college of liberal arts

Celebrated memoirist Nick Flynn to read at OSU on Oct. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer Nick Flynn will read from his work on Friday, Oct. 11, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda. The free public event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Flynn is the author of three memoirs including “The Reenactments” (2013), “The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment” (2010) and “Another … Night in Suck City” (2004). Flynn is also the author of three books of poetry.

Of Flynn’s most recent memoir, “The Reenactments,”  Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Flynn’s determination to better understand his life through the act of writing and remembering has yielded a truly insightful, original work.” Clea Simon of The Boston Globe said Flynn’s writing is “always specific and honest” and “dryly funny.”

His award-winning memoir “Another … Night in Suck City” was turned into the movie “Being Flynn,” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano. That book recounted his unusual relationship with his alcoholic father and the suicide of his mother.

Flynn, 52, is a professor of poetry and married to actress Lili Taylor.

Flynn has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, OSU 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.

Story By: 

Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817

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Nick Flynn

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.” 


Carly Lettero, 541-737-6198

Oregon State University Theatre presents ‘James and the Giant Peach’

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will kick off the 2016-17 season with a family-friendly adaptation of the quirky children’s novel, “James and the Giant Peach.”

The show runs at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 12; and 2 p.m. Nov. 12-13; in the Withycombe Hall Main Stage theatre, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

The theme for the theater season is “Devising Our Dreams: Metamorphosis.” In David Wood’s adaptation of the classic tale by Roald Dahl, kindly young James lives in England with his two cruel aunts, Spiker and Sponge, until a mystical old woman gives him a bag of magic and everything changes.

James bravely embarks on an epic journey across the Atlantic Ocean accompanied by a group of eccentric bug friends for a new life in Central Park. The wild adventure, directed by Tinamarie Ivey, offers fun for the whole family and features colorful costumes, puppetry and original music.

The large cast of OSU students features principle players Rebecca Bright, as Camera Woman; Casey Collins as Spiker; Lindsey Esch as Tour Guide; Geneva Hall as Old Woman; Sidney King as Ladybird; Ben Lawrence as Centipede; Thomas R. McKean as Grasshopper; Annie Parham as James; Alex Small as Earthworm; Amy Stein as Sponge; Sarah Sutton as Miss Spider; and Alyssa Wallstrum as Reporter.

The ensemble actors and puppeteers include Maxine Agather, Ethan Baker-Hayes, Robert Czokajlo, Cheyenne Dickey, Moss Neill, and Margaret Preston.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for seniors, $8 for youth/students, and $5 for OSU students. Children under three will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Tickets are available through the OSU Theatre Box Office at 541-737-2784. Contact the box office for disability access accommodations and/or group ticket sales. Tickets will also be available online beginning Oct. 17 at http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ.

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OSU to host presidential election discussion in Lake Oswego

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. – “Making sense of the Presidential Election,” a panel discussion featuring faculty members from Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lake Oswego.

The moderated panel conversation will include discussion about how foreign policy challenges, rising populism, race, ethnicity and economic changes have combined to upend the political norms of the last half century. The event is the open to the public, but tickets are required.

The panelists are: Christopher McKnight Nichols, an associate professor of history and 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellow; Andrew Valls, associate professor of political science; Rorie Solberg, associate professor of political science; and Kara Ritzheimer, assistant professor of history.

Tickets are $5 for members of the Oregon State University Alumni Association and $10 for the general public. Space is limited and registration is required by Wednesday, Oct. 26. For more information or to register, visit http://bit.ly/2dJBOO8.

Appetizers and refreshments will be served. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is located at 14811 Kruse Oaks Blvd.

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Artist Shoshanna Weinberger to speak at OSU Oct. 19

CORVALLIS, Ore. –  Artist Shoshanna Weinberger, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, will give a public talk at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Oregon State University as part of the School of Arts & Communication’s Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series.

The talk, “Sometimes All of Me is not Enough,” will be held in Construction & Engineering Hall at The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. A reception with the artist will be held before the lecture at 6 p.m. in the Myrtle Tree Alcove. The reception and talk are free and open to the public.

Weinberger also will be in residence on campus that day and will spend time reviewing and critiquing student art work.

Weinberger, a painter and sculptor, will speak about her personal history, the visual interests that inspire her studio practice and how stereotypes, adolescent memory, current culture and questions on the notions of politics and beauty influence her work.

Weinberger’s work strongly relates to her Caribbean-American background, drawing heavily from her complex heritage and assumed norms as she goes about defining the female archetype. Her series, “A Collection of Strangefruit,” comprised of 18 gouache and mixed media drawings on paper panels, is a series of curvy, malformed, partial bodies in awkward positions, adorned with such things as gold chains, stiletto heels, braided hair, and lingerie. The work confronts how women survey themselves, examine each other and are displayed for male desire, and how that influences what society defines as female beauty.

Weinberger’s work has been exhibited in Newark, New Jersey; Miami; New York City; Brussels, Belgium; Cape Town, South Africa; and Bristol, United Kingdom. She is a four-time participant in the Jamaica Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica. She received a John Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2014 and was an artist in residence at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans in 2015. She recently received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and was invited to participate as a year-long artist in residence for The Gateway Project in Newark.

Weinberger received her bachelor of fine arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995 and a master of fine arts from the Yale School of Art at Yale University in 2003. She lives and works in Newark.

The Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture series brings world-renowned artists and scholars to the OSU campus to interact with students in the art department so they can learn what is required of a professional artist or scholar. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2dVv5kW and http://shoshanna.info.

Story By: 

Julie Green, 541-737-5012, green@oregonstate.edu

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Shoshanna Weinberger

Shoshanna Weinberger

Artwork by Weinberger

Artwork by Shoshanna Weinberger

Writer Eileen Pollack to speak at Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer Eileen Pollack, whose nonfiction book, “The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club,” explores the challenges facing women in the sciences, will visit Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus Oct. 21 for a pair of talks about her fiction and nonfiction work.

Pollack will speak about “The Facts Behind the Fiction: Research and Creative Writing” at 4 p.m. in the Journey Room in the Memorial Union, 2501 S.W. Jefferson Way.

Later that evening, she will speak about her 2015 book, “The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club.” The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library Rotunda, 201 S.W. Waldo Place. Both talks are free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the evening event. 

“The Only Woman in the Room” explores the social, interpersonal and institutional barriers confronting women and minorities in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM fields. The book is based on Pollack’s own experience and six years of interviews with her former teachers and classmates, as well as dozens of other women who had dropped out before completing their degrees in science or found their careers less rewarding than they had hoped.

Pollack’s latest novel, “A Perfect Life,” was published in May. The book explores the moral complexities of scientific discovery and the sustaining nature of love in a novel about a young researcher at MIT who is obsessed with finding the genetic marker to a disease that threatens her family and future.

Her other books include “Breaking and Entering,” a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection, and “Paradise, New York.” Her work has appeared in “Best American Essays and “Best American Short Stories.”

Pollack is a professor on the faculty of the Helen Zell MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. She divides her time between Manhattan and Ann Arbor, Michigan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in physics at Yale University and later earned a master of fine arts from the University of Iowa.

Pollack’s visit is part of the 2016-17 Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series and SPARK, a yearlong series of events celebrating the convergence of the arts and science.

Sponsors for this event include the OSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women; the College of Liberal Arts; the School of Writing, Literature, and Film; OSU Libraries and Press; Oregon State ADVANCE, a National Science Foundation grant-funded program aimed at increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers; Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele; and Grass Roots Books and Music.

Story By: 

Susan Rodgers, 541-737-1658, susan.rodgers@oregonstate.edu

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Eileen Pollack

Eileen Pollack

The Only Woman in the Room

The Only Woman in the Room

A Perfect Life

A Perfect Life

Oregon State University celebrates Star Trek with class, events

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will mark the 50th anniversary of the seminal science fiction television series, “Star Trek,” with a number of events as well as a class dedicated to the original show. 

Spawning countless films, series, spoofs, conventions and memes, Star Trek is known for its combination of philosophy, technology and social justice.  

Joseph Orosco, an associate professor of philosophy, is teaching an undergraduate class during Fall term titled “Star Trek and Philosophy,” which will help students examine issues of politics, ethics and social justice raised in the original series. There are currently 50 students enrolled in the course.

“We're going to watch and critically discuss episodes of Star Trek as morality tales, highlighting classic philosophical problems,” Orosco said. “Some of the questions we’ll examine include, ‘How can we tell reality from illusion? What is the nature of human happiness? Can war ever be moral?’ ” 

On Oct. 11, Randall Milstein, an instructor in the OSU Honors College and College of Science, will give a public lecture on the cultural and technological impact the series has had on society and every day life. “The Cultural and Technological Impact of Star Trek” will take place from 4-5 p.m. in the Learning Innovation Center, Room 368.

Another public lecture will take place at 4 p.m., Oct. 20, on “Star Trek and Social Justice,” in Milam Hall, Room 319. Christina Allaback, the artistic director for the Eugene-based Trek Theater, will explain the origins of Trek Theater, how she sees it embracing the lessons of the theater of the oppressed, and what we can learn about social justice from science fiction. 

Also on Oct. 20, Trek Theatre will perform the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode of “The Drumhead” at 7 p.m. in the Learning Innovation Center, Room 228. This classic episode is a story about the clash between state security and the protection of human rights. A costume reception will precede the performance, starting at 6 p.m. Attendees are invited to wear Star Trek themed costumes and prizes will be awarded to several participants.

At noon Nov. 10, Navaho (Dine) artist Ryan Singer and hip hop artist/writer Joel South will discuss their work as Native artists and fans of science fiction during a celebration of indigenous science fiction and Star Trek. Grace Dillon, a professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program at Portland State University and a scholar of the genre of indigenous science fiction, will also participate. The event will be held at the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, 311 S.W. 26th St.

All of the events are free and open to the public. The Star Trek celebration is sponsored by the Anarres Project, a program based out of the OSU School of History, Philosophy and Religion. It is a forum for conversations, ideas, and initiatives promoting a future free of oppression, war, and empire, inspired by the speculative fiction of Oregon writer Ursula K. Le Guin. 

The events are also part of the 2016-17 SPARK program, the university’s year-long celebration of the arts and sciences.

Story By: 

Joseph Orosco, joseph.orosco@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-4335

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A dancer performs at a Trek Theatre event. (Photo by Theresa Hogue)

Star Trek performance

Corvallis Science Pub delves into U.S. foreign relations

CORVALLIS, Ore. — From rhetoric about putting “America First” to arguments about the founding of NATO, global concerns are playing a prominent role in this year’s presidential elections. 

At the Corvallis Science Pub on October 10, Christopher McKnight Nichols will put these issues into a historical context. The concept of a grand strategy — an ambitious organizing principle for the exercise of global power — provides one way to understand how such issues affect our political discourse, says Nichols, an Oregon State University historian and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“I will move beyond simplistic binaries, such as isolationism vs. internationalism or art vs. science in diplomacy,” says Nichols. “There are key turning point moments, major elections and concepts from 1776 to 2016 that have helped to determine the U.S.’s place in the world today.”

The Science Pub is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Story By: 

Christopher McKnight Nichols, christopher.nichols@oregonstate.edu, 541-737- 8910


Oregon State University launches SPARK, a year-long celebration of arts and science

CORVALLIS, Ore. –  Oregon State University will celebrate the relationship between the arts and science throughout the 2016-17 school year with a new series of events and activities called SPARK.

The goal of SPARK, which will include dozens of events and activities on the OSU campus in Corvallis as well as across the state, is to showcase the intersections of the arts and science, their critical interplay with one another and the rich partnerships and collaborations that can occur among varied disciplines. Events will include guest speakers, music and theater performances, art exhibits and more.

“SPARK was created to show how creativity and science connect in the real world,” said Larry Rodgers, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We are excited to offer the university and the public a year-long series of events that celebrates the many ways in which the liberal arts and sciences are the bedrock of OSU’s nearly 150-year history.”

Among the upcoming events are:

  • Oct. 4: Science fiction author David Brin, whose 1985 novel “The Postman,” was set largely in Oregon, will speak at 6 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Hall at The LaSells Stewart Center at OSU. The talk is free and open to the public.
  • Oct. 20: Trek Theatre performance of Star Trek: TNG’s “The Drumhead,” hosted by the Anarres Project at OSU, will be at 7 p.m., Learning Innovation Center, Room 228.
  • Oct. 21: Author Eileen Pollack will speak on “The Facts Behind the Fiction: Research and Creative Writing,” at 4 p.m. in Memorial Union Journey Room and will speak about her nonfiction book, “The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still A Boys’ Club” at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library Rotunda.
  • Nov. 19: The OSU Marching Band will present “The Art in Science, the Science in Art,” a special half-time show illustrating how the arts and sciences overlap. The show will feature algorithmic music composed by a mathematician and formations based on the drawings of M.C. Escher.

“From small, intimate workshops, to residencies for arts students in scientific labs, to larger events such as an arts and science-themed halftime at Reser Stadium, SPARK offers a wide range of events to engage the campus and the community,” said Charles Robinson, who is leading the SPARK organizing team. “From one end of the campus and Corvallis to the other, and throughout Oregon, the program of SPARK events will explore the heart of the OSU mission: the continuous search for new knowledge and solutions.”

In all, more than 60 events on campus and elsewhere are being planned or will be co-sponsored by SPARK over the 2016-17 school year. A calendar and additional information about upcoming events is available on the SPARK website, spark.oregonstate.edu.

The series is sponsored by the OSU College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science, the Honors College, the OSU Library & Press and the Division of Outreach & Engagement.

Story By: 

Charles Robinson, 609-902-3516, Charles.Robinson@oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University band, the oldest program in the Pac-12, celebrates 125th anniversary

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University band program will celebrate its 125th anniversary with a concert at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, in the Austin Auditorium at The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

Established in 1891, the OSU Band is the oldest in the Pac-12 conference. With over 500 students participating annually, it is one of the largest collegiate band programs in the Pacific Northwest. 

Five guest conductors will join OSU Director of Bands Chris Chapman and the OSU Wind Ensemble on the first half of the concert. After conducting a traditional season-opening performance of the “Star Spangled Banner,” Chapman will relinquish the stage to retired OSU band director James Douglass.

Douglass will lead a performance of Fucik’s spirited “Florentiner March.” Marc Dickey will guide the ensemble through Morton Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium;” Rod Winther will conduct Yu-Chou Chen’s “Dance Festival;” Steve Matthes will lead the rarely-heard “Oregon Trail March,” composed by former OSU Director of Bands Ted Mesang; and David Becker will lead the popular “Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann” by Robert Jager. Chapman again takes the podium to close out the first half with a medley of traditional OSU school songs. 

Following intermission, The Spirit and Sound of OSU - Oregon State’s 265-member marching band - will treat the audience to favorites drawn from its extensive catalogue of show music. Newly appointed Director of Athletic Bands Olin Hannum will be joined by guest conductors Gerry Fujii, Mary Bengel, Robyn Chapman, Brad Townsend and Megan Hansen.

The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required to attend.


Zachary C. Person, 541-737-4671, zachary.person@oregonstate.edu

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OSU Marching Band

Oregon State University marching band

OSU Wind Ensemble

Oregon State University wind ensemble

Photos by Zachary C. Person, OSU