incorporates a regional lens to examine conflicts over race, class, labor, immigration, and national belonging. In his talk, he will explore the shifting cultural bridges and walls of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century U.S. West through a close examination of the hop industry in the Pacific Northwest.
The early Pacific Northwest hop industry featured a seasonal, low-wage labor force that was notable for its diversity. Americans, American Indians, European and Asian immigrants, children, entire families, tourists, convicts, and even prisoners of war toiled as hop-pickers throughout the region. In turn, settled and itinerant populations from the Puget Sound to the Willamette Valley (and beyond) carved out spaces, constructed cultural traditions and identities, and created sites of inclusion despite the persistent segregation of fields, tasks, and opportunities. Over time, the cyclical boom-and-bust nature of the hop industry, shifting ideas about the value of hop-picking, and popular narratives of white American labor, citizenship, and progress merged with ongoing anti-immigrant campaigns to physically and metaphorically transform the Northwest’s hop fields.
Through his analysis of labor protests, riots, and violence, along with community reactions to each, Dearinger’s research unpacks the ways in which diversity morphed from an opportunity into a threat in Northwest, underscoring the challenges faced by native and immigrant laborers in the changing Pacific Northwest. Dearinger explores the painstaking labor required to destroy some cultural bridges, and build, justify, and reinforce new cultural walls.
Dearinger’s book, The Filth of Progress: Immigrants, Americans, and the Building of Canals and Railroads in the West, was published in 2016 by the University of California Press and received the 2017 Best First Book Award from Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Dearinger joined Eastern Oregon University’s history department in 2009. His research and teaching interests include the American West and the Pacific Northwest; immigration; race and ethnicity; labor and working-class history; environmental history; and violence in American history.
This talk is offered as part of the Heritage Resources Distinguished Speakers program.
A new cohort of Environmental Education graduate students visited Western’s campus earlier this month and spent time working with archival and primary source collections at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries’ broader division of Heritage Resources. CPNWS staff pulled together a selection of materials representing various perspectives of place – including environmental, economic, recreational, and indigenous views – for students to explore and analyze.
In the Archives Building Research Room, students divided into groups and reviewed the maps, photographs, pamphlets, letters, and other materials, considering issues related to the construction of cultural and regional identity, the evolution of policy, perceptions of concepts such as “conservation” and “wilderness,” and the significance of place names in determining cultural values.
The class concluded with a discussion about how students and educators can use primary source materials to explore the relationship between how meaning is constructed, how cultural values are expressed, the impact this can have on policy and information creation, and how this in turn affects our own assumptions about both people and place.
If you would like to learn more about the materials in Heritage Resources and at the CPNWS, arrange a class visit, or find out about how Western Libraries can support your teaching and learning needs, please contact us at Library.Communications@wwu.edu.
The recipient of the 2017 James W. Scott Research Fellowship, Matthew Carr, will give a talk entitled “Origins of the Culture War: Social Issues in State Party Platforms, 1960-2016,” at noon on Thursday, July 27 in Western Libraries Special Collections (Wilson Library 6th floor). The presentation is free and open to the public.
During the late-20th century, social issues that previously had played little role in party division came to separate one party from the other. Republican and Democratic elites staked out opposing positions on a range of issues – including abortion, gay rights, the role of religion in the public sphere, and gun control – and party electorates today are sharply polarized over these issues. In his talk, Carr will explore Democratic and Republican political party platforms from 1960 to the present day, especially the emergence of abortion and gay rights as partisan issues.
Matthew Carr is a doctoral candidate in the political science PhD program at Columbia University. His areas of interest include American Political Institutions, Political Parties, and Policy Development. As part of the Fellowship program, Carr will participate in a week-long residency at Western, during which he will examine archival collections at CPNWS including the papers of former Washington-State Congressmen Al Swift, Jack Metcalf, and Frank Atwood; records of the American Civil Liberties Union – Whatcom County Chapter; and local and regional Democratic and Republican Party records.
The James W. Scott Regional Research Fellowship is offered annually to scholars who conduct significant research using archival holdings at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (a unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources). Funds are awarded in honor of the late Dr. James W. Scott, a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest region, and a founder and first director of CPNWS.
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.