Poetry and Trees

tree on hill with skyTrees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.–Kahlil Gibran

The recent ice storm took a serious toll on many of the beautiful trees across the Willamette Valley and beyond.  Despite all the damage, tree leaves are unfurling and blossoms are blooming to welcome the arrival of spring.  Looking at the trees around us in all their glory might just inspire those with a creative writing talent to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and compose a poem.  Happily, April is the perfect time to contemplate trees and poetry because it is both Arbor Month and National Poetry Month!  Join us in celebrating poetry, trees, and nature by sampling some of the many wonderful books (both print and electronic) available through the Hatfield Library and listed on our WU Reads Reading Guide.


Honoring Women

Women protestingRecognizing, remembering, and celebrating the role women have played in American history is important.  By official presidential proclamation, March has been designated Women’s History Month and now is the ideal time to reflect on the many extraordinary contributions of women through the years.  The National Women’s History Alliance chooses an annual theme and this year’s theme is a continuation of last year’s theme–“Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced.”  2020 was the women’s suffrage centennial but the pandemic overshadowed this milestone so the celebration is continuing into 2021.  Recognizing early suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone is important but it also crucial to pay tribute to civil rights activists like Ida B. Wells, Ella Baker, and Shirley Chisholm, who championed voting rights for women and African Americans.  And we can bring the celebration into the 21st century by acknowledging the important contributions of women like Stacey Abrams whose organizing skills helped register thousands of new voters in the state of Georgia, making it a key battleground state during the 2020 election. On our WU Reads Reading Guide, you will find a selection of books about the Nineteenth Amendment and women through the years who were involved in supporting voting rights.

Study of Religion at Hatfield: Process Studies

By Maggie Froelich, Theology Librarian



Process thought is a diverse field of philosophy and theology that emphasizes the dynamic nature of reality. Compared to other strands of Western metaphysics, process holds that “the dynamic nature of being should be the primary focus of any comprehensive philosophical account of reality and our place within it” (Johanna Seibt, “Process Philosophy,” SEP). According to process, things can and should be described with respect to becoming, change, and relationality, not simply with reference to “states” or static being.

Center for Process Studies logo

Process theology, which stems from the process philosophical work of Alfred North Whitehead, was developed in part by John B. Cobb, Jr., Claremont School of Theology emeritus professor. The Center for Process Studies (CPS), founded in 1975 by Cobb and fellow CST professor David Ray Griffin, is a faculty institute that promotes both scholarship and community dialogue in process studies. Over the years, the Center has amassed the world’s largest collection of books, articles, theses, and unpublished papers on or relevant to process philosophy and theology, and the published books from that collection are now housed at Hatfield.

The strength of the CPS collection is its diversity. Process thought has implications for, and is informed by, physics, ecology, psychology, history, theology, religious studies, and many other fields. The three books below offer a taste of some of the interesting, thought-provoking, and sometimes iconoclastic materials you can find in the collection.

You can find the CPS collection on the first floor of the Mark O. Hatfield Library. To access the Process Center’s unpublished materials, take a look at their digitized papers here, or contact info@ctr4process.org.


The Fragility of Things by William E. Connolly 


This book on political and social theory turns its attention to biology, geology, and climate science to discuss the finely tuned systems that make up our world and are ignored or devalued by neoliberal political and economic policy. Connolly ultimately promotes a marriage of ethics, spirituality, and democratic activism as a remedy to modern crises of ecology and society.








The End of Modern Medicine by Laurence Foss

(Also available as an ebook)

Despite its provocative title, this book doesn’t propose that we all stop trusting in scientific approaches to biomedicine. Rather, Foss urges laypeople and medical professionals alike to rethink our modern notions of the separation between empirical science and “softer” or less falsifiable aspects of human life, like culture, psychology, and cognition. Although the book was published in 2003, before the recent emphases on “mindfulness” and “self-care” in American culture, it carries the message that undergirds that movement: our well-being is not only a function of dispassionate physical and chemical processes, but is a holistic result of our bodies, minds, communities, environments, and cultures interacting.





Mindful Universe by Henry P. Stapp (second ed.)

We’ve all heard that observation changes the thing that’s observed (and the observer!), but for most of us this adage is usually more at home in the field of anthropology than of physics. Quantum mechanics, however, challenge that preconception. Stapp examines the twentieth-century shift from Newtonian to quantum physics to explain events far outside of the usual scales of human life and interaction. In two chapters new to the second edition, he explores how quantum principles can contribute to discussions of the placebo effect in medicine and to philosophical inquiries about free will. 

Mark O. Hatfield Library Sticker Design Contest

The MOHL invites you to participate in our first annual sticker design contest.  Previously, the library created stickers to hand out to patrons using a design from some time ago.

We are ready to obtain more stickers to share, and would love to have a new design that reflects a student’s view of the library.

If you are a Willamette student who wants to exercise some creativity and would like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, please submit as many entries as you like by March 26th.

Further details may be obtained by clicking on this poster.

Faculty Colloquium: Peter Harmer

Please join us on Thursday, February 25, at 4:10 p.m. at this URL:


for our fourth Faculty Colloquium of the semester.

Title: Medicine as political camouflage in Islamic-Israeli sports confrontations: The Federation Internationale d’Escrime – A case study.

Presenter: Peter Harmer, Professor of Exercise and Health Science Peter Harmer

Abstract:  The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sports International Federations (IF) are predicated on inclusiveness and have non-discrimination regulations built into their constitutions and by-laws. However, three Islamic countries have used international sports competitions as extensions of their national policy of non-recognition of Israel by prohibiting their athletes from competing against those from Israel. Despite the clear contravention of the regulations of non-discrimination, these countries have effectively utilized exculpatory explanations, particularly medical conditions, to avoid sanctions. Using a basic epidemiological analytical technique, I have developed data from international fencing events that dismantles this defense and provides a foundation for the IOC and IF to hold these countries accountable for violating this important norm of sports competition.

Bill Kelm and Kathryn Nyman
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Vincent Pham

Please join us on Thursday, February 11, at 4:10 p.m. at this URL:


for our third Faculty Colloquium of the semester.

Title: Community Rhetorics of COVID-19

Presenter: Vincent Pham,  Associate Professor, Department of Civic Communication and Media



Abstract:  The COVID-19 global pandemic has intermeshed itself in our daily lives, (re)shaping our relations with each other and with our institutions. Yet, in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,  a search for the origins of the disease is often conducted in order to understand the disease, from where it came, and how the first transmission to humans might have occurred. News coverage, political discourse, and science talk sought to manage uncertainty and allocate blame. While there have been other scapegoats for the origination of a given disease historically and globally, Asians and Asian Americans have become one of the most recognizable objects of blame and derision in United States rhetoric.  In this talk, I examine public discourse in news coverage that construct Asians and Asian Americans as “diseased” themselves and its replication of longstanding tropes about Asians and Asian Americans. I conclude with some future avenues of research related to COVID-19 and its impact on Asian American communities, particularly health workers.

Bill Kelm and Kathryn Nyman
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Meredy Goldberg Edelson

Please join us on Thursday, February 4, at 4:10 p.m. at this URL:


for our second Faculty Colloquium of the semester.

Title: Sexual abuse and child maltreatment: The role of Child Abuse Assessment Centers on legal outcomes, biases that may limit their effects, and their role in a coordinated community response
Presenter: Meredy Goldberg Edelson, Professor of PsychologyMeredy Edelson


Abstract:  When there are cases of sexual abuse or child maltreatment broadly that come to the attention of the authorities, it is important to understand what the legal and systemic responses might be. With regard to sexual abuse specifically, research suggests that the use of child abuse assessment centers (CAACs) result in positive legal outcomes for children. However, even with the use of CAACs, not all children have the same legal advantage. I will present my research that shows that the use of CAACs results in better legal outcomes for sexual abuse cases with female victims than male victims. I will then discuss my research examining potential biases that might account for why the CAAC advantage in legal outcomes seems to only hold for females. Finally, I will discuss my current research examining the role of a CAAC as part of a broad community response to child maltreatment.

Bill Kelm and Kathryn Nyman
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Celebrating Black History Month

decorative rendering of black history monthMost of us have heard of Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate, who read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the recent inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden.  Amanda’s inspirational poem reminds us all of the beauty and power of words.  Salman Rushdie expressed this exquisitely when he wrote:

A poet’s work … to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it from going to sleep.

In honor of Black History/African American History Month and Amanda Gorman, it seems fitting to highlight African American poets and their important contributions to American culture and society. Check out a sampling of some of the many wonderful books of poetry (both print and electronic) available through the Hatfield Library and listed on our WU Reads Reading Guide.

Visit the following websites for more information on Black History Month and Black poets and poetry:





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