Jonathan Walters, professor of religion and Ball Endowed Chair of the Humanities, will succeed Bruce Magnusson, associate professor of politics, as director of Whitman’s Global Studies Initiative at the end of the academic year. His appointment, based on the recommendation of the Committee of Division Chairs, follows highly successful terms by his predecessors, Magnusson and Shampa Biswas, associate professor of politics. The director is responsible for recruiting participants to the Global Studies Initiative, coordinating a faculty development seminar each year as well as an annual summer workshop, planning and coordinating the annual Global Studies Symposium and co-editing the volumes that emerge from the proceedings of each year’s symposium, according toTimothy Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of faculty. Kaufman-Osborn also reports that the volume that emerged from the 2009 symposium, Torture: Power, Democracy, and the Human Body, has been published and is now available for paperback purchase. It is also available online to members of the Whitman community. This year’s Global Studies Symposium takes place Saturday, Feb. 25.
Kirsten Nicolaysen, associate professor of geology, reports that research she conducted with alumnus Taylor Johnson ’07 has been featured in a recent article in Science magazine. In 2006, she and Johnson traveled to Clam Lagoon on Adak Island, Alaska, to work with archaeologist Dixie West, among others. Johnson’s thesis, based on their findings, led to two chapters the pair contributed to the book People Before: The Geology, Paleoecology and Archaeology of Adak Island, Alaska (2012). The book is the focus of theScience article “The Peopling of the Aleutians,” which explores the genetics and archaeology of the ancient Aleuts as a way of learning more about human migration. Nicolaysen’s and Johnson’s research on obsidian is highlighted twice in the article.
Helen Knowles, visiting assistant professor of politics, recently presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in New Orleans. The article, titled “Local Story Trumps National Narrative: Washington State Newspaper Coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937),” looks at the ruling that upheld the constitutionality of the Washington state minimum wage law for women, arguing that the importance of state media coverage of the case has been overlooked. While many scholars tend to focus on the role the decision played in the conflict between Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Court, she says, Knowles’ findings demonstrate the ways in which local newspaper coverage changes when a case is of direct interest to a specific readership, and shows that residents of Washington state received information from local newspapers on the local and human-interest aspects of the case.
Ellen Bishop, visiting assisting professor of environmental studies and geology, reports that Oregon State University Press will publish her new book, Field Guide to Pacific Northwest Geology. The book focuses on the geologic evolution of Pacific Northwest landscapes. It incorporates Bishop’s research on the geology of the Blue Mountains’ older terrains as well as recent discoveries by many other geologists. Intended for both general and academic readers, the book will feature Bishop’s photography, as well as diagrams and illustrations. Publication is anticipated for early in 2013.