Faculty Colloquium: Warren Binford

Please join us on Friday, November 8th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Warren Binford, Director of the Clinical Law Program Warren Binford

Title: “4 Days in Clint”

Abstract: 4 Days in Clint is a firsthand account of what Willamette Law professor and international children’s rights expert Warren Binford discovered when she and her colleagues walked into the Clint Border Patrol Facility on a routine monitoring visit outside of El Paso, Texas, in June 2019. Over the course of four days and through interviews involving approximately 70 children, the team came to realize that hundreds of children were being unlawfully warehoused by the US government in a state of filth, hunger, sickness, and sadness, without any meaningful adult care. Some children reported being assaulted by Border Patrol while many reported being forced to sleep on concrete floors, including infants and toddlers, in overcrowded jail cells, a loading dock, and a windowless warehouse. Professor Binford will explain what had changed in their observations about the government’s treatment of the children in its care that compelled them to go to the media for the first time in 22 years of Flores monitoring visits. Professor Binford will explain the legal framework that applies to migrant children in custody, highlighting both the legal violations by the US government, as well as the loopholes that need to be closed to ensure the humane treatment of children, and how the average U.S. resident can help. Professor Binford’s talk will include direct quotations from the children’s sworn declarations to ensure that their voices and stories are known to and amplified by the American public.

Bio: Warren Binford is Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Law Program at Willamette University. An internationally recognized children’s rights expert, Professor Binford was invited by legal counsel in Flores v. Barr to help conduct a series of site inspections of especially concerning government facilities where migrant children have been detained since 2017, including the former Wal-Mart, the Tornillo tent city, and most recently, the Clint Border Patrol Facility, among others. Professor Binford was selected as both a Fulbright Scholar in 2012 and the inaugural Fulbright Canada-Palix Foundation Distinguished Visiting Chair in Brain Science, and Child and Family Health and Wellness in 2015. She holds a B.A., summa cum laude with distinction, and an Ed.M., from Boston University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the third TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Changes, Current and Coming

Guest post written by Craig Milberg, University Librarian

Now that we are well into the current semester we hope you have noticed some positive changes to the first floor of the Mark O. Hatfield Library. These changes include:

1. A wall dividing the main table “farm” on the first floor has been installed. On the front side of the wall, we now have bookshelves and bulletin boards that let us create book displays that highlight our collections. On the backside of the wall, we have placed a series of whiteboards. The intent is to create a spot where students can leave comments, share their thoughts, draw pictures, and in general express themselves. We have dubbed this area “Mill Stream Musings.” Remember, it is a public space so please be respectful and don’t write or draw anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to see in the New York Times.


2. The sidewall next to the librarians’ offices is now dedicated to displaying creative works by Willamette students. Partnering with the Studio Art Department, we hope to have a rotating series of displays of student art over the course of the year.

student display wall

3. Installation of electric outlets on tables in many spots on the first floor. This should alleviate the dangerous need to stretch extension cords across the floor.

electrical outlets on table

Moving from the present to the future, we continue plans to integrate significant portions of the Claremont School of Theology’s print collections into the MOHL’s collections. With their hybrid educational model, it isn’t surprising that CST relies heavily on electronic collections but they also have wonderful print collections. Working with the CST library, we currently anticipate bringing approximately 50,000 volumes of books and periodicals. In order to accommodate these items, our plan is to find off-site storage for all of the bound periodicals (theirs and ours) and move their books, mostly representing religion and philosophy, into the shelves on the first floor where the periodicals are. We will then move our current collection of philosophy and religion monographs from the second floor, intermingling them with the books that come from CST on the first floor.

No need to worry about access to the bound periodicals. You will be able to request articles from these periodicals and twice a day library staff will plan on scanning articles and sending them to you. All of this should happen this coming summer so further news will follow as details become clearer.

Faculty Colloquium: George Gu

Please join us on Friday, October 11th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: George Gu, Assistant Professor of Finance George Gu

Title: “Local Religious Belief and Workplace Safety”

Abstract: We study the impact of local religiosity on establishment-level workplace safety. Consistent with the view that religious people are more risk averse, we document a significant negative effect of religiosity in a county on worker injury rates in establishments located in the county. We also find that the effect of local religiosity on worker safety is primarily driven by Protestant religion. Lastly, we identify two channels by which local religiosity affects worker safety. Religious managers are more risk averse so they increase investment conducive to safety (the managerial safety investment channel). Religious rank-and-file workers are more risk averse so they comply with safety protocol more diligently and assert greater caution at work (the worker safety compliance channel). Interestingly we find that religiosity local to a firm’s headquarter has no significant effect on worker safety outcomes, safety investments, or overall safety ratings, suggesting the importance of middle level managers and rank-and-file workers (rather than top management) in shaping worker safety policy. Our results imply that local religious beliefs have a subtle yet important impact on employee welfare.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the second TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Abigail Susik

Please join us on Friday, October 4th, at 3 p.m. in Ford 301 for our fourth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Abigail Susik, Associate Professor of Art History Abigail Susik
Title: “Curating Between Mexico and England: Notes on the Exhibition ‘Alan Glass, Surrealism’s Secret’ at Leeds Arts University, 2020”

Abstract: Alan Glass (b. 1932) is a French-Canadian artist who has resided in Mexico City since 1963. When Glass moved to Paris from Montreal in the 1950s, his intricate pencil drawings were discovered and promoted by surrealism’s founder André Breton. The catalogue for his first exhibition featured an essay by his friend Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean artist who later became a renowned cult filmmaker. In Mexico City, Glass became a collaborator with expatriate British surrealist Leonora Carrington. Much like Carrington and Jodorowsky, Glass’s works evince an esoteric poetics in which reality is transmuted through the work of the creative imagination. In addition, he quickly became a notable contributor to Mexico City’s flourishing contemporary art scene in the 60s and 70s. Continuing to draw and paint, Glass turned increasingly to assemblage, a medium much favored by surrealism. Precisely executed with found material gleaned from Mexico City’s maze-like markets, Glass’s sumptuous arrangements facilitate mysterious correspondences between disparate objects.Glass Art Work

Although Glass is one of Mexico’s most revered artists, as is evidenced by the prestigious award he received in 2017, the coveted Medalla Bellas Artes, Mexico’s highest recognition for production in the fine arts, he must also be considered surrealism’s best-kept secret. Including his first solo show in Paris in 1958, there have been only three exhibitions devoted to his work in Europe, the most recent of which took place in Spain more than a decade ago. The art of Alan Glass, then, is ripe for exploration and discovery, and the Leeds Arts University exhibition of 40 drawings, paintings, and assemblages in autumn of 2020 will be the artist’s first show in the United Kingdom. Situating Glass’s art in the context of an internationally dispersed surrealism with longevity far beyond what is often assumed, the exhibition will bring Glass’s production into conversation with the Mexican influences and networks which have come to define it.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Looking ahead: Next week’s Colloquium will be delivered by Atkinson professor George Gu presenting on “Local Religious Belief and Workplace Safety”.

Faculty Colloquium: Saghar Sadeghian

Please join us on Friday, September 27th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Saghar Sadeghian, Assistant Professor of History Saghar Sadeghian
Title: Conversion as Boundary Crossing: Non-Muslim Conversions in Mid 19th and Early 20th Century Iran

Abstract: Iranian non-Muslim communities are instances of Fredrik Barth’s ethnic groups (10-11). They live in separate geographic communities, have their own languages, were forced to follow specific dress codes, and created a community of ‘us’ in comparison to the Muslim ‘them’. At the same time, the boundaries between these groups were blurred and negotiable. Group boundaries could be crossed by interfaith marriages, economic interactions, or notably religious conversions.

Apart from religious spiritual motivations, some individuals converted to other religions, voluntarily or by force, for economic, cultural, or political reasons. However, this was not a simple transition from one religious community to another. The converts normally kept their previous rituals, family ties, and languages; but were banned from their former community’s institutions. On the other hand, in the new group, they were welcomed and awarded with certain privileges; but could not completely integrate. For example, titles such as ‘Jewish-Baha’is’—for those Jews converting to the Baha’i Faith—indicated the Jewish community could not totally let their former members leave. At the same time, this could also indicate that the Baha’i community might not have let them totally integrate. They might change their religion but were still Jews by blood. Labels like ‘Jadid al-Islam’, or ‘New Muslim’ for converts to Islam differentiated them from the ‘old’ or ‘original’ Muslims.

This paper studies Iranian non-Muslim conversions to Islam or other faiths, during the mid 19th and early 20th centuries, as a means of social mobilization. It addresses the topic in two main ways: discussing the reasons one might convert voluntarily or by force; and the ways each community treated its dissidents or new members. Employing “social identity theory” (Tajfel and Turner 7-20), the article argues that converts did not lose their old religious affiliation by gaining a new one; instead, they lived with fluid multiple identities in Iranian society.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the first TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Ortwin Knorr

Please join us on Friday, September 20th, at 3 p.m. in Ford 102 for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Ortwin Knorr, Associate Professor of Classics Ortwin Knorr

Title: “Suppressed Desire: The Latin Poetess Sulpicia and her Poetry of Love” ([Tib]. 3.13-18)

Abstract: The six slender elegies of Sulpicia, a mere 40 lines, are justly famous as the only surviving Latin poems written by a female poet. In the past, critics have tended to dismiss her work as the clumsy products of a woman amateur (Smith 1913, Tränkle 1980). More recently, this has begun to change as scholars such as Santirocco 1979, Hinds 1987, and Keith 1997 have pointed out Sulpicia’s artistry and her clever play with the conventions of male Love Elegy. Nevertheless, aspects of Sulpicia’s art remain only partially understood. Most importantly, the very way in which Sulpicia has arranged her poems means that, on the one hand, we get to see tantalizing glimpses of her scandalous love affair but, on the other hand, she also communicates how she successfully manages to suppress her desire, just as Roman society would expect a young woman of the upper classes to do.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Maegan Parker Brooks

Please join us on Friday, September 13th, at 3 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Maegan Parker Brooks, Assistant Professor of Civic Communication and Media

Title: The Making of Find Your Voice: The Online Resource for Fannie Lou Hamer Studies (findyourvoice.willamette.edu)*

Abstract: On August 22, 2019, the 55th Anniversary of Fannie Lou Hamer’s historic testimony before the credentials committee at the Democratic National Convention, Civic Communication and Media professors Maegan Parker Brooks and Pablo Correa launched Find Your Voice: The Online Resource for Fannie Lou Hamer Studies. The Find Your Voice website is the culmination of nearly 15 years of research that Brooks conducted in partnership with the Hamer family, activists, scholars, artists, and public school teachers in the Mississippi Delta. Find Your Voice Image

The Find Your Voice website provides free access to: (1) an original BrainPOP cartoon about Fannie Lou Hamer, (2) a K-12 civil rights curriculum, featuring 32 lesson plans spanning 18 curricular units, (3) an original children’s book, Planting Seeds: The Life and Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, written by Brooks and illustrated by Shelby McConville, a local kindergarten teacher, (4) an annotated driving tour of Hamer-related sites in the Mississippi Delta, created by Correa and Davis W. Houck of Florida State University, (5) access to the award-winning short film, “Find Your Voice,” written, produced, and directed by high school students in the Delta, who enrolled in the inaugural Sunflower County Film Academy workshop taught by Correa and Joy Davenport, and (6) a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the forthcoming feature film, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America, which will debut during Willamette’s 2020 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.

During her colloquium presentation, Brooks will feature several of these resources, share more about the process of creating the project, and preview a Senior Experience course she is designing wherein Willamette students will contribute to future phases of the Find Your Voice website.

*The website was made possible by support from Brian Hoyt and Willamette’s Web Development team.

**The larger Find Your Voice project was made possible by the support of generous private donors and public grants, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Partnerships, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and more.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Changes in the Archives

The University Archives, located in the Mark O. Hatfield Library, has had an eventful summer. First, we have a number of personnel updates to share. Mary McRobinson is leaving Willamette after 13 years as University Archivist to pursue an exciting new opportunity at Oregon’s State Archives. In a very real sense, Mary built the Archives program from scratch. Her contributions include maintaining Willamette’s history, building notable collections centered around political and artists’ papers, and ensuring that these collections have a significant impact on teaching and learning at Willamette. The library staff and Willamette will miss Mary terribly, but we have no doubt she will have great success in her new job. Mary is leaving at the end of the summer and we anticipate a national search for a new University Archivist in the fall.

We are pleased to announce some additions to the Archives team.

Stephanie Milne-Lane Image

Stephanie Milne-Lane

Stephanie Milne-Lane joined us this summer in our Processing Archivist and Records Manager position. Stephanie has deep educational and family ties to the Northwest and most recently worked as Archivist for the City of Boise. She is off to a great start and we look forward to her many great contributions to the program in the future. We also welcomed Rosie Yanosko to Willamette.

Rosie Yanosko Image

Rosie Yanosko

Rosie, who joins us most recently from the Oregon Health and Science University Library, is working on a grant-funded (joint LSTA grant with OSU) project to process the papers and slides of Native American artist and activist Chuck Williams.

Jenny Gehringer Image

Jenny Gehringer

Jenny Gehringer, who joined us during the 18-19 academic year, remains with us courtesy of an NHPRC grant; Jenny is processing the collections of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.

You can catch up on her progress by accessing the Archives blog.

Finally, while still dedicated to the memory of former Governor and Senator Mark O. Hatfield, the Hatfield Room has been repurposed as the Archives’ reading room. With new furnishings, space will allow the archives to accommodate researchers and hold sessions for Willamette classes in comfort while ensuring the security of our collections.

Hatfield Room Image

Updated Hatfield Room

This shift has allowed the University Archives to dedicate the former reading room space to a much more efficient area for processing our physical collections. These changes will ultimately lead to enhanced access for our users.

When you have a chance, stop by and meet our new archives staff and check out the new reading room!


The Return of Jason Lee

Originally published on December 8, 2015.

Guest post written by Grace Pochis, History Department Archives Intern, Class ’17

The Return of Jason Lee

Jason Lee Image

Article from scrapbook compiled by Lee’s son-in-law, F.H. Grubbs, included in the Willamette University and Northwest Collection.

Jason Lee was a well-traveled man, especially considering the transportation of his era. Born in Canada in 1803, he was educated and ordained as a Methodist minister in Massachusetts before undertaking a trip to the Oregon Territory to found and lead the Oregon Mission from 1834 to 1842. Lee would later become a founder of Willamette University and member of its original Board of Directors. During his stint as director of the Oregon Mission, he journeyed overland to the East coast and back multiple times for fundraising, traveling around the Northeast and swinging down to Washington D.C. to ask Congress for financial support. He died in 1845 while on one of these fundraising expeditions back East, but, well, while it delayed his travels, it didn’t stop him. His ashes were buried in Eastern Canada near his birthplace, and remained there for more than fifty years. But around 1900, a campaign to return Jason Lee’s ashes to Salem began to appear in Oregon newspapers. Through a scrapbook of circa-1900 newspaper clippings created by Jason Lee’s son-in-law, held in the Willamette University Archives, we can follow along with this campaign.

Impassioned arguments in these editorials declared that Lee deserved to rest in Oregon and that Oregon ought to have its “foremost pioneer.” As the undated (ca. 1906) editorial “Memory of Lee: Services planned in honor of great Methodist Pioneer Missionary” puts it, “…it is very fitting that his body should be returned, with impressive ceremonies, to the bosom of the soil he loved and redeemed.” Benefactors succeeded in moving Lee’s remains to Portland, where they languished for a while for want of someone willing to move the remains down to Salem, leading to a renewed campaign. A 1905 headline reads, “Body Should Be Interred With State Honors: Protest Against the Remains of Jason Lee Lying Longer in a Vault.” We know that by spring 1906, Lee’s body was anticipated to be transferred to Salem, sparking pomp, circumstance, and memorial services. Willamette University ended its commencement exercises a day early in order to host a celebration, and all of Salem was encouraged to join the reflection on June 14, 1906. One newspaper directed church congregations to join Willamette at a morning memorial of Jason Lee as missionary and church man, then in the afternoon to host their own events, “for the purpose of commemorating Lee’s illustrious pioneer services.”

The occasion was, and if the newspaper rhetoric is any indication, an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate Oregon, the United States, and the (by now) assured permanence of the colonizers in Oregon. The ‘Memory of Lee’ editorial demonstrates this celebratory mood, saying, “This service, of course, will glorify Lee’s inestimable efforts in behalf of the state in giving to the union the great commonwealth of Oregon.” The editorials project the feeling that the physical return of Lee was considered of tantamount importance for returning his memory to a “rightful place” of honor. These editorialists do not desire to return to the past– in almost every description of the missionaries they highlight how difficult life was–but they do exhibit the desire to “rescue” Jason Lee and to interact with their past by writing “the final chapter in the history of an adventurous life of an an adventurous time” [Source: the undated editorial “In memory of Jason Lee”].

From the way the authors talk about their history and the way they talk about time, one gets the sense that the writers did not completely understand where they fit in the Manifest Destiny, “Mayflower of the West” narrative of the colonization of Oregon. They deeply felt a religious and historical significance in the colonization of Oregon, but they seem to feel disconnected from their past. In these editorials, they repeatedly try to imagine a life that was only 60 years ago, yet, thanks to the influx of white colonizers, the decimation and removal of Native people, and the incorporation of Oregon as a U.S. state, vastly different than their own. They grapple with the timeline of how they got from then to ‘now’, often emphasizing the distance of their present from the past. One author calls Jason Lee’s era “those far-away years,” and another says that the missionaries began “at the beginning. The country was as new as that other Garden of Eden when Adam capitulated to Eve.” Another author proposes a way to conceptualize the period of first Methodist colonization, claiming, “The year 1844 is an early date–I hope no one will say that it was only sixty years ago. An event cannot occur before the beginning of things, and 1844 is so near the beginning of things in Oregon…” Faced with the mythical intangibility of “the beginning of things,” Lee’s remains perhaps brought these early 20th century colonists a welcome tangible connection to the figures who had shaped their present.

As planned, in 1906 Jason Lee was interred at the Lee Mission Cemetery next to his first and second wives and infant son. A marble slab over 6 feet tall marks his grave, inscribed with Bible verses and a description of his life. As Jason Lee’s travels came to an end, the lively newspaper conversation on Oregon’s colonial past continued. My next blog post will examine other parts of colonial Oregon’s conversation on “the beginning of things” at the turn of the 20th century.

Jason Lee’s grave marker. Photo taken April 26, 1940. Image credit: Salem Online History.

More on this topic can be found in the Willamette University and Northwest Collection, and, specifically, the Francis H. Grubbs collection on Jason Lee series within the Willamette University and Northwest Collection, or by visiting Willamette University’s Archives and Special Collections.

Extended Study Hours

During finals week, the Hatfield Library is open extra hours to help students studying for finals exams. A reference librarian is available for research help until 5 p.m. and we will begin putting out cookies and coffee during Finals around 10 p.m. They’ll be available until they run out if you need a brain food break! Don’t forget the printer in the 24-hour Fish Bowl.
cookies and coffee image

  • Thurs, May 9: 7:45 a.m. – 3 a.m.
  • Fri, May 10: 7:45 a.m. – 3 a.m.
  • Sat, May 11: 9 a.m. – 3 a.m.
  • Sun, May 12: 9 a.m. – 3 a.m.
  • Mon, May 13: 7:45 a.m. – 3 a.m.
  • Tues, May 14: 7:45 a.m. – 3 a.m.
  • Wed, May 15: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thur, May 16: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Fri, May 17:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sat, May 18:  Noon – 4 p.m.
  • Sun, May 19:  10 a.m. – 3 p.m.