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Kaili Blues

Posted on: Monday, February 13, 2017 - 12:02pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Masters of Asian Cinema: Kaili Blues

The next Masters of Asian Cinema film is the 2015 feature Kaili Blues.  It will screen on Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30pm at Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay Street in downtown Bellingham.  

Kaili Blues is the debut feature of the young filmmaker Bi Gan, set in his hometown of Kaili, Guizhou Prefecture. At the center of the film is a quest featuring a complex character, Chen, an ex-con trying to do the right thing.  Chen has two searches he has undertaken: one to find his nephew, who has been sold by Chen’s irresponsible brother, and the other to find the former lover of his elderly coworker and give him some items she has been saving.  

The journey operates on many levels, reaching back into the past and into the future, as well as plumbing psychic depths in the main character. Part of his quest involves finding some people from the Miao ethnic group, which Bi himself is part of. Bi received best director prizes at a couple of festivals for this work. Much commentary has focused on a 41-minute shot at the center of the film that unfolds in a dreamlike way.

Series curator and WWU librarian Jeff Purdue explains that this particular scene resonates with the viewers long after the time of watching this film.

“This is the sort of film that critics often describe as poetic, but here it’s more apt than usual – director Bi’s own poetry weaves through this film, making it an unlikely and less linear companion piece to the currently playing [at the Pickford], Paterson.”

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Japanese Cinema series was one of the Pickford's longest running and most loved series, featuring some of the best films in World Cinema with movies that span both decades and genres. The Masters of Asian Cinema series continues that rich tradition.

Each film in the series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators. Kaili Blues will be introduced by Kristen Parris,  an Associate Professor at WWU in the Department of Political Science where she teaches Chinese Politics, East Asian Politics, and other courses in comparative politics.  


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Framing Islam

Posted on: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 8:49am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Western Libraries Reading Series: Brian J. Bowe

Western Washington University Assistant Professor of Journalism Brian J. Bowe will discuss his research on how media coverage shapes perceptions of Muslim-Americans from 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb.15 in Western Libraries Special Collections on the 6th Floor of Wilson Library. 

This presentation, "Framing Islam: How media coverage shapes perceptions of Muslim neighbors and Islamic threats," is free and open to the public.

In recent years, growing communities of Muslim-Americans have faced tensions over practicing their faith against the backdrop of global conflict and terrorism, which is represented on local levels in media coverage when Muslims assert their philosophical right to exist within American society.

Bowe’s talk will examine the ways routine decision-making processes of media workers shape the public’s perceptions of Muslims in the United States, and he will discuss the tendency for media discourse to treat Muslims as monolithic others, rather than individuals with a range of beliefs and experiences.

Bowe will focus on his research into the coverage of a series of recent controversies, including debates over mosque construction or proposals to preemptively ban Shariah from American jurisprudence. He will also explore how some reporting exhibits Islamophobia, (or indiscriminate negative attitudes directed at Islam), while other coverage shows evidence of Islamophilia, (which is the stereotypical "good Muslims” who are model citizens, in contrast to "bad Muslims," who serve as rhetorical enemies).

Bowe is a veteran journalist, author, and educator whose work examines the interplay of journalism and culture in multiple settings. Bowe earned his doctorate from Michigan State University’s Media and Information Studies program; his research specialty is media framing, and particularly news coverage of Muslims in the U.S.

Before entering academia, Bowe worked at newspapers in Michigan and New Hampshire and spent a decade in public relations. He has written extensively about music, publishing books about Judas Priest, The Ramones and The Clash. He co-edited the anthology CREEM: America’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine (2007 Collins) and has written liner notes for releases by Iggy & the Stooges, the MC5 and Was (Not Was).

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.


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What's English 101 Done for Me Lately?

Posted on: Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 3:41pm

Topic(s): Updates, Events, Resources

Writing Instruction Support Sessions - English 101

Q: Why do upper-division students still struggle with writing conventions?

Q: I heard they're doing podcasts in ENG 101. Don't students need more instruction in writing

Q: What percentage of WWU students take English 101, or get any university writing instruction during their first two years?

Communication/Writing was one of three areas of weakness identified in the Faculty Senate 2016 General Education Task Force Report.  The Writing Instruction Support (WIS) program will host a discussion about English 101 and its place in Western’s curriculum on January 17 from 4 to 5 pm and January 18 from noon to 1pm in HH232.  Participants will include Director of Composition Jeremy Cushman, Assistant Director Shannon Kelly, English 101 graduate TAs, and English 101 students—including voices dissatisfied with the current 101 experience. Join us to learn more about these issues and bring your own questions for discussion.

Have questions, but can’t attend? Please send queries to Julie Dugger, Director of WIS at Western, julie.dugger@wwu.edu.

The WIS program provides direct assistance to faculty members who are teaching writing intensive courses within their disciplines, offering personalized consultations on a variety of topics, including writing course syllabi, assignments, response methods, and evaluation schemes.  WIS is a program of Western Libraries and a Learning Commons partner.  


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A Touch of Zen

Posted on: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 11:02am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Masters of Asian Cinema: “A Touch of Zen”  

The next film in the Masters of Asian Cinema series (formerly known as the “Masters of Japanese Cinema” series) is King Hu’s 1971 epic, A Touch of Zen. It screens Tuesday, January 10th at 6:30pm at Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay Street.

King Hu (Hu Jinquan) is considered to be one of the most important innovators in martial arts cinema in Hong Kong, and also later in Taiwan.  He got his start as an assistant to Li Han-hsiang for The Love Eterne, a “yellow plum” opera film from 1963.  His second feature, Come Drink With Me (1966), helped solidify his reputation as a martial arts film director.  

King Hu exploits the editing and the vertical space of his films in fresh ways, lending a dynamism that became very influential.  Hu’s films often depict skilled fighters resisting corrupt government officials, and important roles were given to “nuxia,” or female knights-errant.  

Golden Swallow, the nuxia character from Come Drink With Me, was played by Chang Pei-Pei, who was later given the role of Jade Fox in Lee Ang’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), a film considered to be influenced by precedents established by Hu’s work.  According to series curator and WWU librarian Jeff Purdue, A Touch of Zen may be the film most directly responsible for the look and feel of Lee’s film, and many other martial arts films that followed from Hu’s masterpiece.  

Co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Pickford Film Center, the Masters of Japanese Cinema series was one of the Pickford's longest running and most loved series, featuring some of the best films in World Cinema with movies that span both decades and genres. The Masters of Asian Cinema series promises to continue that rich tradition.  Each film in the series begins with an introduction from select speakers including local professors, artists, and educators. A Touch of Zen will be introduced by Dr. Li Wang, who teaches Chinese at Western.


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Barney Scout Mann & the Pacific Crest Trail

Posted on: Monday, January 9, 2017 - 11:54am

Topic(s): Updates, Events

Barney Scout Mann to Discuss His Recent Book ‘The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail’

Pacific Crest Trail historian and avid backpacker Barney Scout Mann will speak about the history of the trail and the publication it inspired at Western Libraries at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23 in the Reading Room (Wilson Library, 4 Central). The event is free and open to the public.
 

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. 


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