college of liberal arts

Series of Austrian films will show in Corvallis starting April 9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A series of films from Austria, including the recent Oscar winner “Amour,” will be shown in Corvallis starting the week of April 9.

Organized by the German program of Oregon State University’s School of Language, Culture, and Society, this series of four recent Austrian films is free and open to the public.

All films are subtitled and will play at the Darkside Cinema, 215 S.W. 4th St., Corvallis. The schedule is:

Tuesday, April 9, 4 p.m.:Landscapes of Memory – The Life of Ruth Kluger,” a biopic about high-profile author Ruth Klüger, a famous scholar of German literature. Her autobiography, “Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered,” is an international bestseller. The director Renata Schmidtkunz and Holocaust survivor Klüger will be present for the screening.

Tuesday, April 23, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.:Breathing,” tells the story of a 19-year-old man who finds a new lease on life when he takes a job at a funeral home.

Tuesday, May 14, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.:Kuma,” a drama about the intertwining lives of two women, Fatma, a housewife with six children, and Ayse, a 19-year-old who is about to become the second wife of Fatma’s husband.

Tuesday, June 4, 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.:Amour,” the Oscar-winning drama portrays the lives of a retired Parisian couple whose love is tested when the wife becomes severely ill.

The series is sponsored by the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles.

Media Contact: 

Sebastian Heiduschke, 541-737-3957

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"Landscapes of Memory"

Harvard expert on happiness to speak at OSU on March 14

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Dan Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and a best-selling author on the subject of happiness, will speak at Oregon State University on Thursday, March 14.

His free public lecture, “Happiness: What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You,” begins at 4:30 p.m. in Peavy Hall Room 130, located at 3100 Jefferson Way in Corvallis.

Gilbert’s 2007 book, “Stumbling on Happiness,” is based largely on his own research, and deals with the conflict over what people believe will make them happy versus what actually does result in happiness. It spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into 25 languages, and won the 2007 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

Malcolm Gladwell said of the book, “This is a psychological detective story about one of the great mysteries of our lives. If you have even the slightest curiosity about the human condition, you ought to read it. Trust me.”

Gilbert is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology. His TED talk is one of the most watched, with more than 4.6 million views.

The talk is sponsored by OSU’s School of Psychological Science.


Frank Bernieri, 541-737-1373

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Dan Gilbert

Author to take audience on exploration of animals’ inner world on March 7

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Virginia Morell, author of the new book, “Animal Wise,” will give insights into the inner world of animals during a talk at Oregon State University on Thursday, March 7.

The free, public event begins at 7 p.m. in the Construction & Engineering Hall of the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus.

Covering a range of topics, ranging from how earthworms make decisions to how birds practice songs in their sleep, Morell will take audience members on an exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.

Morell’s is the first book of its kind to look at a range of animals – from the smallest insects to the largest mammals – and to ask the question: How has evolution selected for the expression of intelligence and emotion?

“Animal Wise” transports readers to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing readers to pioneering animal-cognition researchers and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. Morell also probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness – traits that many once believed were unique to human beings.

Morell is a Medford-based science writer who has written for National Geographic, Science, Smithsonian and other publications. She is also the author of “Ancestral Passions,” a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

“Animal Wise” will be released Feb. 26 by Crown Publishing/Random House. Morell’s talk is sponsored by OSU’s Spring Creek Project.

Media Contact: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

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Virginia Morell
Virginia Morell

Auditions held Feb. 18-19 for “The Misanthrope”

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University Theatre will hold open auditions for the spring comedy “The Misanthrope ,” on Feb. 18 and 19 at 6:30 p.m., and callbacks on Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m., on the Withycombe Hall main stage, 30th and Campus Way.

Auditions are open to all OSU students, faculty, staff, and Corvallis community members. Scripts will be available for check out in the OSU Theatre Main Office.

“The Misanthrope” is one of the best of Molière's comedies — focusing on the absurdities of social and literary pretension, and on a man who is quick to criticize the faults of others, yet remains blind to his own. This comedy of manners, which satirizes the customs, attitudes, and activities of the fashionable upper classes, utilizes witty dialogue and comic situations which reveal hypocrisy, deceit, excessive pride, and other moral shortcomings.

There are roles for seven men and four women in the play. For more information, contact the director, Tinamarie Ivey at Tinamarie.Ivey@Linnbenton.edu

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Spoken word artist performs at OSU on Feb. 22

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Nationally-recognized poetry slam and spoken-word artist Myrlin Hepworth will perform on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union Journey Room on the Oregon State University campus.

Hepworth has written and performed his poetry across the United States. In 2009, the Arizona Commission on the Arts selected him for its roster of teaching artists. In 2010 he became the first undergraduate teaching artist for the Young Writers Program at Arizona State University.

In addition to visiting nearly 30 high schools each year, Hepworth performs at universities, youth centers, group homes, museums, and theaters. He has competed on three National Poetry Slam teams and co-founded and coached the Phoenix youth team to consecutive appearances at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam. He is the author of “From the Rooftops.”

The Roger Weaver Poetry Activities Fund, along with the School of Writing, Literature, and Film, presents this event annually.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

Visiting poet to read from her work on Feb. 15

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Visiting poet Paisley Rekdal will read from her work at Oregon State University’s Memorial Union Journey Room on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 pm, with a book signing to follow.

Rekdal is the author of the poetry collections “A Crash of Rhinos”, “Six Girls Without Pants”, and “The Invention of the Kaleidoscope,” as well as the book of essays “The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee: Observations on Not Fitting In”.

In reviewing “The Invention of the Kaleidoscope” for Barn Owl Review, Jay Robinson observed that it’s “the razor’s edge that always accompanies eros that makes the poems of Paisley Rekdal fresh, intense and ultimately irresistible.” Rekdal’s work grapples with issues of race, sexuality, myth, and identity while often referencing contemporary culture.

Rekdal has been honored with a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, a Village Voice Writers on the Verge Award, and a Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea. Her work has been included in numerous anthologies, including Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century and the 2010 Pushcart Prize Anthology.

The Visiting Writers Series brings six nationally-known writers to campus each year and is made possible by support from The Valley Library, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and the OSU Beaver Store.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

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Paisley Rekdal

Three Sisters opens Feb. 14 at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Anton Chekhov’s classic family drama “Three Sisters” will be shown in February as part of Oregon State University Theatre’s 2012-2013 Season of Style.

The play will be performed Feb. 14-16 and 22-23 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 24 at 2 p.m., on the Withycombe Hall main stage, 30th and Campus Way in Corvallis.

Tickets are $12 general, $10 senior, $8 youth/student, and $5 for OSU students. They are available through the OSU Theatre Box Office by calling 541-737-2784 or online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre/.

Originally premiering in 1901, this poignant tale of love, life, and unfulfilled dreams follows the Prozorov siblings, Andrei and his three sisters Olga, Masha, and Irina. A year after their father dies, the young adults find themselves caught up in the challenges of growing up and taking responsibility for their own futures.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with such richly dense, character-driven material,” said director Elizabeth Helman. “Chekhov has such a unique sensitivity to human nature and is so amazing at revealing the best and worst about people, but always with humor and heart.”

This production will be set in 1909-1911, just before the Russian Revolution and the abdication of Czar Nicholas II.

“I feel that placing the story during those years adds more weight to some philosophical concepts addressed in the play,” Helman said. “There’s a greater sense of immediacy, an almost prophetic quality, when you realize that their world will be utterly transformed in a matter of months.”

The cast features OSU students Michael Beaton as Andrei, Sarah Clausen as Natasha, Megan Grassl as Olga, Austin Hodaie as Fedotik, Richelle Jean-Bart as Irina, Davey Kashuba as Kulygin, J. Garrett Luna as Rodet, Anna Elise Mahaffey as Masha, and Chris Peterman as Solyony. The cast also includes Corvallis community members Andrew Beck as Vershinin, Vreneli Farber as Anfisa, Alex Johnston as Tuzenbach, Rick Wallace as Chebutykin, and Calvin Ward as Ferapont.

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$5 million gift to advance OSU performing arts

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University has received a $5 million gift commitment to advance its performing arts programs and its emerging leadership in digital arts, performance technology and communication. The gift launches a major effort to elevate support for OSU’s School of Arts and Communication.

The gift from an anonymous donor is the largest the university has ever received for the arts.

One hundred percent is dedicated to endowments, providing a permanent source of funding.

“This cornerstone investment in the arts is vital to our mission because great arts and sciences programs are at the core of every great research university,” said OSU President Edward Ray. “The arts provide the context and inspiration – they drive the culture of creativity, innovation and diversity that is essential to a thriving research environment. Excellence in the arts supports OSU’s growing impact and influence in all arenas.”

A portion of the gift comes as a challenge, with $1 million of the commitment contingent upon the university securing an additional $1 million in private support for the School of Arts and Communication. Any gift or pledge of $25,000 or more to the school qualifies for this challenge.

The anonymous gift establishes endowments for four faculty and staff positions, including support for the head of the School of Arts and Communication and two professors. The fourth endowment will support a new position at the university:  a director of the performing arts who will promote arts offerings at OSU and connect with arts programs in the area.

“We are excited about strengthening our partnership with the arts organizations and venues throughout our community, and all will benefit from this coordinator position,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Sabah Randhawa. “It’s a development very much in keeping with the university’s goal of elevating the arts and the humanities and enriching our state through excellent programs in music, theatre and fine arts.”

The donor’s gift also creates endowed scholarship, graduate fellowship and program funds in the performing arts.

“The job of the liberal arts, of the performing and visual arts particularly, is to help students think broadly and clearly about the world, and to inspire their passion and curiosity,” said Larry Rodgers, executive dean of the Division of Arts and Sciences. “A dynamic arts environment is critical for the education and life preparation of all our students. We look forward to building on OSU’s rich heritage and are determined to make elevating the arts the university’s next great accomplishment.”

In accordance with its strategic plan, OSU has reorganized its academic structures over the last few years to increase multidisciplinary collaboration, innovation and operational efficiencies. As part of this process, the College of Liberal Arts has restructured to elevate the arts, technology and communications. This led to the creation of the School of Arts and Communication in June 2012, which includes five programs: art, music, new media communications, speech communication and theatre.

Increasing support for the school is among the College of Liberal Arts’ highest priorities for the final stage of The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, donors have provided $900 million toward the campaign’s overall $1 billion goal.

The anonymous gift leverages the Provost’s Faculty Match Program, which was designed to encourage donors to endow faculty positions that support priorities identified in the university’s strategic plan. Through the match, the Provost’s Office will provide an additional $900,000 over five years to support the arts at Oregon State.


Larry Rodgers, 541-737-4582

OSU faculty member and poet to read from her work on Feb. 1

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Pacific Northwest poet Karen Holmberg will read from her most recent collection of poetry, “Axis Mundi,” on Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Valley Library on the Oregon State University campus, with a book signing to follow.

Holmberg’s first collection, “The Perseids,” won the Vassar Miller prize and was published in 2001. Her second book is the latest winner of the John Ciardi prize, and is out now from BkMk Press.

Poet and contest judge Sherod Santos said of Holmber’s work, “It is a rare pleasure to encounter these days a young poet so thoroughly at home in the natural world.” “Axis Mundi” recently won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry.

Holmberg’s poems and essays have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Slate, The Nation, New England Review, and elsewhere. Influenced by a biologist father, she is interested in science, medicine, and the natural world. She received her doctorate in English and poetry at the University of Missouri, and now directs the master of fine arts program at OSU.

The Literary Northwest Series is co-sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, and celebrates regional literary achievement.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

Northwest poets to read from their work on Jan. 18 at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Northwest poets Clemens Starck and John Daniel will read from their collections on Friday, Jan.18, at 7:30 p.m., in the rotunda of the Valley Library on the Oregon State University campus, with a book signing to follow.

Daniel’s newest poetry collection “Of Earth: New and Selected Poems,” was published in Sept. 2012 by Lost Horse Press. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, “Common Ground” and “All Things Touched by Wind,” and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University in the 1980s.

Daniel’s collection of personal essays, “The Far Corner: Northwestern Views on Land, Life, and Literature,” won the 2011 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. Kyoko Mori, professor of English at George Mason University, said of the book, “They inform us about the natural history of rivers and forests, the literary history of the Northwest, and the personal history of a writer, hiker, naturalist, son, teacher, student, husband, and citizen.”

Starck has worked mostly as a carpenter and construction foreman on the West Coast. His first book of poems, “Journeyman’s Wages,” received the 1996 Oregon Book Award as well as the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. A new book of poems, “Rembrandt, Chainsaw,” was published in the fall of 2011. He lives in the country outside of Dallas, Ore.

The readings are free and open to the public. The Literary Northwest Series is sponsored by the OSU Beaver Store and the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, and celebrates regional literary achievement.

Media Contact: 

Heather Brown, 719-232-1485

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John Daniel