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Fall Faculty & Staff Reading Groups

Posted on: Friday, October 13, 2017 - 11:56am

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

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). 

Read more: Fall Faculty & Staff Reading Groups


Germany: Integrating Immigrants

Posted on: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 8:25am

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Exhibits

New Exhibit: "Germany: Integrating Immigrants"

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.

Read more: Germany: Integrating Immigrants


Defining Antisemitism and Why it Matters

Posted on: Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 2:48pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

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. 

Read more: Defining Antisemitism and Why it Matters


Unfreedom: Slavery & Dependence in 18th-Century Boston

Posted on: Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 11:01am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

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.

Read more: Unfreedom: Slavery & Dependence in 18th-Century Boston


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

Posted on: Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 10:44am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

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. 

Read more: Hop-Picking Cultures & the Perils of Diversity in the PNW


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