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In Memoriam: Dr. Jeanne Armstrong

In Memoriam: Dr. Jeanne Armstrong

Dr. Jeanne Armstrong passed away at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center on Friday, November 17, 2017 following a brief illness.

Dr. Armstrong arrived at Western Washington University in 1997 as a college-based Librarian for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS). Over the past twenty years, she played a number of significant roles at Western Libraries.

She was an early advocate for the value of open access publishing and the development of an institutional repository at Western. In 2009, under the direction of the then-Dean of Libraries, she helped investigate an institutional repository, which culminated in a document to the Provost. Western hired a consultant and created a Digital Assets Task Force, on which Dr. Armstrong sat. Later, her professional and committee service in support of an institutional repository continued, and she co-chaired the faculty search that hired the Western Libraries first Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Dr. Armstrong was a founding member of the Western Libraries Reading Series and the Libraries’ Undergraduate Student Research Award. She served on Western’s Internationalization Committee, and for two years she sat on the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Committee, where she helped bring consultants to Bellingham to advise on the creation of what would become the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.  She was also a driving force behind bringing a noted historian and genocide scholar from UCLA to speak at Western early in 2017.

Dr. Armstrong had a master's degree in Library Science and a doctorate in Comparative Cultural Studies from University of Arizona. She was also an accomplished editor, researcher, and writer, and she described her teaching and scholarship as being “diverse and interdisciplinary, encompassing librarianship, women studies, cultural studies and Irish studies.”  Her book, Demythologizing the Romance of Conquest, connected her interest in post-colonial theory, gender, and comparative literature. Her English translation of Maisie Renault’s concentration camp memoir, Great Misery, is an eloquent testimony to her commitment to social justice, which was consistently at the center of her research.

Dr. Armstrong’s most recent research engaged complex aspects of genocide theory, Raphael Lemkin and the UN Genocide Convention, and specific cases of genocide, including comparative analysis of the conquest of the first peoples of the Americas and the Irish.  Her research encompassed the postcolonial psychology of American Indians and Irish and the transgenerational PTSD resulting from genocide and from the denigration and ongoing dehumanization of colonized populations perpetrated on certain peoples to justify the conquest.

Her previous employment includes Seattle Central Community College, Seattle Pacific University, Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona, and Chicago Public Library. At the Arizona State Museum, she worked as the archivist and special collections curator. Her doctorate and her work at the Chicago Public Library involved diversity programming and post-colonial studies in Irish and American ethnic literatures.

Western Libraries Administration will host an event in Dr. Armstrong’s memory on Western’s main campus in January -- details forthcoming. 

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Children's & YA Book Sale

Children's & Young Adult Literature Book Sale

Western Washington University will host a Children’s and Young Adult Book Sale from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 on the 4th floor of Wilson Library.

Over a thousand new children’s and young-adult books will be available for purchase, including hardbacks for $5 and paperbacks for $2. Teachers, community members, WWU students, faculty, staff, and readers of all ages are invited to discover and enjoy award-winning titles.

Proceeds from the books sold will support student scholarships to Western’s 15th Annual Children’s Literature Conference, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2018. 

For more information about this year's conference and registration, please visit wwuclc.com.

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Digital Media Center Open House

Digital Media Center Open House Nov. 16th: Visit WWU's TV Studio!

Western Washington University now has a fully functional TV Studio on campus! You are invited to the fall 2017 Open House to tour the facilities and meet the staff. Join us on Thursday November 16 from noon to 2 p.m. in Haggard Hall 246.

Come and watch the wonders of virtual reality broadcasting live, and learn more about what the studio can do for you. 

There will be free food, hands-on activities, and lots of fun! 

The Digital Media Center is located on the second floor of Haggard Hall. To get there walk down the hall past the Circulation Services desk towards the Library Administration Office, and then turn right. 

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Deborah Lipstadt to Speak at WWU Nov. 15

Deborah Lipstadt to Speak at WWU Nov. 15 for 'History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving'

Western Washington University’s Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity and the Western Foundation will host Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, from 7:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15 on the main stage of  the WWU Performing Arts Center.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entrance; they will be available from the Western Box Office in the Performing Arts Center, or they can be reserved online at tickets.wwu.edu.

Lipstadt will present “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving,” in which she will recount the story of her libel trial in London against right-wing extremist David Irving. In her 1993 book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” Lipstadt had called Irving a Holocaust denier, and by the end of the trial, which lasted over five years, the judge found on Lipstadt’s behalf and labelled him not only a denier but a racist, a falsifier of history, and an antisemite. His later appeal of the verdict was rejected. The trial was described by the Daily Telegraph (London) as “having done for the new century what the Nuremberg tribunals or the Eichmann trial did for earlier generations.”

Lipstadt’s 2005 book on the trial, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving,” was made into a movie, “Denial,” in 2016 starring Rachel Weisz as Lipstadt. Lipstadt is  also the author of “Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945” (1986) and “The Eichmann Trial” (2011).

For more information on Lipstadt’s lecture, contact Western Washington University’s Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity at (360) 650-7427 or wolpow.institute@wwu.edu.

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'Sweet Bean' @Pickford Film Center

Masters of Asian Cinema Begins 11/7 with 'Sweet Bean'

This year’s Masters of Asian Cinema series begins with Kawase Naomi’s 2015 Sweet Bean, which will screen at 6:30pm on Tuesday, November 7th at the Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay Street.) The film will be introduced by Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at Western Washington University Colleen Laird, whose research focuses on Japanese women directors. Laird’s description of this film is below:

"Despite concerns about her age and physical condition, hard luck Sentaro hires frail Tokue to make the sweet bean paste for the dorayaki confections he sells in his small shop. The two form an unlikely bond through the common link of traumatic pasts. Thanks to Tokue, Sentaro’s business thrives, but the friendship falls apart when both pasts are brought to light by meddlesome and vindictive parties with a stake in limiting Sentaro’s success.”

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.

This year’s film line-up includes two of the greatest films by Satyajit Ray, both starring Madhabi Mukherjee: Charulata and The Big City.  The 2012 China co-production Drug War  made by the contemporary Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To, is also on this season’s schedule. Maborosi, the first feature by Kore-eda Hirokazu, will be here in March in a newly restored print. 

Later in the spring, the PFC will screen Taiwanese filmmaker Chen Kuo-fu’s 2001 The Personals.  And finally, three features by Taiwanese director Edward Yang will also be shown: his last feature, Yi Yi, his second feature Taipei Story (written by and starring director Hou Hsiao-hsien), and, in a special presentation, his remarkable 4-hour film A Brighter Summer Day, (which will screen on a Saturday morning because of its runtime.) 

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Fall Faculty & Staff Reading Groups

Writing Instruction Support Hosts Fall Reading Groups

Writing Instruction Support at Western Libraries is sponsoring two informal reading groups in 2017-18, open to faculty, graduate students, and staff with an interest in teaching writing.

Newcomers are always welcome. Both groups will meet once quarterly for collegial discussion of short reading selections.

This quarter’s two offerings are:

Roots of Rhetoric - What purpose should the study of rhetoric and writing serve in a liberal arts curriculum? Is writing a practical skill? A philosophical discipline for the pursuit of wisdom? This group will discuss some of the oldest writing on rhetoric and education. In Spring 2017 we read Gorgias’s “The Encomium of Helen” and “On What is Not or On Nature,” and we’ll follow that up in Fall 2017 with Plato’s Gorgias.  

Research on Teaching Writing - What concerns are writing studies professionals researching today, and how can their work make us better teachers? This group examines contemporary concepts and scholarship in writing pedagogy. Fall 2017’s reading will be a selection from Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle’s Naming What We Know, winner of the 2016 Council of Writing Program Administrators’ award for Outstanding Scholarship. 

For readings and information about meeting times and places, please visit the Writing Instruction Support Events page (https://library.wwu.edu/use/wis/events) or contact Julie Dugger, Director of WIS (julie.dugger@wwu.edu). 

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Germany: Integrating Immigrants - Extended Through Winter 2018

"Germany: Integrating Immigrants" - now through March 2018

Western Washington University’s Cornelius Partsch, Professor of German, was awarded a grant to sponsor a special exhibition entitled “Germany: Integrating Immigrants,” which  opened on October 24, 2017 in Western Libraries Special Collections, (Wilson Library 6th Floor),  and will remain on display through the end of winter quarter 2018.

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.

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Defining Antisemitism and Why it Matters

Mark Weitzman to Discuss ‘Defining Antisemitism and Why it Matters’ 

Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, will give a talk entitled “Defining antisemitism and why it matters,” at Western Washington University on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Academic West Room 204 at 4:00 p.m. as part of continued efforts to implement recommendations from the University’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Antisemitism. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Weitzman is a member of the official US delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Authority (IHRA) where he chairs the Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial. He spearheaded IHRA’s recent adoption of the Working Definition of Antisemitism, which is the first definition of antisemitism with any formal status, and was the lead author of IHRA’s Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion, which was also adopted by the 31 member countries of IHRA.

During his talk, Weitzman will introduce the working definition of antisemitism that the Task Force is moving forward with in implementing recommendations. Dr. Sue Guenter-Schlesinger (Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity & Employment Diversity at Western), will introduce Weitzman and provide an update on the work of the Task Force. Weitzman’s presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Currently, Weitzman is a participant in the program on Religion and Foreign Policy of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a board member and former Vice-President of the Association of Holocaust Organizations and was member of the advisory board of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy at Yale University, as well as a longtime member of the official Jewish-Catholic Dialogue Group of New York.

The author of numerous publications, Weitzman co-edited Antisemitism, The Generic Hatred: Essays in Memory of Simon Wiesenthal, which won the 2007 National Jewish Book Award in the category of anthologies. He is also the co-author of Dismantling the Big Lie: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The talk is sponsored by: the Provost’s Office, the Equal Opportunity Office, Western Libraries, and The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity. 

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Unfreedom: Slavery & Dependence in 18th-Century Boston

Jared Hardesty to Discuss ‘Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston’ 

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 StudiesSlavery & 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.

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Hop-Picking Cultures & the Perils of Diversity in the PNW

Ryan Dearinger to Speak About the Shifting Cultural Bridges in the Pacific Northwest through an Examination of the Regional Hop Industry

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. 

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