Faculty News and Notes

Doug Canfield, coordinator of the Language Resource Center in the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, and doctoral student in instructional technology, has been awarded a highly competitive Social Science Research Council dissertation proposal development fellowship for the summer of 2010. This fellowship will enable Canfield to participate in two dissertation proposal development workshops in the Virtual Worlds research field, led by professors Tom Boellstorff from the department of anthropology at the University of California – Irvine, and Douglas Thomas from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. Canfield also will benefit from research funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His proposed study is titled “Authentic encounters in synthetic worlds: A discursive investigation of communities of language practice in the Metaverse.”

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Katy Chiles, an assistant professor of English, has been selected from a national applicant pool to receive a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend. Chiles was one of 85 researchers selected from among more than 1,000 applicants to receive the stipend, which provides $6,000 for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing. Chiles plans to work on her book, “Transformable Race and the Literatures of Early America,” which seeks to understand how science and literature interacted in the social construction of racial categories. Chiles teaches and writes about African-American and Native American literature, early American literature and culture, and critical race theory. For more information on the NEH Summer Stipend program, visit http://www.neh.gov/grants/guidelines/stipends.html.

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History professor Ernest Freeberg has been named the winner of the 2010 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, presented by the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) of the American Library Association (ALA). Freeberg was selected for his book, “Democracy’s Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, the Great War, and the Right to Dissent.” The award is named for the late Idaho University librarian Eli M. Oboler, who became known as a champion of intellectual freedom. The IFRT presents the award every two years for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. Freeberg’s book is a biographical study of the life of Eugene V. Debs that highlights the legal, political and social contexts of Debs’ influential career as labor union leader and political activist, and the less well-known story of the impact his case had in extending the First Amendment’s support of the right to dissent.

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“Refusing War, Affirming Peace: A History of Civilian Public Service Camp #21 at Cascade Locks, ” the recent book by chemistry professor Jeffrey Kovac, was recently reviewed in “Pacific Northwest Quarterly,” a scholarly journal devoted to the history and culture of the northwestern United States. Kovac’s book tells the story of a group of conscientious objectors during World War II. Close to 12,000 men who opposed American involvement in the war for religious, personal and political reasons served in Civilian Public Service (CPS) camps across the U.S. The 560 men at CPS Camp #21 served their country by constructing roads, raising telephone poles and fighting fires. Pacific Northwest Quarterly writer William Sturkey called Kovac’s book “an engaging view into the lives of the men who served” at the camp and said the book “will be useful to historians seeking to delve further into the domestic American wartime experience and to scholars particularly interested in the CPS program or the activities of American pacifists during times of war.”

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John Larese, professor in the department of chemistry, will speak at the European Spallation Source (ESS) Seminar at Lund University in Lund, Sweden, on Thursday, April 15. Larese will speak on Neutrons, Nonamaterials and Molecular Adsorption. His appearance is part of the organization’s New Science Seminar Series. ESS is a joint European research project that has involved more than 300 researchers from 11 countries over the last 15 years. ESS is working to become a multi-scientific facility for advanced research and industrial development. For more information on ESS and on Larese’s lecture, visit the ESS Web site.

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Dolly Young, professor of Spanish in the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures department, has just published “¡Vívelo!” with John Wiley and Sons, Inc. This first-year comprehensive textbook and program includes an electronic activities manual, self-tests and assignment questions, animated grammar tutorials, voice-recording questions and voice boards powered by Wimba. The entire textbook also is digitized with audio and video. The book attempts to create a community of adult learners that are capable of doing more than they think in Spanish.

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