The Beauty of Book Groups

The weather is getting cooler, which means it is the perfect time of the year to curl up with a good book!  And when you’ve finished reading the book, why not have a great discussion about it with your book group?  National Reading Group Month is an initiative of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) and is celebrated each year in October.  According to the WNBA, “Reading groups are proving that good books bring people together. National Reading Group Month salutes reading groups. It fosters their growth and promotes the love of literature.”  So how about starting or joining a book group?  You can find information about local book groups at public libraries or bookstores such as the Salem Public Library or the Book Bin.  And join us in celebrating National Reading Group Month by checking out one of the titles related to book groups listed on our WU Reads Reading Guide.

Faculty Colloquium: Stephen Patterson

Please join us Friday, October 5th, at 3 p.m. in the Kremer Board Room in Ford Hall for our fourth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Stephen Patterson, George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Stephen Patterson

Title: Here Come the Androgynes, Again!


Some may recall Steve Patterson’s first installment on androgyny in early Christianity–where the androgyne symbolized love. Now the second installment: androgyny also symbolized power. Masculine sexuality in the ancient world was all about masculine power. Virility and power are still linked in the construction of masculinity today. But what if a woman could have male power? Believe it or not, early Christians were toying with the idea… and he’s got (more) pictures! This material is part of Patterson’s new book, The Forgotten Creed (OUP), due out on October 1.

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

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Sufism and Islamic Law Lecture

Sufism and Islamic Law: Tempering Legal Decision Making with the Jurist’s Knowledge of God

A lecture by Fareeha Khan

Thursday, October 4, 5 pm
Hatfield Room
Mark O. Hatfield Library

Sufism was as much a part of the life and blood of Muslim societies as Islamic law in pre-modern times. On a daily basis, it was what reminded both the lay and scholar Muslim what the point was in following Islamic legal rulings:  to worship and submit oneself to God. Unfortunately, due to various modern intellectual trends, Sufism no longer holds such a central level of importance among many of today’s Muslims. This lecture will examine a prominent modern-day case of Islamic legal reform in which the motivating factor was the jurist’s deep spirituality and practice of Sufism. I argue that a revival of such spiritually-inspired jurisprudence is necessary for the holistic survival of Islam in the modern day.

Fareeha Khan is an independent scholar affiliated with Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Her research interests include Islamic law, gender, and the place of traditional Islamic scholarship in the modern day. She is the author of several academic articles, is currently serving as Advisory Editor for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law, and is preparing her first book-length manuscript for publication, entitled The Ethical Contours of a Fatwa: Gender, Sufism and Islamic Law in Late Colonial India. Dr. Khan currently resides in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Facebook event page is here.  This event is sponsored by Willamette University’s Religious Studies Department, and is free and open to the public.

2018 MOHL Research Awards

The Hatfield Library is pleased to announce the winners of the Mark O. Hatfield Research Award. This award is given for a student paper in any discipline that demonstrates outstanding research using library and information resources. The paper must have been written in the sophomore or junior year as part of regular class work. Up to two awards are given each year and winners receive $500.

The winners for 2018 are:

Kelly Ewing for her paper “Including Indigenous Voices in Water Management: A Comparison of Australian And American Approaches.” (Faculty Supporter: Karen Arabas)

Cole Franko for his paper “Marx and the Mir: A Critical Look at the Evolution of Historical Materialism.” (Faculty Supporter: Bill Smaldone)

Congratulations to Kelly and Cole for their outstanding work!  Also, many thanks to Gretchen Moon, Joni Roberts, and the Hatfield Librarians for serving on the adjudication committee for the award.

Craig Milberg
University Librarian
Mark O. Hatfield Library
Willamette University


Hallie Ford Literary Series: Asali Solomon

Please join us for an evening with Asali Solomon on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7:30 PM at the Hatfield Room. Asali Solomon

Asali Solomon is the author of the novel “Disgruntled” and the story collection “Get Down“, which was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction and received a Rona Jaffee Foundation Writers Award. In 2007, she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35. Solomon teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College.

Contact Information:
Name: Scott Nadelson
Phone: 503-370-6290

Faculty Colloquium: Pamela Moro

Please join us on Friday, September 28th, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Pamela Moro, Professor of Anthropology

Title: Glorious Jollification: Violins, Violin-Playing, and Masculine Social Life in 19th Century California and Nevada


Violins were important objects in the vernacular musical life of the mid- and late-19th century American west. Violin playing was integral to sociality and the work environment of the gold- and silver-rush mining camps of Northern California and Nevada, contexts shaped by masculinity and race. This study pays particular attention to the memoirs and archival papers of miner, journalist, and amateur violinist Alfred Doten. Doten’s writings reveal vernacular violin playing in relation to masculinity and violins as sentiment-laden material culture.

Before presenting my research paper, I will briefly introduce my forthcoming book (Violins: Local Meanings, Globalized Sounds) and talk about my professional career as an anthropologist with a specialization in ethnomusicology. 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 three schools. We will have three TGIF events each 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. Please join us and watch for a message next week with other TGIF dates.

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Faculty Colloquium: Michael Marks

Please join us Friday, September 21st, at 3 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Michael Marks, Professor of Politics

Title: Small States and Middle Powers: Metaphors of Size and Position in International Relations


Metaphors of power are at the core of the study of international relations. Power represents the idea that humans have the ability to translate agreement into action through the
harnessing of material means. Power is not the essence of the material world nor material resources themselves. It is a metaphor for the intangible qualities of persuasion that give material resources their force. This presentation examines the metaphorical notions of size and position as two ways in which power is conceptualized in international relations. For theoretical purposes, the debate between the metaphorical position of states relative to each other and their size revolves around the role power is thought to play in shaping outcomes. Approaches that conceive of states metaphorically as “big” or “small” are less prone to hypothesize changes in size as major sources of instability in international relations than approaches which conceive of states altering their position “on top,” “in the middle,” or “at the bottom” of a hierarchically ordered arrangement of states.

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

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators

Wittenberg to Willamette

From Wittenberg to Willamette:  Unlocking the Secrets of a Rare Book from the Hatfield Library’s Vault.

By Doreen Simonsen
Humanities, Fine Arts, and Rare Book Librarian

Cover of the 1599 Vulgate

Researching a Rare Book is often like a treasure hunt.  The Mark O. Hatfield Library has hundreds of rare books ranging from medieval manuscripts to 20th century first editions, and my study of one of these works, a Latin Bible entitled Biblia Sacra, proves that you really cannot judge a book by its cover.

It all started with Martin Luther.  His actions in Wittenberg inspired the leaders of the Counter Reformation to revise their version of the Bible.  With the endorsement of Pope Clement the Sixth (1592 to 1605) and the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563), the Clementine Vulgate Bible was printed widely throughout Europe.  Our library catalog record for this book notes that our copy was published in Antwerp, Belgium at the Plantin Moretus Printing House in 1599.  According to records from that printing house, Jan Moretus shipped 500 unbound copies of this book, Biblia Sacra, to Germany to be sold at the famous Frankfurt Book Fair in the Fall of 1599.  The books in that shipment were missing a quire, (a section) of the book, and our copy has missing pages, which were replaced with handwritten copies of the missing texts.  But who wrote those handwritten pages?  And who bound this book?

Missing Pages from 1599 Vulgate

In the Renaissance and Reformation, books were sold unbound, and the buyers of those texts would have them bound by professional bookbinders.  Thanks to Luther’s nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg in 1517, that city became a center of book publishing and bookbinding.  By 1555 Wittenberg had a guild of 50 bookbinders, who engraved metal plates and rolls to decorate the leather book covers they made. The cover on our bible is embellished with images, borders, Latin quotes, the initials CKW and the date 1562.  CKW turned out to be Caspar Kraft of Wittemberg, a prominent bookbinder in that city in northern Germany.  The images on his 1562 plates are of Justicia and Lucretia, images “that Lutherans used to justify their resistance to imperial [and papal] authority.”1

Around these images are decorative borders made by bookbinding rolls, which were made by Hans Herolt of Würzburg, in southern Germany.  Who hired Herolt to bind this book?  Julius Echter von Mespelbruun, the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1573 – 1617, is the most likely candidate.  A Latin inscription in the books states that “Magister Wolfgang Christoph Röner received (this book) due to the generosity of the most reverend and most holy Prince-Bishop of Würzburg.”  Another inscription is by Andreas Weissens…, a theology student, who might be the person who wrote in the missing pages in this bible.

Theology Student Inscription

The most prominent inscription, however, is that of Dr. Charles H. Hall who gave this book to Willamette University in 1875.  Born in Kentucky, Hall studied Classics at Indiana Ashbury College in 1852, taught Latin, Greek, and Natural Sciences at Willamette University in the late 1850s, and became the son-in-law of Alvan Waller in 1859.

How this Latin Catholic Bible with Lutheran images on the bindings traveled from Germany to America is a mystery that may never be solved, but revealing its secrets shows that rare books can be more than old texts with pretty pictures.  They are artifacts worthy of study in their own right that can illuminate historical controversies and engage curious student researchers here at Willamette University.  A rare book can truly be much more than its cover.


“Closeup of the CKW 1562 book
plate stamp made by Caspar
Kraft of Wittenburg, Germany”
“Emblem of the Plantin Moretus
Printing House, Antwerp, Belgium”
“Closeup of the book border rolls
made by Hans Herolt of
Würzburg, Germany”
“Inscriptions, Including Charles Hall’s
Donation to Willamette, 1876″


1 Zapalac, Kristin Eldyss Sorensen. In His Image and Likeness : Political Iconography and Religious Change in Regensburg, 1500-1600. Cornell University Press, 1990. Page 128.


Ode to Wilderness

There’s nothing quite like a walk on the beach, the view from a mountain top, the sound of a waterfall, the sight of a creature in the wild…  For many of us, spending time surrounded by nature is inspirational, restorative, and almost a necessity for our mental and spiritual health.  Our deep connection to nature comes with an obligation to safeguard it for the future.  President Obama said it best:

It is one of our greatest responsibilities as citizens of this Nation and stewards of this planet to protect these outdoor spaces of incomparable beauty and to ensure that this powerful inheritance is passed on to future generations.

The library is pleased to celebrate National Wilderness Month; September is a particularly beautiful time in the Northwest, so pack a lunch, put on your boots, and take a hike!  And don’t forget to take one of the wilderness-related books listed on our WU Reads Reading Guide to enjoy on your lunch break!

Make an Appointment with the Archives

Curious to know what treasures are stored in Willamette University’s Archives and Special Collections? Need a research topic for a class? Want to explore what student life at Willamette was like 150 years ago?
WU memorabilia
Archives and Special Collections, on the 2nd floor of the Hatfield Library, collects material related to the history and administration of Willamette University, political papers of alums and Oregon’s 5th congressional district, the papers of artists from the Pacific Northwest, and papers related to local individuals and organizations with ties to Willamette.

Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 9 am to noon and from 1 pm to 4 pm. Please e-mail to make an appointment.

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