college of liberal arts

New innovative book examines the ‘Essential Cinema’

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University film historian Jon Lewis has written and developed an innovative new book on film analysis and movie-making that creatively uses pictures, moving images, and even voice-over narration to make learning about films visual.

Essential Cinema” features an e-reader edition that includes more than 1,000 video clips and images to visually demonstrate, for instance, the difference between a jump cut edit and continuity editing in a movie.

“There are a lot of very good books written for introductory film classes,” Lewis said, pointing to David Bordwell’s “Film Art” as one popular text. “So I only agreed to do this project if we could take a radically different approach and make it different from anything else on the market.”

Despite the fact that movies are a visual art form, Lewis said most introductory film analysis books are heavy with textual information and tend to focus on thousands of movies, many of them obscure. His approach was to be much more visual, and to include more modern films that young people may recognize, such as “Jurassic Park,” “Run Lola Run,” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.”

“The book and e-reader covers the basics, what everyone should know,” Lewis said. “It has a basic overview, how movies are made, and the different stages of film production. What I think makes this project exciting is the interviews with film practitioners.”

Lewis, who is a professor in OSU’s School of Writing, Literature, and Film, conducted six interviews with professionals who are in the business of making movies, from Carol Littleton, editor of the blockbuster, “E.T,” to Ken Wannberg, a music editor who lives in Florence, Ore., and has worked on movies ranging from “Saving Private Ryan” to “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” The interviews are part of the extensive online component to the electronic edition of the book.

“I think it is unusual to get the perspectives of the people who actually make movies, especially in a beginning film class,” Lewis said. “These people are so smart and so articulate. It helps you really appreciate how hard it is – and how many talented people it takes – to make a good movie.”

“Essential Cinema: An Introduction to Film Analysis” is available now.

Media Contact: 

Jon Lewis, 541-737-1647

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"Essential Cinema"

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis

Poets David Biespiel and Wendy Willis to read at OSU Jan. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – David Biespiel and Wendy Willis will read from their most recent poetry collections on Friday, Jan. 11, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Valley Library at Oregon State University. A book signing will follow.

Published by Press53 in 2012, Willis’ debut collection, “Blood Sisters of the Republic,” was described as both personal and broadly American. Greg Glazner, author of “Opening the World,” calls Willis “a full-out 21st-century poet – wrangler with history, domestic confidante, disrupter of narratives, down-home story teller, linguistic fire breather.”

Biespiel’s fourth collection, “The Book of Men and Women,” received the Oregon Book Award in 2009. His book of prose, “A Thousand Faces,” will be published in 2013. The University of Washington Press describes Bielspiel as “master of the long line, his words strung across its reach as tightly as beads.” Former U. S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky once hailed Biespiel as a writer who has "mastered his own grand style."

Biespiel teaches creative writing and English at OSU and is president of Portland-based Attic Institute where Willis is an associate fellow. The Attic Institute is a private literary studio and haven for independent writers.

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

The Last Supper exhibit comes to Corvallis Jan. 8 through Feb. 16

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Last Supper, a thought-provoking series of painted plates illustrating final meal requests of death row inmates in the United States, will be exhibited in Corvallis starting Tuesday, Jan. 8.

The Last Supper installation project now consists of 500 plates. Artist Julie Green, an associate professor of art at Oregon State University, started the series in the early 2000s and intends to paint about 50 plates annually until the death penalty is abolished.

All 500 plates of The Last Supper will be on exhibit from Jan. 8 through Feb. 16 at The Arts Center, 700 S.W. Madison Ave., Corvallis.

Green is a nationally renowned artist and recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painter and Sculptors Award. Her work was featured in OSU’s Terra Magazine, and the project has received national media attention in outlets as diverse as National Public Radio and magazines Ceramic Monthly and Gastronomica.

Green said she sees the plates as a way to humanize individual inmates, and to bring home the gravity of the death penalty issue by the sheer number of plates she has created. She uses cobalt blue mineral paint on found and vintage tableware.

“I grew up in a family of wonderful cooks, and there was a lot of tradition with meals passed down through generations,” Green said in Terra. “And the idea of a meal whose purpose is not to sustain life, or be shared, but seems to have this other symbolic meaning, just compelled me.”

An artist’s reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and Green will give a brown bag talk at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Both events will be at The Arts Center. A full, color catalogue of the 500 plates will also be available for the first time.

After leaving The Arts Center in Corvallis, The Last Supper exhibit will be showcased at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art from March 1 to April 7.

At Oregon State, Green teaches painting, drawing and contemporary issues in art. In 2011, she received grant support from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Its prestigious award is given to only 25 contemporary artists a year to acknowledge painters and sculptors nationwide who create work of exceptional quality.

Green’s work has been included in 25 solo exhibitions in this country and abroad. She lives in Corvallis with her husband, quilter Clay Lohmann. She has a Masters in Fine Art from University of Kansas and has been at OSU since 2000.

Media Contact: 

Julie Green, 541-737-5012

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Julie Green. (photo:Ha Lam, Whole Foods Market)

An example of plates from OSU faculty member Julie Green's The Last Supper project, which documents the final meal requests of death row inmates. Image: Julie Green

A wall of painted plates from OSU faculty member Julie Green's The Last Supper project, which documents the final meal requests of death row inmates

OSU Forensics takes medals at recent tournament

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s forensics team attended the 3rd Annual Iverson/Vickrey Memorial Tournament at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash., last weekend.

The tournament, honoring the memory of two inspiring Northwest coaches, featured 11 schools from region, including Boise State University, Lewis and Clark College, and Pacific University in Forest Grove.

The team started off with wins in debate. Mike Springer of Rockaway Beach took a gold medal in novice debate. Brytann Busick of Ferndale, Calif., received a silver medal in novice debate and ranked as fourth best speaker. Cody Connolly of Salem was recognized as third best speaker in open international public debate.

The team also placed well in individual events. Springer received a first place in open dramatic interpretation, second in open program oral interpretation, and fourth in open prose interpretation. Busick received third place in novice impromptu speaking. Connolly took fourth in open impromptu speaking. Saul Boulanger of Corvallis took fourth place in open persuasive speaking and fourth in novice impromptu speaking.

Celebrating its 120th season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus. The team is open to all students in good academic standing regardless of experience or academic background.

Media Contact: 

Mark Porrovecchio, 541-737-8230

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OSU Forensics

Elena Passarello to read from “Let Me Clear My Throat” on Nov. 30

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Acclaimed essayist and new Oregon State University faculty member Elena Passarello will read from her debut collection, “Let Me Clear My Throat,” on Friday, Nov. 30.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Journey Room on the OSU campus. A book signing will follow.

From Farinelli, the 18-century castrato who brought down opera houses with his high C, to the recording of “Johnny B. Goode” affixed to the Voyager spacecraft, “Let Me Clear My Throat” explores unforgettable moments in the history of the human voice. It is published by Sarabande Books.

John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of “Pulphead,” said “The beauty of Elena Passarello’s voice is that it's so confidently its own. She’s not selling her subjects. She writes with the kind of calm assumption of interest you make in a good friend (if a good listener) over dinner.”

Passarello’s writing on music, performance, pop culture, and the natural world has appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, the Normal School, Ninth Letter, the Iowa Review, and the 2012 music writing anthology “Pop When the World Falls Apart.”

For the past decade, Passarello has spent time acting, teaching, and claimed first prize in the 2011 Stella! Shout Out screaming contest in New Orleans.

A graduate of the writing programs at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Iowa, Passarello was born in Charleston, S.C., and grew up in a small town in Georgia called Snellville (official motto: “Where Everybody’s Somebody”). She now lives in Corvallis, where she is an assistant professor of English.

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

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Elena Passarello

Passarello cover-Large

Acclaimed essayist and new Oregon State University faculty member Elena Passarello will read from her debut collection, “Let Me Clear My Throat” on Friday, Nov. 30.

OSU Forensics competes in McMinnville

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s forensics team attended the 82nd Annual Mahaffey Memorial Forensics Tournament at Linfield College in McMinnville recently.

The tournament, the second designated of the Northwest Forensics Conference season, featured 30 schools from the Northwest and beyond, including Boise State University, Southwest Baptist University, and Simon Fraser University.

“The Mahaffey tournament is a highly competitive tradition in the Northwest,” said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the team.  “It was nice to see talented first-year students and spirited returnees giving it their all while helping each other.”

Evan Steele of Concord, Calif., competing at his first collegiate tournament, placed 5th in Junior Impromptu Speaking.

Cody Connolly of Salem was a semi-finalist in Open International Public Debate. Steele, in a field of over 20 competitors, was next out as an octo-finalist in Junior International Public Debate as well.

The travel squad was rounded out by Brytann Busick of Ferndale, Calif., and Brittany Williams of Klamath Falls. The team was coached by graduate assistant Kori Thornburg of Kennewick, Wash., and assisted by team alumni Kyle Bidwell of Sumner, Wash.

Celebrating its 120th season, OSU Forensics is one of the oldest clubs on campus. The team is open to all students in good academic standing regardless of experience or academic background.

Media Contact: 

Mark Porrovecchio, 541-737-8230

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OSU Forensics Team

OSU Theatre kicks off new season with epic Greek tragedy

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Theatre will kick off its 2012-13 season with Sophocles’ epic tragedy, “Oedipus, The King.” Performances will take place Nov. 8-10 and Nov. 15-16 at 7:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m. Nov. 18, on the main stage of OSU’s Withycombe Hall, 30th and Campus Way.

Director and scenic designer George Caldwell sets this tragedy in a brutal ancient world of violence and danger. Caught in the crosshairs of fate, prophesy, and personal honor, noble King Oedipus resolves to save his adopted city of Thebes at the cost of uncovering his own cursed past.

The cast features OSU students Michael Beaton as Oedipus, Chris Peterman as Creon, Madeline Katz as Jocasta, Mike Turner as Tireseas the blind prophet, Andrew Atkinson as the high priest, Kevin Jones as the chorus leader, and Alex Weingarten as the messenger. The large chorus is also made up of OSU students. Sean Marie French-Byrne, a high school student from Albany, will appear as Antigone and Mickey Truex will appear as Ismene.

Tickets are on sale starting Nov. 5. Prices are $12 for general audiences, $10 for seniors, $8 for students/youth, and $5 for OSU students. Tickets for “Oedipus, The King” are available by calling the OSU Theatre box office at 541-737-2784 or online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre

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"Oedipus, The King" poster

International Film Festival shows in Corvallis Nov. 5-9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The fourth International Film Festival, showcasing a diverse array of movies from international cultures, will be held Nov. 5-9 in Corvallis.

The International Film Festival is organized by Oregon State University’s School of Language, Culture, and Society. An OSU faculty member will introduce each film. Additional sponsors and information about the festival can be found here: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/german/

Admission is free and open to the public. All screenings are held at 6 p.m. at the Darkside Cinema, 215 S.W. 4th St. in Corvallis.

OSU faculty member Sebastian Heiduschke strongly encourages patrons to arrive early to get tickets. Reservations are not available and past films have filled up quickly. Tickets are available 15 minutes before show times.

Here is the schedule of film screenings:

  • Monday, Nov. 5: “My Afternoons with Margueritte,” France, 2010. Gérard Depardieu stars as a nearly illiterate man in his 50s who befriends an older, highly intelligent woman.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6: “Barbara,” Germany, 2012. This drama has been chosen as the German entry for possible nomination in the Academy Awards’ best foreign language film category. It follows a doctor (Nina Hoss) who relearns the meaning of trust and self-sacrifice.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 7: “Kamome Diner,” Japan, 2006. This comedy, written and directed by Japanese director Naoko Ogigami, is set in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. It follows a Japanese woman who sets up a diner serving Japanese food – and the friends she makes in the process.
  • Thursday, Nov. 8: “Kora,” China/Taiwan, 2010. A Taiwanese youth cycles to Tibet to fulfill his brother's final wish, experiencing encounters and farewells, struggles with nature, and himself.
  • Friday, Nov. 9: “Cell 211,” Spain, 2009. A newly hired prison officer (Alberto Ammann) finds himself in the midst of a prison riot after an unforeseen turn of events. With the inmates around him unaware of his position, he must pretend to be a prisoner to survive among the inmates.
Media Contact: 

Sebastian Heiduschke, 541-737-3957

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A full set of high resolution images from these films can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonstateuniversity/sets/72157631851746780/

Environmental historian to speak on wildland fires on Nov. 1

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Stephen J. Pyne, an environmental historian known for his work on wildland fires, will speak at Oregon State University on Thursday, Nov. 1, beginning at 7 p.m., in Gilfillan Auditorium.

Pyne will speak on “The Language of Wildland Fire.” His talk will be the keynote address for a symposium, “Words on Fire: Toward a New Language of Wildland Fire,” which will explore the contributions that insights from the humanities might make to the way society views wild fires.

Pyne is one of the world’s foremost experts on the history and management of fire. Since the publication of his second book, “Fire in America” in 1982, he has written at least a dozen other books on wildfire. He is a professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. His website is http://www.stephenpyne.com/

The symposium is on Friday, Nov. 2, with a series of presentations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Richardson Hall Room 107 on the OSU campus. See the Spring Creek website for the full schedule and more information about the speakers: http://springcreek.oregonstate.edu/

The events are sponsored by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word; OSU’s School of History, Philosophy, and Religion; OSU’s College of Forestry; Joint Fire Sciences Program; and the Northwest Fire Science Consortium.

All the events are free and open to the public. Space for the Friday symposium is limited. The organizers request an RSVP to Charles.Goodrich@oregonstate.edu


Media Contact: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

Free symposium set Nov. 1-2 on women’s roles and political impact

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A symposium called “Woman Citizen: Past, Present, and Future” will bring scholars, elected officials, activists, and community organizers to Oregon State University Nov. 1-2 to explore women’s roles as citizens and their political impact in local, state, and national arenas.

The symposium is part of OSU’s commemoration of the centennial anniversary of woman suffrage in Oregon, 1912-2012. The free public event will be held in the Construction & Engineering Hall of OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center.

“The symposium is intended to promote education and discussion among students, staff, faculty, and community members and to encourage civic and political engagement,” said Marisa Chappell, associate professor of history at OSU and the organizer of the symposium.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 2. Highlights include a screening of the new documentary, “The Suffragists,” followed by a discussion with the film’s director at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 1; followed by a roundtable discussion on how women are changing communities at 2 p.m. (also Nov. 1).

Susan Scanlan, chairwoman of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, will give a talk on “The Hand That Rocks the Ballot Box: Women Vote” at 9:15 a.m., Nov. 1. Stephanie Coontz, professor of history at The Evergreen State College and director of public education at the Council on Contemporary Families, will speak on “Is the Personal Still Political? Women’s Private and Public Lives,” at 12:30 p.m. the same day.

On Nov. 2, a roundtable on women in government will begin at 10 a.m. featuring former Gov. Barbara Roberts, Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning, Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, and Delores Pigsley, chairwoman of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. Roberts will also give a keynote address on “Celebrating Our History, Making New History,” at noon.

Participants will be able to view the Century of Action exhibit, which chronicles the suffrage movement in Oregon. There will also be a poster session featuring research projects by OSU graduate students.

The Woman Citizen Symposium is supported by a number of sponsors. For more details on the event, go to http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/womancitizen/

Media Contact: 

Marisa Chappell, 541-737-1266

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1035 Oregon Delegate (2)

Women suffrage, 1912. Photo: Library of Congress.


Gov. Barbara Roberts

Sen Winters 2011

Sen. Jackie Winters


Rep. Sara Gelsner