college of liberal arts

Workshops on social change held May 11 and 12

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Acclaimed singer/songwriters Carrie Newcomer and Libby Roderick will lead two writing workshops on social change May 11-12 in Corvallis. The workshops are sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word.

Newcomer and Roderick will be in Corvallis to perform at the concert, “This Land Is Our Land: Music of Environmental and Social Change.”

Newcomer and Roderick have offered workshops around the country. Each workshop costs $20, or $10 for students, and is limited to 25 participants. To register, visit the Spring Creek website.

The workshops are:

  • Writing workshop with Carrie Newcomer: “Writing Mindfully: Exploring the Sacred Ordinary for Social Change,” Friday, May 11, 1-4 p.m., Memorial Union Room 211. Prose, poetry, essay, journal and song writers of all experience levels are welcome to explore writing in this workshop.
  • Songwriting workshop with Libby Roderick, “Singing for Our Lives: Songwriting for Social Change”, Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Troubadour Music, 521 S.W. 2nd, Corvallis. Bring examples of your favorite songs for social change and explore the role and process of writing songs that help transform the world.
Story By: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

OSU English instructor awarded Oregon Book Award

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon State University faculty member George Estreich was awarded the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction at a ceremony last night in Portland for his memoir, "The Shape of the Eye: Down Syndrome, Family, and the Stories We Inherit.”

Estreich’s book focuses on the first year of his daughter’s life following her diagnosis of Down syndrome. He is an instructor of English at OSU.

Marjorie Sandor, professor of English and director of OSU’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, was nominated for her book “The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction.”

Two releases by OSU Press were also nominees: Glenn Anthony May’s book, “Sonny Montes and Mexican American Activism in Oregon,” and Portland author Brian Doyle’s book, “Mink River.”

The Oregon Book Awards is a program of Literary Arts, a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the importance of language.

Story By: 

Lawrence Rodgers, 541-737-4581

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George Estreich
George Estreich

Concert to highlight social and environmental change held May 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Music that motivates action on behalf of nature and social justice will be the focus of a special concert, Friday, May 11, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Corvallis High School theater.

“This Land Is Our Land: The Music of Environmental and Social Change” will feature noted singer/songwriters Carrie Newcomer and Libby Roderick, with an opening number by Corvallis High School’s a cappella group Spartacapella.

Reserved tickets ($12 adults / $6 students) are available at Grass Roots Books & Music, or online at http://Corvallistheaters.com. The event is sponsored by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, with support from KLCC radio.

“All through American history, dramatic social change has been led by people walking hand-in-hand and singing,” said Kathleen Dean Moore, senior fellow with the Spring Creek Project. “Music can make the difference between a mob and a movement. We wanted to put on a big concert to celebrate that music, and to motivate social change.”

Newcomer has been described as “a soaring songstress” by Billboard Magazine and a “prairie mystic” by the Boston Globe. Her latest album, “Everything is Everywhere” blends American roots influences with the sounds of the Indian classical sarod. The album is a benefit project for the Interfaith Hunger Initiative.

Roderick is a singer/songwriter, poet, activist, and teacher, honored for her blend of passionate music, wry humor and incisive commentary on social and personal issues. Roderick’s folk classic, "How Could Anyone," has been translated into several languages, and was sung by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and thousands of others at the U.N. Conference in Beijing.

The concert will also recognize Corvallis-area musicians who are working, through their music, for cultural change. An action and information fair featuring regional environmental and social action organizations will take place in conjunction with the concert.

Story By: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

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Libby Roderick
Libby Roderick

Author to read from memoir on April 27

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Aria Minu-Sepehr will read from “We Heard the Heavens Then,” his debut memoir of a boy in revolutionary Iran, on Friday, April 27, at Oregon State University. The book will be available for sale with a signing to follow the reading, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library rotunda.

Published this month by Simon & Schuster, “We Heard the Heavens Then,” recounts the author’s privileged boyhood as a son of eminent general in the Imperial Iranian Air Force. Seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old with unusual access to the two poles of his society – modern and traditional – the tale describes the rising tension, collision, and eventual fallout of the country’s split as the family is forced into political exile.

“We Heard the Heavens Then” was selected as a Publisher’s Weekly “Top 10 Memoir” of Spring 2012.

Minu-Sepehr sought refuge in the United States following the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979. He has lectured on issues concerning Iranian culture and U.S. foreign policy, and created and directed the Forum for Middle East Awareness at Susquehanna University, where he taught world and Middle Eastern literature. He lives in Corvallis with his wife, the poet Karen Holmberg, and their two daughters.

Minu-Sepehr’s reading and book-signing is sponsored by the proposed OSU School of Writing, Literature and Film and Grass Roots Books and Music.

German a cappella ensemble Vocaldente to visit OSU on April 30

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The German a cappella ensemble Vocaldente will visit Oregon State University on Monday, April 30, for a free workshop in the Memorial Union Journey Room. The group will preview its concert repertoire, explain some of its techniques, and perform a few songs.

That same night in downtown Corvallis, Vocaldente will present a free concert at the Whiteside Theatre at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Vocaldente performs popular music from the past 10 decades in classical a cappella style, without microphones but with entertaining choreography. Its repertoire covers songs of every decade, including 1920s Charleston tunes, popular German styles from the 1950s, 1970s disco and recent pop songs and chart hits.

The event is organized by the German program at OSU, supported by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco, the School of Language, Culture and Society at OSU, the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at OSU, and the Whiteside Theatre.

Story By: 

Sebastian Heiduschke, 541-737-3957

Holocaust Memorial Week observed April 16-20

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will observe Holocaust Memorial Week April 16-20 with a series of events, including an exhibit of letters from Holocaust survivor Sala Garncarz, a theatrical performance highlighting Garncarz’s struggles in a concentration camp, a talk about the genocide of native peoples and a concert by an acclaimed flutist.

This observance is the 26th in the annual series, which is a collaboration of OSU, the Corvallis/Benton County Public Library, the City of Corvallis, Beit Am, and School District 509-J.

The partners are undertaking the event “in the belief that educational institutions can do much to combat bigotry of all kinds, and to foster respect for diversity, by promoting an awareness of the Holocaust,” said Paul Kopperman, OSU professor of history and chair of the Holocaust Memorial Committee.

One of the highlights of this year’s program is a public exhibit based on a collection of more than 300 letters dating from 1940-45 from Holocaust survivor Garncarz. The exhibit, “Letters to Sala – A Young Woman’s Life in Nazi Labor Camps” will be at the Corvallis/Benton County Library throughout the month of April.

Ann Kirschner, the daughter of Sala Garncarz, will be at the exhibit from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday, April 16, and will answer questions from the public.

For a complete schedule and descriptions of the events, go to: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/holocaust/index.php

The program will also include the following events, all of which are free and open to the public:

Monday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Ann Kirschner will discuss the wartime experiences of her mother and the importance of the unique collection of letters that she saved and later passed down to her children. Kirschner is the dean of Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York and author of an acclaimed biography of her mother, “Sala’s Gift.”

Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m., Corvallis/Benton County Public Library

“Sala's Story,” Arlene Hutton's dramatic adaptation of Kirchner's book, “Sala's Gift,” tells the story of young Garncarz's experiences growing up in Nazi work camps. Much of the play's text comes directly from her letters. History and drama become fused together in this play, which is suitable for younger audiences, as well as for adults. OSU Theatre faculty member Elizabeth Helman directs.

Wednesday, April 18, 4 p.m., La Raza Room, OSU Memorial Union

Tomasz M. Giebultowicz will speak on “Operation Harvest Festival” - In the fall of 1943, the Germans killed 40,000 Jews in three camps of the Lublin District in Poland. This campaign of murder was given the euphemistic name of “Operation Harvest Festival.” Even given the enormity of the Holocaust, few if any massacres on this scale occurred in such a brief span of time. Among the prisoners at one of these camps was young Joseph Giebultowicz. Since he was a political prisoner and not Jewish, he was spared and eventually came to America. Years later, he told his son, Tomasz, what he had witnessed. Tomasz, a member of the physics faculty at OSU, will discuss Operation Harvest Festival and what his father told him of that massacre.

Wednesday, April 18, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Concert titled “One Heart” by flutist Jan Michael Looking Wolf; followed by Benjamin Madley’s talk on “Genocide in America? The Assault on the Tolowa Tribe of Oregon and California.”

Madley, a postdoctoral fellow in history and Native American studies at Dartmouth, focuses on “frontier genocide,” or mass assaults on indigenous people. His talk will deal primarily with the campaigns against the Tolowa tribe, who lost more than 80 percent of their population between 1851 and 1856, but he also will place this history in the context of the wider assault on California Indians.

Prior to Madley’s talk, Jan Michael Looking Wolf will perform on the Native American flute. Looking Wolf teaches Native American flute at OSU and has released more than 20 albums.

Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m., C&E Auditorium, LaSells Stewart Center

Eric Sundquist will speak on “The Historian’s Anvil, the Novelist’s Crucible: Holocaust Literature and the Uses of History.”

Sundquist, Andrew W. Mellon professor of the humanities at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss the ways the Holocaust has been depicted in literature and examine the issue of imaginative recreation of an event that carries such a heavy moral burden to depict accurately. Sundquist is known for his scholarship on African-American and Jewish-American literature, as well as on the Holocaust, and his many publications include the award-winning book, “Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America.”

Story By: 

Paul Kopperman, 541-737-1265

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Oregon State University will observe Holocaust Memorial Week April 16-20 with a series of events including a public exhibit of letters from Holocaust survivor Sala Garncarz.
Jan Michael Looking Wolf

Documentary on human connection to the cosmos screens April 9

CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Journey of the Universe,” a documentary exploring the human connection to Earth and the cosmos, will be screened on Monday, April 9, at Oregon State University. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the C&E Auditorium of LaSells Stewart Center.

Narrated by evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme, and produced by historians of religion Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, “Journey of the Universe” weaves together the findings of modern science with cultural traditions of the West, China, Africa, India, and indigenous peoples to explore cosmic evolution as a process of creativity, connection, and interdependence.

The documentary premiered last year on PBS and has been shown around the world.

Filmed on location on the Greek island of Samos, “Journey of the Universe” invites viewers to become travelers on a journey that explores the origins of the universe, the emergence of life, and the rise of humans.

Sponsored by the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word, the event will also recognize the winners of the OSU Student contest, “The Great Work: Re-imagining Humanity as the Planet Changes.”

To view the trailer, visit www.journeyoftheuniverse.org

Story By: 

Charles Goodrich, 541-737-6198

Poets Geri Doran and Maxine Scates to share a reading at OSU on April 20

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon poets Geri Doran and Maxine Scates will read from their recent collections on Friday, April 20, at Oregon State University, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s La Raza Room (208).

The reading is free and open to the public; a book signing follows.

Doran will read from her second collection of poems, “Sanderlings” (Tupelo Press, 2011), which has recently been named a finalist for the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. Doran will be joined at the reading by Scates who will read from her recent book, “Undone” (New Issues, 2011), a poetry collection called “nuanced, mysterious, intimate” by Dorianne Laux.

Doran is the author of “Resin,” selected by Henri Cole for the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award. She has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Portland’s Literary Arts.

Scates is the author of three books of poetry including “Toluca Street” and “Black Loam.” Her poems have been published widely in such journals as “AGNI,” “Ploughshares,” and “The Virginia Quarterly Review” and she has received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, the Oregon Book Award for Poetry, the Lyre Prize, and a Pushcart Prize.

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

Story By: 

Rebecca Olson, 541-737-1648

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Sanderlings 300 dpi



'Everybody Reads' campaign in celebration of Joyce Carol Oates begins April 18

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A wide-ranging “Everybody Reads” program, celebrating the work of acclaimed American writer Joyce Carol Oates, will be held in Corvallis and on the Oregon coast throughout April and May.

The program will culminate in a public reading by Oates, who will visit Oregon May 9-10 to receive Oregon State University’s inaugural Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, one of the largest prizes of its kind given by an American university.

The spectrum of events leading up to Oates’ visit will range from book discussion groups to creative writing workshops inspired by the author’s work. Each session will be led by a team of candidates from the OSU masters programs in creative writing and literature.

On Wednesday, May 9, Oates will appear at a free public lecture and book-signing on the OSU campus. She will be honored the following evening, Thursday, May 10, at a ticketed event at the Portland Art Museum. Tickets for the Portland event are available at: https://pam.spotlightboxoffice.com/purchase/step4?ticketID=63600

In addition to conducting community-based book discussions and writing workshops, OSU graduate students will visit classes at Corvallis High School, Crescent Valley High School, Harding Alternative High School, Linn Benton Community College, and Toledo High School.

Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published more than 50 novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, literary criticism and essays. Her novel, “them,” (1969) won the National Book Award, and her novels “Black Water” (1992), “What I Lived For” (1994), and “Blonde” (2000) were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2010, Oates received the National Humanities Medal. Her newest novel, the psychological thriller “Mudwoman,” was just released in March.

OSU’s biennial Stone Award is given to a major American author who has created a body of critically acclaimed work and who has been a dedicated mentor to young writers. The award was established in 2011 by Patrick and Vicki Stone to spotlight OSU’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. The honorarium for the award is $20,000, making it one of the most substantial awards for lifetime literary achievement offered by any university in the country.

The “Everybody Reads” Program is sponsored by the OSU Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, and Grass Roots Books & Music.

The following events are free and open to the general public.

  • Wednesday, April 18, 6:30-8 p.m. - Public book club discussion: “We Were the Mulvaneys,” Corvallis-Benton County Public Library board room;
  • Saturday, April 28, and Saturday, May 5 (two sessions). 2-4 p.m. - Creative writing workshop, Grass Roots Books & Music. Corvallis. For registration, call 541-754-7668 or email grootsreads@gmail.com
  • Saturday, April 28, 7 to 9:30 p.m.  - Discussion of “Black Water”, The Yachats Center for Lifelong Learning;
  • Sunday April 29, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Creative writing workshop, The Yachats Center for Lifelong Learning. For registration, contact Andrea Scharf atAndrea@GoYachats.com or (541) 547-3092;
  • Tuesday, May 1, 6:30-8 p.m. - Public reading group: “A Widow’s Story”, Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis;
  • Wednesday, May 2, 2-3:30 p.m. - Teen book club: “Big Mouth and Ugly Girl”, Youth Activity Room, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library;
  • Wednesday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. - Joyce Carol Oates, public reading and lecture, Oregon State University’s CH2M HILL Alumni Center, Corvallis;
  • Saturday, May 12, 2-3:30 p.m. - Joyce Carol Oates discussion group, main meeting room, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

For more information about OSU’s MFA program and the Stone Award, go to: http://oregonstate.edu/cla/wlf/mfa/2012-stone-award-recipient-joyce-carol-oates

Story By: 

Rebecca Olson, 541-737-1648

Activist and former presidential candidate David Cobb gives annual peace lecture on April 24

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Activist David Cobb, who ran for United States president in 2004 on the Green Party ticket and has made his life’s work battling corporate power, will give the 2012 Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture for World Peace on Tuesday, April 24, at Oregon State University.

The free, public event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Auditorium of LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis. The title of his talk is “Corporate Personhood:  The Legal Doctrine that Perverts the Promise of Democracy.”

Cobb is national projects director at the community organizing group Democracy Unlimited and is a spokesman for Move To Amend, a national coalition calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish “corporate personhood,” or the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, which asserts that corporate entities have the same rights under law as people.

He was born in San Leon, Texas, and worked as a laborer before going to college. Cobb graduated from the University of Houston Law School in 1993 and maintained a successful private law practice in Houston for several years before devoting himself full-time to activism.

In 2002, Cobb ran for Attorney General of Texas, pledging to use the office to revoke the charters of corporations that violate health, safety and environmental laws. In 2004, he ran on the Green Party presidential ticket and successfully campaigned for a recount of ballots in Ohio.

Now in its 29th year, this annual lectureship honors Linus Pauling, an OSU graduate and two-time Nobel Prize laureate, and his wife, Ava Helen Pauling, a noted peace activist. It is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts.

Story By: 

Richard Clinton, 541-737-2811

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David Cobb