OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Author Paul Bogard to read from his book on Oct. 9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Paul Bogard, author of “The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light,” will read from his book on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. The reading begins at 7 p.m. at the library, located at 645 N.W. Monroe Ave., Corvallis.

The event is sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word and Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

In his book, Bogard examines the night and how people experience it, traveling to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Walden Pond, and the Canary Islands to explore degrees of darkness. After talking to astronomers, lighting professionals, nurses, and other night-time workers, Bogard writes about the cultural, social and health implications of a night that’s getting brighter every minute, thanks in part to parking lot lights and streetlights.

Publishers Weekly wrote: “Even readers unable to tell Orion from the Big Dipper will find a new appreciation for the night sky after spending some time with this terrific book.”

A native of Minnesota, Bogard teaches creative nonfiction at James Madison University. He is also editor of the anthology “Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark.” 

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Carly Lettero, 541-737-6198

Author Kazim Ali to read at Oregon State on Nov. 21

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Author Kazim Ali will read poetry at Oregon State University on Friday, Nov 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library Rotunda. A question and answer session and book signing will follow this free, public event.

Ali is a poet, essayist, fiction writer, and translator. He has written several volumes of poetry, including “Sky Ward,” “The Fortieth Day,” and “The Far Mosque,” which won the Alice James Books New England/New York Award.

Of “The Far Mosque,” Lucille Clifton said: “The author has managed to render into the English language the universal inner voice. These poems talk to the reader from the realm in which we are all human.”

Ali’s work in translation includes “Water's Footfall” by Sohrab Sepehri and, with Libby Murphy, “L’amour,” by Marguerite Duras. His novel, “Quinn’s Passage,” was named one of the “Best Books of 2005,” by Chronogram magazine. His books of essays include “Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence,” and “Fasting for Ramadan.”

Ali, an associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin College, is also a contributing editor for AWP Writers Chronicle and associate editor for the literary magazine FIELD, as well as founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books.

The reading is part of the 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The series brings nationally known writers to Oregon State University.

The program is supported by OSU Libraries and Press, the School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, OSU’s Center for the Humanities, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele and Grass Roots Books and Music.

The Valley Library is located at 201 S.W. Waldo Place on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

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Contact: Karen Holmberg, Karen.holmberg@oregonstate.edu

Auditions for OSU production of ‘Anne Frank’ to be held Nov. 16 and 17

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Auditions for Oregon State University Theatre’s winter production, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 17 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage Theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

Auditions are open to all OSU students, staff, and faculty and Corvallis community members. Auditions will consist of cold-readings from the script. Scripts are available to check out from the Theatre Arts office in Withycombe 141.

The play is a new adaptation by Wendy Kesselman of the original by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It tells the true story of a young Jewish girl and her family in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands from June, 1942, to August, 1944.

Roles include the title character, Anne Frank; her father, Otto; her mother, Edith; her sister, Margot; Miep Gies; Peter Van Daan; Mrs. Van Daan; Mr. Dussel; Mr. Kraler and three male Nazis.

A read-through of the play will be held in early December and regular rehearsals begin in January, 2015. Rehearsals will be held from 2-6 p.m. Sundays and 6-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday each week.  Performances will be held Feb. 12-14 and Feb. 20-22, 2015.  

For more information, contact Director Elizabeth Helman at Elizabeth.helman@oregonstate.edu

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OSU Theatre to present ‘Mother Courage’ in November

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present Bertolt Brecht’s classic anti-war fable, “Mother Courage and Her Children.” Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13-14 and Nov. 21-22, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 16 and Nov. 23 in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

“Mother Courage and Her Children” is the first production of the 2014-15 OSU Theatre season, which has the theme, “War and Remembrance.” The play, originally written in the late 1930s as an anti-war play, is a powerful and thought-provoking drama that grapples with themes of family, survival and the true cost of war.

The production captures the human drama and collateral damage of armed conflict through a tight ensemble of performers and embraces Brecht’s vivid, theatrical style.

“Indeed, Brecht tells us virtually nothing of the war, but rather uses it as a loose background to present the personal and emotional impact that battle has on its victims, perpetrators and especially profiteers,” said director George Caldwell, a member of the OSU Theatre faculty.

A small core of Oregon State Theatre ensemble players will portray a total of 36 characters. Never leaving the stage, ensemble members perform a variety of roles, change costumes, move scenery and create sound effects before the audience, creating a kind of dynamic production rarely seen on stage. The production also includes original music composed by OSU music faculty member Tina Bull and student J. Garrett Luna.

The cast features OSU students Kolby S. Baethke, Daniel Barber, Elise Barberis, Grant Burns, Burke DeBoer, Sidney King, Anna Elise Mahaffey, Luis Miranda, Alyssa Monning, Emily Peters, Alex Reis, Alexandria Shonk, Alex Small, Teri Straley, Sarah Sutton, Kelsea Vierra and Cory Warren. Community members Angie DeMorgan and Scott Trout also join the cast.

Tickets are $12; $10 for seniors; $8 youth/student; and $5 for OSU students. They can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ  or by calling 541-737-2784.

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Oregon State University to offer religious studies degree program

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 20 years after the religious studies degree program was eliminated, Oregon State University is bringing it back. OSU students will be able to declare religious studies as a major beginning with the upcoming winter term.

The religious studies degree will emphasize religious literacy, helping students understand how religion shapes the world and affects society, said Amy Koehlinger, an assistant professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion in the College of Liberal Arts at OSU.

“Religion is one of the most powerful social, economic and political forces in the world,” she said. “Given how fast globalization is occurring, religious literacy is becoming more and more important.”

Religious studies is the study of religion in an academic setting, with an emphasis on skills such as critical thinking, discernment, deliberation, responsibility, courage and civility. The program will emphasize how religion is used to make sense of the world, in good ways and in bad, Koehlinger said.

“A religious studies major gives students the opportunity to have a deep understanding of religion as a powerful social force,” she said. “Students are trained to think critically and neutrally, and with a lot of subtlety about religion.”

The religious studies program is housed in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion, but faculty members from throughout the College of Liberal Arts will teach courses for the new degree, Koehlinger said. The interdisciplinary approach to the study of religion will include courses in history, philosophy, anthropology, art, literature and film.

One area of emphasis is on the religions of Southeast Asia, including Budhhism, Hinduism and Islam. Associate Professor Stuart Sarbacker is an expert on the religions of India and Associate Professor Hung-Yok Ip is an expert on China.

Another area of emphasis is on religion and ethics as they relate to sexuality, friendship, forgiveness, end-of-life issues, the environment and medicine, said Courtney Campbell, the Hundere Professor in Religion and Culture at OSU.

The new program is well-suited to students who are interested in working internationally, in business, international relations or other fields; it’s also a good choice for students interested in graduate school in law, medicine or politics, Koehlinger said.

Students can earn a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science or an honors bachelor of arts or science degree in religious studies. A minor in religious studies is also available. The new degrees were approved by the OSU Board of Trustees over the summer, with final approval from the state Higher Education Coordinating Committee, Campbell said.

The 2014 Ideas Matter lecture series sponsored by the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture will help showcase and celebrate the new major. The lecture series, titled “Healings and Hurtings: Religion, Self and the Body,” will focus on the connection between religion and the body.

Lectures are scheduled for Oct. 27, Nov. 5, Nov. 10 and Nov. 18. All events are free and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Journey Room in the Memorial Union on the OSU campus in Corvallis. For a full listing of speakers and topics, visit http://bit.ly/ZtmVYj.

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Amy Koehlinger, 541-737-3433 or amy.koehlinger@oregonstate.edu; Courtney Campbell, 541-737-6196 or ccampbell@oregonstate.edu

A child’s poor decision-making skills can predict later behavior problems, research shows

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Children who show poor decision-making skills at age 10 or 11 may be more likely to experience interpersonal and behavioral difficulties that have the potential to lead to high-risk health behavior in their teen years, according to a new study from Oregon State University psychology professor.

“These findings suggest that less-refined decision skills early in life could potentially be a harbinger for problem behavior in the future,” said Joshua Weller, an assistant professor in the School of Psychological Science in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

However, if poor decision-making patterns can be identified while children are still young, parents, educators and health professionals may have an opportunity to intervene and help those children enhance these skills, said Weller, who studies individual differences in decision-making.

“This research underscores that decision-making is a skill and it can be taught,” he said. “The earlier you teach these skills, the potential for improving outcomes increases.”

His findings were published recently in the “Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.” Co-authors are Maxwell Moholy of Idaho State University and Elaine Bossard and Irwin P. Levin of the University of Iowa. The research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The researchers wanted to better understand how pre-adolescent children’s decision-making skills predicted later behavior. To do so, they conducted follow-up assessments with children who had participated in a previous decision-making study.

About 100 children, ages 10 and 11, participated in the original study, where they answered questions that helped assess their decision-making skills. They were evaluated based on how they perceived the risks of a decision, their ability to use appropriate decision-making rules and whether their confidence about a decision matched their actual knowledge on a subject.

For the new study, researchers invited the original study participants - now 12 and 13 years old - and their parents back for a follow-up. In all, 76 children ages participated in the second study, which included a behavior assessment that was completed by both the parent and the child.

The behavior assessment included questions about emotional difficulties, conduct issues such as fighting or lying and problems with peers. Those kinds of behavioral issues are often linked to risky health behavior for teens, including substance abuse or high-risk sexual activity, Weller said.

Researchers compared each child’s scores from the initial decision-making assessment to the child’s and their parent’s behavioral reports. They found that children who scored worse on the initial decision-making assessment were more likely to have behavioral problems two years later.

“Previous studies of decision-making were retrospective,” Weller said. “To our knowledge, this is the first research to suggest how decision-making competence is associated with future outcomes.”

The research provides new understanding about the possible links between decision-making and high-risk behavior, Weller said. It also underscores the value of teaching decision-making and related skills such as goal-setting to youths. Some interventions have demonstrated promise in helping children learn to make better decisions, he said.

In another recent study, Weller and colleagues studied the decision-making tendencies of at-risk adolescent girls who had participated in an intervention program designed to reduce substance abuse and other risky behavior. The program emphasized self-regulation, goal-setting and anger management.

The study found that girls who received the intervention in fifth-grade demonstrated better decision-making skills when they were in high school than their at-risk peers who did not participate in the intervention program.

“Most people can benefit from decision-making training. Will it always lead to the outcome you wanted? No,” Weller said. “However, it boils down to the quality of your decision-making process.”

That is something that parents and other adults can help children learn. For instance, a parent can talk about difficult decisions with a child. By exploring multiple points of view or showing other people’s perspectives on the issue, the child learns to consider different perspectives, he said.

“Following a good process when making decisions can lead to more favorable outcomes over time,” Weller said. “Focus on the quality of the decision process, rather than the outcome.”

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Joshua Weller, 541-737-1358, Joshua.weller@oregonstate.edu

Photographer and conceptual artist John Hilliard to speak at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – British photographer and conceptual artist John Hilliard will speak about his work on Tuesday, Oct. 28, beginning at 7 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

His talk, “A Catalogue of Errors,” is free and open to the public. Hilliard’s appearance is part of the Visual Artists and Scholars lecture series sponsored by the School of Arts and Communication in the College of Liberal Arts at OSU.

Since the 1960s, Hilliard has been making photographic works that question the nature of photographic representation. A pioneer of conceptual photography, Hilliard will speak about his photographic practice and the nature of photographic representation and its failings.

“I have sought to conduct a critical interrogation of photography as a representational medium, but also to disclose and celebrate its specificity,” Hilliard has said of his work. “Many of its perceived failings (blurred or unfocused images, for example) might equally be considered as unique assets. Indeed, through a catalogue of errors one may yet arrive at one's correct destination.”

Hilliard has shown his work in numerous galleries and museums worldwide. From 1968 to 2010, he taught in various art departments, including the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London, where he is an emeritus professor in fine art.

The Visual Artists and Scholars lecture series brings world-renowned artists and scholars to campus to interact with students in the art department so they can learn what is required of a professional artist or scholar.

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OSU to present sixth International Film Festival Oct. 13-19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s sixth International Film Festival, showcasing a diverse array of movies from international cultures, will be held Oct. 13-19 in Corvallis.

The festival is organized and hosted by the School of Language, Culture and Society in the College of Liberal Arts at OSU. The festival was launched in 2009 by faculty teaching film courses in foreign language and literature to showcase the variety of international cultures.

All screenings will be held at Darkside Cinema, 215 S.W. 4th St., Corvallis. The screenings are free and open to the public but attendees need to obtain a ticket at the Darkside before entering the auditorium. Seats are limited so early arrival is encouraged.

The schedule of screenings is:

Monday, Oct. 13, 6 p.m.: “The Golden Dream,” 2013, Guatemala, Spain and Mexico.

8 p.m.: “Not My Day,” 2014, Germany.

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 6 p.m.: “A Street in Palermo,” 2103, Italy, France, Switzerland.

8 p.m.: “Rise Up! And Dance,” 2014, Austria.

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m.: “Heli,” 2013, Mexico, Netherlands, Germany and France.

8 p.m.: “When Inge is Dancing,” 2013, Germany.

Thursday, Oct. 16, 6 p.m.:  “Living is Easy with Eyes Closed,” 2013, Spain.

8 p.m.: “Sweet Alibis,” 2014, Taiwan.

Friday, Oct. 17, 6 p.m.: “Lola,” 1981, West Germany.

8 p.m.: “Horizon Beautiful,” 2013, Ethiopia, Switzerland. Actor Bryan Renzi will attend the film and a meet and greet will be held afterward.

Saturday, Oct. 18, 2 p.m.: “The Sky Has Four Corners,” 2011, Germany.

4 p.m.: “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas,” 2013, Greece and Czech Republic.

6 p.m.: “Run Boy Run,” 2013, France, Germany and Czech Republic.

Sunday, Oct. 19, 2:30 p.m.: “Ich-Udo,” 2012, Germany and United States.

3:15 p.m.: “Moments – The Photographer Robert Lebeck,” 2008, Germany. 

4 p.m.: “Roraima – Climbers of the Lost World,” 2013, Austria.

6 p.m.: “What They Don’t Talk About When They Don’t Talk About Love,” 2013, Indonesia.

 

For additional information about the festival or the films being screened, visit the festival web site at http://bit.ly/1t36jOz.

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Sebastian Heiduschke, 541-737-3957, Sebastian.heiduschke@oregonstate.edu

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"Living is Easy with Eyes Closed"

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"Heli"

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Oregon State to host hip-hop festival and concert Oct. 17

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host a Hip-Hop Festival, including an academic symposium and concert showcasing hip-hop music and culture, on Friday, Oct. 17, on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

Events will include a daylong symposium highlighting the role of hip-hop in international culture and history, featuring a conversation with pioneering female rapper MC Lyte, the first woman to release a solo rap album; and a presentation from Mare, a Zapotec hip-hop artist from Oaxaca, Mexico. An evening concert will feature artists Lil Flip, a rapper from Houston, Texas; and Portland-based rapper Illmaculate.

“Music isn’t just something we love – it affects how we experience and see culture as well as ourselves,” said Dana Reason, director of popular music studies and festival director. “We want to demonstrate how truly interdisciplinary hip-hop culture is and how it transcends boundaries.”

The festival is the first collaboration to stem from a new affiliate partnership between Oregon State’s College of Liberal Arts and the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum. Museum executive director Bob Santelli will conduct an on-stage interview and conversation with MC Lyte during the symposium.  

“The hip-hop festival and symposium is an opportunity to celebrate our new partnership with the GRAMMY Museum, and will give students a window into the cultural significance of hip-hop on an international scale,” said Larry Rodgers, executive dean of the division of arts and sciences. “The speakers and performers we have lined up exemplify the genre's importance as an art form and as social and political commentary."

The symposium will run from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Loren Kajikawa, of the department of musicology and ethnomusicology at the University of Oregon, will give a keynote address at 9 a.m. Two panel discussions featuring academic scholars discussing aspects of hip-hop’s impact on culture will also be held.

Symposium attendees also will have a chance to participate in workshops on beat-making; music technology, led by OSU music instructors; and graffiti, led by graffiti artists KujoRock and KangoKid.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but those interested in attending are encouraged to register in advance online because space is limited and some sessions may reach capacity. Register online at http://bit.ly/1DRD1eh.

The concert, which also will feature Los Angeles-based hip-hop producer Mike Gao and a performance from the Oregon State and University of Oregon B-Boys hip-hop dancers, will run from 7:15 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Concert tickets are free for students, faculty and staff with an OSU identification card; $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets are available online at http://bit.ly/1DRD1eh. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to reserve tickets online; the fee will be waived with a valid ID number.

Performances and presentations will be held in Reser Stadium on the club and loge levels, with additional events and exhibits in the plaza outside the stadium. The full schedule of events is available online at http://bit.ly/1rkVgSV.

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Visiting faculty members to read at Oregon State on Oct. 10

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Authors Nick Dybek and Inara Verzemnieks will read from their work on Friday, Oct. 10, at Oregon State University in Corvallis, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library. They are both visiting faculty members in OSU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing this year.

Verzemnieks is a former reporter at The Oregonian and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. Her creative and journalistic work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Tin House, The Atlantic and Creative Nonfiction.

Her first memoir, which engages her family’s history and her own journey to reconnect with their homeland in Latvia, is forthcoming from Norton. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award and the Richard J. Margolis Award of the Blue Mountain Center.

Dybek’s novel, “When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man,” earned the 2013 Society of Midland Author Award and is described by The Economist as having “the momentum of a thrilling yarn, delivered as if by a scarred man by the consoling light of a fire.” Dybek is also the recipient of a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award and a Maytag Fellowship, and his work has been featured in Granta New Voices.

The reading is part of the 2014-2015 Literary Northwest Series, sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The series brings Pacific Northwest writers to OSU and is made possible by support from the OSU Libraries and Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele and Grass Roots Books and Music.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the rotunda at the Valley Library, 201 S.W. Waldo Place. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the reading.

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