NEWSLETTER The Center for the Humanities A MEMBER OF THE CONSORTIUM OF HUMANITIES CENTERS AND INSTITUTES AUTZEN HOUSE OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY FALL/WINTER 2010 The Center is now accepting applications from OSU faculty members interested in 2011-12 Research Fellowships for the resident research program. Each year the Center brings together a new group of scholars to pursue research and writing in an environment designed to be stimulating as well as protected from the usual daily demands of academic life. Up to eight Fellows will be selected. Research Proposals Invited for 2011-12 Ethnographer Fina Carpena-Méndez with a Nahua family in Central Mexico. I n this pueblo, drug addiction is increasing because children grow up as rebels with their grandparents,” Carmen told Fina Carpena-Méndez. “They come back home from school and nobody tells them what to do . . . Some children don’t go to the milpas and they are just in the street. Youth don’t like village life anymore. They come and go . . . but they already feel they are from the other side [the USA] and cannot adjust when they return. A boy got together with a Chicana and stayed for good on the other side. His parents were left alone here, without any help . . . And this is the abandonment that is happening.” Fina Carpena-Méndez is a Research Fellow and assistant professor of anthropology at OSU. Carmen lives in a Nahua village in Central Mexico where Carpena-Méndez did field work for a year. The research investigates—and questions—prevailing notions about what happens to children left behind by family members who migrate to the United States. “My work attempts to show the complexities of intergenerational relations in indigenous villages affected by new, accelerated processes of transnational migration, plagued by unexpected events and misunderstandings of each other’s realities on both sides of the border,” said Carpena-Méndez. “Children do feel abandoned when left behind even though they are under an extensive network of care and supervision from grandparents or other relatives. Parents in the U.S. think the remittances they send back to Mexico are invested in providing children a modern form of The Center for the Humanities and the Horning Endowment in the Humanities are now inviting applications for a 2011-12 post- doctoral fellowship in the history and philosophy of science. Scholars not currently employed by OSU who have completed doctorates since January 2006 are eligible for a year-long fellowship in 2011-2012 with a stipend of $40,000. Postdoctoral fellows will be in residence at the Center along with other fellows in a variety of humanities disciplines. Applications are welcome from all fields of the history of science, including medicine and technology, as well as the philosophy of science and intellectual history. Applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2011. See the Center’s website for further information and application forms: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/humanities/ History of Science Fellowship Open (Continued on page 9) (Continued on page 8) Gangs play role in new identities

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The Center is now acceptingapplications from OSU faculty membersinterested in 2011-12 ResearchFellowships for the resident researchprogram. Each year the Center bringstogether a new group of scholars topursue research and writing in anenvironment designed to be stimulatingas well as protected from the usualdaily demands of academic life. Up toeight Fellows will be selected.

Research Proposals Invited for 2011-12

Ethnographer Fina Carpena-Méndez with a Nahua family in Central Mexico.

In this pueblo, drug addiction isincreasing because children grow up

as rebels with their grandparents,”Carmen told Fina Carpena-Méndez.“They come back home from school andnobody tells them what to do . . . Somechildren don’t go to the milpas and theyare just in the street. Youth don’t likevillage life anymore. They come and go . .. but they already feel they are from theother side [the USA] and cannot adjustwhen they return. A boy got togetherwith a Chicana and stayed for good onthe other side. His parents were left alonehere, without any help . . . And this is theabandonment that is happening.” Fina Carpena-Méndez is a ResearchFellow and assistant professor ofanthropology at OSU. Carmen lives in aNahua village in Central Mexico whereCarpena-Méndez did field work for a year.

The research investigates—andquestions—prevailing notions aboutwhat happens to children left behind byfamily members who migrate to theUnited States. “My work attempts to show thecomplexities of intergenerational relationsin indigenous villages affected by new,accelerated processes of transnationalmigration, plagued by unexpected eventsand misunderstandings of each other’srealities on both sides of the border,” saidCarpena-Méndez. “Children do feelabandoned when left behind eventhough they are under an extensivenetwork of care and supervision fromgrandparents or other relatives. Parentsin the U.S. think the remittances theysend back to Mexico are invested inproviding children a modern form of

The Center for the Humanities andthe Horning Endowment in theHumanities are now invitingapplications for a 2011-12 post-doctoral fellowship in the historyand philosophy of science. Scholars not currently employedby OSU who have completeddoctorates since January 2006 areeligible for a year-long fellowship in2011-2012 with a stipend of $40,000.Postdoctoral fellows will be inresidence at the Center along withother fellows in a variety ofhumanities disciplines. Applications are welcome from allfields of the history of science,including medicine and technology,as well as the philosophy of scienceand intellectual history.Applications must be postmarkedby January 31, 2011. See theCenter’s website for furtherinformation and application forms:http://oregonstate.edu/dept/humanities/

History of ScienceFellowship Open

(Continued on page 9)

(Continued on page 8)

Gangs play role in new identities


‘A mag photo before I was’

Anita Helle

Poet Ann Sexton was oftenphotographed when young andlater as a fashion model and

celebrity. Poet William Staffordproduced nearly 200 photographicportraits of twentieth-centurywriters—the most ever made by aphotographer, let alone a poet. Both writers referred regularly tophotography in their poetry. And bothare key figures in Anita Helle’s newproject: Photo-signatures: Poetry,Photography, and the ChangingShapes of Literary Authorship since1960, a literary and cultural historyabout writers who have established adistinct relationship to the photographicimage, particularly photographicportraiture. “My historical frame is therelationship between poetic identityand changing models of literaryauthorship after World War II, whenthe marriage of art and commerce inmagazine production, the increasingpower of photojournalists as editors,new forms of book production, andnew advertising and publicitystrategies challenged earlier models ofromantic and modernist authorshipand the performing self,” Helle wrotein summarizing her project. As Robert Lowell quipped about hispublicity image in a sonnet: “A magphoto before I was.” Post-war literary publishing wasconducted under the aegis of thephoto-op, which functions as both a“representation and a challenge to theauthenticity of self-representation--itimparts a conscious awareness ofidentity as artifice.” Each chapter in the book investigatesa particular photographic production,that is, an archive, exhibit, or photo-book. The opening chapter is a casestudy of the collaboration betweenphotojournalist Rollie McKenna andpoet-critic, editor, and modernistimpresario John Malcolm Brinnin, in

the making of the first anthology togive the photographic portrait of thepoet equal visual space with the printedpoem, with full-page photographs ofpoets on each facing page. “Their collaborative partnership andthe photographs themselves epitomizethe changing relations of photographicportrait and the poet, intellectual andcommercial culture, and intellectualproperty,” said Helle. Her time at theCenter will be devoted mainly to thechapters on Sexton and Oregon’s ownStafford.

In Sexton’s case, said Helle, poetryand photography are linked by aproblem of textual narcissism that haslong been associated with the poet’swriting and reception. In “TheFortress,” Sexton wrote: “I give you theimages I know/Lie back with me andwatch.” Helle observes that Sexton’sreflections on the photographic imagesand her consciousness of “looked-at-ness” also is likely related to culturalspectacles of femininity. A significant dimension of Sexton’sphotographic legacy has to do with hercomplex relationship to fame andcelebrity. Helle cited the observation ofanother writer who said, “the socialvisibility of the genius and thecriminally insane may be uncannilylinked,” adding that Sexton appeared tobe haunted by the thin line dividing thehysterical appearance of the “criminallyinsane whose every emotion wasscientifically delineated in thenineteenth century asylum, and thefrenzied look of adulation on the facesof audiences drawn to the performanceof gifted individuals in celebrity culture. . . That thin line also becomes a themein her major poetry.” Stafford, a contemporary of Sexton’s,turned the camera outward by becominga photographer himself. The first

Ann Sexton by Elsa Dorfman

(Continued on page 9)William Stafford


‘Propaganda’ films a hit in unified Germany

Sebastian Heiduschke

(Continued on page 5)

Before German unification in 1990,hundreds of films made by the

state-owned film company of EastGermany were dismissed by the publicas propaganda. Surprisingly, despite being madeunder tight control of the Communistparty, the films show thematic breadthand depth thanks to the ingenuity ofmany of the directors, a fact that fansin the United States as well as Germanyhave discovered in a major way. Sebastian Heiduschke, a CenterResearch Fellow and OSU assistantprofessor of languages and literatures,is working on a book, From Boring toBooming: Fan Cultures of EastGermany’s DEFA Cinema, aimed atincreasing understanding of thetraditions and legacy of East Germanfilms produced between 1946 and 1992.The book begins by describing howDEFA evolved as a productioncompany following WWII, and how itceased to exist when it was sold to aFrench investor in 1992. During its years of operation as thesole film company in East Germany,DEFA produced 800 movies. But it wasnot until nearly a decade afterunification, says Heiduschke, that “a

process of historic reevaluation ofpostwar German history took place thatresulted in critically acclaimed boxoffice hits such as Good Bye, Lenin andLives of Others.” In his book,Heiduschke will argue that “an in-depthanalysis of this success will elucidatehow audiences assimilated thememories evoked by films such as thesein order to reevaluate historical eventsand reconstruct their reality.” Because many of the DEFA filmspromoted official politics through adistorted view of the “better” of the twoGermanys, said Heiduschke, EastGermans shunned domestic filmproductions, so much so that partyofficials organized screenings inschools and factories to boost audiencenumbers. “Thus, after unification in 1990, manyscholars believed that DEFA filmswould not play a significant role in themerger of two distinct German cultures.Surprisingly, the exact opposite tookplace, and DEFA films became morepopular than ever.” DEFA films are now in high demandand are widely screened at Germanclubs and theaters as well as availableon DVD. Their popularity is not limitedto Germany. In 2005, the Museum of

Modern Art in New York presented 21of the films as part of “Rebels with aCause: The Cinema of East Germany.”In 2008, East Gemran director RainerSimon toured 21 American universitiesscreening his films, and in 2009, theDEFA Film Library at the University ofMassachusetts at Amherstcollaborated with the Wende Museumin Los Angeles to release the filmseries, “Wende Flicks: Last Films fromEast Germany.”

Though a number of studies havebeen done on the popularity of

DEFA films, Heiduschke’s is the firstto address specifically thephenomenon of their success in thepost-unification world. “In my book Ishow how the newly found success ofDEFA films can be explained bypaying close attention to theiraudiences, specifically looking atinternet fan sites, audienceparticipation in ‘fan meetings’—filmclubs, film festivals, screenings withdirectors and stars present—and howDEFA fans celebrate the star cult, aphenomenon officially unknown inEast Germany before 1990.”

From a fan video posted on YouTube, using parts of the DEFA musical Heißer Sommer(Hot Summer, 1968), the East German Grease.


Shelley Jordon

Pogrom survivor remembered through animation

A joyful reunion took place at Union Station today when Mrs. Robert Graetz, 233McDonough Street, met her mother and father and two sisters who arrived fromGermany. The Hermann Lank family spent two years in German prison camps duringanti-Jewish pogroms and hadn’t seen their daughter, Mrs. Graetz, and her family, since1945. Left to right are Robert Graetz; Mrs. Hermann Lank fondly embracing RenateGraetz, 10; Herman Lank; Anita Graetz, 11; Lucy Lank (in front of Mrs. Graetz); and AnniLank. The family was brought to this country by the United Service for New Americans.

In Berlin in 1942, a six-year-old girland her family were forced into

hiding. For four years, they movedfrom one place of concealment toanother, sheltered by helpersmotivated by friendship, compassionand sometimes greed. The story is familiar, but the outcomewas happier than most: the Graetzfamily—two children, two parents, twograndparents—all survived toimmigrate to the United States. Andunlike so many, whose stories diedwith them, the Graetz’s story lives onin a hand-written account kept by thelittle girl’s father. That account is now in the hands ofCenter Research Fellow ShelleyJordon, an artist who is using it as thebasis for an animated film. “Thewriting is filled with visual details andinsightful particulars, includingterrifying close calls and fortuitousconfluences of circumstances thatmake it a compelling narrative suitedto visual interpretation,” Jordon wrotein her research summary. The story holds extra power forJordon, a professor of art at OSU. The little girl, Anita Graetz, grew up tobecome Jordon’s mother-in-law, AnitaGreenstein. Though Jordon had heardbits and pieces of the family history, itwas not until the meticulouslydocumented account was transcribedby another relative that she feltinspired to create a project based on it. Jordon’s hand-painted animation,“Anita’s Journey,” will be presentedfrom the little girl’s point of view. “Thepiece will not be a literal narrative, butrather a visual expression of a powerfulemotional experience from a child’sperspective.” Many written accounts of the Jewishexperience in Germany during WWIIhave been produced—including ArtSpiegleman’s graphic novel Maus—along with documentaries and othermedia, but Jordon’s appears to be thefirst animated depiction. Though nophotographs of Anita’s family from

that period survive, Jordon is able todraw on the collections of other familiesand individuals kept in the JewishMuseum Berlin, as well as the holocaustarchives at the Institute of JewishStudies at the Free University of Berlin. She also visited the neighborhood ofAnita’s early childhood in the Jewishdistrict in Berlin to sketch andphotograph the buildings, shops, andplaygrounds that remain, and is working

with images taken from home moviesshowing four generations of Anita’sfamily in the 1950s. During her Centertenure, Jordon is writing the “script” forthe film, creating sketches, developingimages, and beginning a rough draft ofthe animation on a computer. The filmwill be silent apart from an originalmusical score composed by Kurt Rohde,a music professor at the University ofCalifornia-Davis.

The Graetz family had already begunto suffer before being driven into

hiding. The father, Robert, had lost hisjob and the children were no longerallowed to attend the local school.They were evicted from their home andwere living in a one-bedroom apartmentwith the grandparents, Herman and EvaLack, when forced to flee. Anita’ssister, Renate, was four at the time. Miraculously, the family survived andarrived in New York City on July 15,1946, aboard the SS Marine Flasher.After some time, they settled inPortland where Anita married and had

(Continued on page 9)

The Dayton-Herald, July 1946



Horning Fellow pursues ‘natural history of the mind’Consciousness is a biologicalphenomenon. How does the brain doit?

John Serle, UC-Berkeley

John Serle’s philosophical questionis a good one, says Liz

Stillwaggon Swan. “It correctlyassumes that human consciousness,and the human mind, is a biologicalphenomenon brought about by natural,evolutionary processes. And itsuggests that the appropriate way tounderstand the human mind willnecessarily include looking to the brain.Non-philosophers might be surprisedto learn that this is a significant stepforward for philosophy.” For much of the twentieth century,philosophers of the mind assumed itssubject to be an abstract, disembodied,and atemporal entity “that must submitto one or another abstract system ofanalytical description. Refreshingly,many researchers in philosophy arenow moving in the direction ofarticulating philosophical questionsabout the human mind that inviteinsight from neuroscience, semiotics,anthropology, and other disciplinesformally considered to be whollydisconnected from philosophy.” Swan is one such philosopher. As theCenter’s first Horning Fellow in theHistory and Philosophy of Science, sheis devoting her year to furtheringresearch and writing on The NaturalHistory of Mind: From BiologicalOrigins to 21st Century Technology. While Swan welcomes the newattention to the biological aspects ofthe brain, it is as insufficient to arguethat the mind is “just the brain” as it isto ignore the embodied aspects ofmind. “Brains are necessarily embodied, sowe cannot overlook the critical insightswe can learn about human mindednessfrom the biological sciences. Andhuman bodies are necessarilyembedded in worlds. These interrelatedphilosophical observations mark the

necessary intersection between thenatural sciences and the humanities inthe endeavor to understand the humanmind.” Swan is probing fundamentalquestions about human consciousness.Where did the mind come from? Whichnatural processes encouraged itsbeginning and which sustained itsdevelopment? In what ways will ourdeepening integration with technologyinfluence the nature of the human mindin the future?

Because humans are both biologicaland social creatures, we need to

take stock of our emergence from thenatural world as well as our effects onthat same world through culture andtechnology,” she wrote in describing herresearch. “If we endeavor to understandthe human mind through biology alone,we emphasize our continuity with otheranimals at the risk of overlooking ouruniqueness. But endeavoring tounderstand the human mind through thehumanities alone runs the inverse risk ofemphasizing our uniqueness whileoverlooking our continuity with non-human animals and the larger naturalworld.” Neither context alone can tell thewhole story. “An integrated account

that strikes a balance betweenconceptualizing the human mind asunique in the natural world and yet asan emergent phenomenon of the naturalworld has cross-disciplinary explanatoryvalue.” Swan describes her approach as“inherently interdisciplinary,” a claimthat is underscored by the title of herforthcoming book, co-edited with R.L.Gordon: Origin(s) of Design in Nature:A Fresh, Interdisciplinary Look at HowDesign Emerges in Complex Systems,Especially Life (Dordrecht, Springer:2011). “Often assumed to be the crowningachievement of evolution, and itsaccomplishments the pinnacle of humancivilization, the human mind is morecommonly explored as the entity it hasbecome, rather than as a natural processof becoming. But if we take evolutionarytheory seriously, then the human mind,like all natural phenomena, has a biologicalhistory.”

Liz Stillwaggon Swan

Heiduschke is looking at both“passive” fans, those who merelyview DEFA films at theaters and ontelevision, and the active fans who“create an imagined DEFAcommunity.” Much of his material isdrawn from personal interviews withDEFA fans and 160 questionnaireshe collected in Germany followingfilm screenings over the course of ayear. The book will conclude with a lookat the popularity of DEFA filmsoutside Germany, particularly in theUnited States, “where such thingsas sales of T-Shirts from the WendeFlicks series and the popularity ofan episode of Mystery ScienceTheater 3000 about a DEFAscience-fiction film indicate growinginterest.”

DEFA fans. . . (continued from page 3)


Creating beauty ‘out of the vanishing’

Pleasant Valley, Tillamook Co., 2009

Early settlements in Oregon’sCoast Range are captured in

striking photographs by RichBergeman that were on display atthe Center through fall term. “The Place Names Project” is theculmination of more than a year inwhich the photographer traveled backroads in search of small towns andcommunities founded before 1900. Aretired photography instructor at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany,Bergeman has been chroniclingevidence of Oregon’s bygone days onboth sides of the Cascades for morethan 20 years. “My goal was not to create arecord of vanishing sites before theyare gone,” he said, “but rather tocreate something beautiful out of thevanishing. I see both melancholy andnobility in these places, when thenatural cycle of growth and decaymarches on with serene inevitability.The Japanese have a phrase for it—‘wabi sabi,’ an aesthetic thatcelebrates transience, imperfection,and the patina that comes with age.” Though the places he hasphotographed once claimed spots onthe map, many—such as Kernville andNorton in Lincoln County—no longerexist as actual towns. Others, like ElkCity, retain more evidence of havingbeen thriving communities and, despitedeclining populations, have hung on inthe face of waning prosperity over thepast century. The 22 prints in the show are donein the platinum process, which datesback to the late 1800s, before theinvention of enlargers and smallcameras. Platinum has long beenprized for its permanence and richlynuanced tonal scale. The prints weremade by hand-coating fine art paperwith a solution of platinum, palladium,

This inconspicuous spot on the old Roosevelt Highway (U.S. 101) is so smallthat both the north and south-facing signs announcing ‘Pleasant Valley’ are onthe same signpost. Despite its name, old-timers say it should have been called‘Wrangletown’ because of frequent feuds among settlers.

and ferric oxalate, placing thenegative directly onto the dried paper,and then exposing the contact print tostrong ultraviolet light for severalminutes. “Because enlargements are notpossible, prints can be only as large asthe negatives,” said Bergeman. Tocreate the large negatives requiredfor direct printing, he used twomethods: a few of the images weremade the old-fashioned way, with a100-year-old 8 X 10 camera; the restwere taken from images originallycaptured with a digital camera. Many of the images were madewhile Bergeman served as artist-in-residence at the Sitka Center for Artand Ecology on Cascade Head inearly 2009.

Peedee, Polk Co., 2004/2010

This tiny community in the LuckiamuteValley traces its roots to the 1840s,when Oregon pioneer CorneliusGilliam moved his family here. Itsname was taken from the famous PeeDee River of the Carolinas, whereGilliam was born. These homemadebirdhouses were found stacked in acrate across from the long-shutteredgeneral store.


Founded in 1889 along the

Nehalem River, Natal owes its

unusual name (pronounced

‘Nattle’) to the nickname of

early homesteader Nathanial

Dale. No longer worthy of even

a dot on most maps, its

handsomely preserved one-

room schoolhouse, complete

with bell, still stands.

Natal, Columbia Co.,2009

Hebo, Tillamook Co. 2009

The now shuttered Hebo Inn was once the grand centerpiece of this farming and lumberingcommunity on the old Roosevelt Highway. Founded in 1882, the town sits at a crossroadswhere the Nestucca River tumbles down out of the Coast Range on its way to the Pacific.


nurtured childhood, but elders are losingpower in what until recently weregerontocratic societies.” Mexico is in the process of dismantlingan agricultural system that hashistorically provided food variety andsecurity in rural regions. A newgeneration of rural Mexicans is growingup in the context not only of a rapiddismantling of subsistence agriculture,but the almost completed process ofdeindustrialization, acceleratedtransnational migration, deepening socialinequality, and compulsory schoolingunder a new World Bank developmentprogram known as ‘Oportunidades.’ “In the countryside, households areincreasingly composed of elders andchildren left behind by young migrantparents. . . In a community broken up bytransnational migration, childrencontribute with their work, care, andcreativity to sustain forms of everydaypractice and to stitch the ruptures of theeveryday in a transitional society,”Carpena-Méndez wrote in summarizingher research. In her book-in-progress,Seeds to the Wind: Growing Up AcrossFurrows and Borders in NeoliberalRural Mexico, she argues that indigenousrural youth are drawing on whatevercultural and social resources they have athand in order to make sense of their newworld.

They are constructing new networksof support—support to help them

create new social practices in Mexico aswell as to migrate to the United States—and gangs (bandas) figure large in the neworder. The term “gang,” however, does notnecessarily carry the familiar meaning. “This difficult family life, together with aself-understanding of ‘being Indian’ as‘backwardness,’ often compels children tojoin youth gangs for mutual support andidentity . . . The majority of bandas aregroups of adolescent boys and girls whohang around street corners at night andgive themselves a name in order ‘to besomebody.’”

Youth may band together according tothe neighborhood or barrio in which theylive. Carpena-Méndez describes someyoung children from the Shalacas barriowho spray-painted their gang names onthe walls and fences: Niños abandonados(Abandoned children), Niños callejeros(Street children), Niños huérfanos (Orphanchildren), Niños sin amor (Children withoutlove). “Fully aware of the negativeconnotations of the word pandilla—associated with drugs, violence, anddelinquency—many youth wouldhighlight that for them the term bandameant just ‘a group of youth,’ and that itspurpose was spending time with the peergroup and organizing themselves for thepreparation of youth’s modern versionsof their elder’s fiestas, that is, poolingresources and work for the preparation offood and the hiring of a music band.” Many of the Nahua youth migrate toPhiladelphia and the New York-NewJersey area, where the newcomers join arapidly growing informal labor force. Ontheir periodic returns to theirmountainous rural communities “theyounger migrants incorporate newmaterial social practices while strugglingto forge new forms of belonging in theirtraditional environment . . . Indigenous

youth gangs draw both on modernpopular culture and on ancientcommunity practices. I’m trying to arguefor the specificities of this newdevelopment and its adaptive aspects.”

Carpena-Méndez remains in contactwith some Nahua youth by

telephone and Internet, tracking, amongother questions, how the youngimmigrants and their children perceivethe predominance of American culture inemerging global forms. “Through thereconfiguration of gender in the contextof migration, Nahua boys are becomingaccomplished cooks in U.S. restaurants,while at the same time gaining awarenessof local struggles to change the foodsystem for justice, health, andsustainability.” Some of the young migrants arereturning to Mexico to push for changebased on their new perceptions ofinternational forces and their ownidentities. “My book uncovers how both boysand girls are taking the lead in emergingpatterns of circular migration by usinggang membership and practices as socialcapital to construct support networks intheir passages to the north. Youth gangshave not only been absorbed into thesocial organizations and kinshipnetworks of the indigenous community,they are also a new transnationalinstitution across the U.S.-Mexicanborder and the rural/urban divide.” The significance of the combined effectsof transnational migration and the“modernizing” of the Mexican countrysidefor the future of rural people may not bewell understood now, as it’s occurring, saidCarpena-Méndez. This will have to waituntil younger generations show how theywill use the land they inherit in theircommunities of origin.

Fina Carpene-Méndez

Village youth identities. . . (continued from page 1)


published picture of Stafford with acamera slung over his shoulderappeared in The Oregonian, where heis shown with fellow writers andacademics protesting the VietnamWar. Beginning in the 1960s, hebelonged to a camera club—one ofthe few groups this anti-organizationwriter conceded to join—and he builta home darkroom. Of the more than200 photographs in the Staffordarchives, most are portraits of otherwriters. The archive has been open toresearchers only since 2008.

In her study of Stafford’s writing,Helle has particularly noted the

relationship between creativity,literary authorship, and camera work:“God snaps your picture—don’t lookaway—this room right now, your facetilted/exactly as it is before you canthink.” (From “An Archival Print”).As a photographer and a poet, shewrote, Stafford was a reluctantdocumentarian, wary of thecommercial power of the image. As amid-century modernist, he is betterknown as a contemplative, meditativeobserver in the tradition of RobertFrost. “The question of just what to makeof this larger archive of photographicportraiture as a personal andcommunicative aspect of ‘daily ‘composition and social bonding at atime when. . . the photographicportrait is increasingly made to beexhibited on museum walls, is one ofthe questions I would like to explore,”said Helle. Her project will be the firstcritical work based on Stafford’sphotographs.

two children, including Jordon’shusband David. Sadly, Anita died fairlyyoung of complications from multiplesclerosis. “Anita was a girl who survived theterrors of war through her family’s wilesand good fortune but was also myhusband’s mother and the grandmothermy daughter never really knew. I hope tokeep her historical memory alive in an artform that is meaningful and unique.” Jordon has produced two previousshort animated films, Terremotto andFamily History. Family History hasbeen shown at film festivals around theworld and has won a number of honors,including the “Judges Award” from LATimes film critic Ken Turan at the 36th

Northwest Film Festival in Portland. InNovember, Terremoto won Best Art andAnimation at the Radar Hamburg Film

Festival in Germany. In the fall, Jordon was awarded an Art& Technology residency at the WexnerCenter at Ohio State University. Eachyear, the Wexner Center invites around20 milmmakers and artists to take part inthe program, which provicesprofessional technical help with newworks. The resultant projects areexhibited at fesitvals and museumsworldwide. Jordon will be there for aweek in December and again in June. “Unlike a painting, which can onlyexist in one place at any given time,animation is a portable medium that canbe viewed concurrently in multiplevenues with potential for a muchbroader audience.” Shelley Jordon’s animation can beviewed online at: http://shelleyjordon.com/animation/.

Anita’s journey. . . (continued from page 4)

Until 2009-10, Fellowships alsowere awarded to faculty from otheruniversities as well as independentscholars, but the Visiting Fellowprogram has been put on hold for acouple of years. When thatprogram resumes, it will be notedin this newsletter and on theCenter website. (A new fellowshipin the History and Philosophy ofScience continues in 2010-11; seestory on Page 1.) Applications from OSU facultymay be for any humanities relatedresearch, which should beunderstood to include not onlytraditional humanities disciplinesbut also those projects within thesocial and natural sciences that arehistorical or philosophical inapproach, and that attempt to castlight on questions of interpretation

or criticism traditionally found inthe humanities. This also includesinterpretations of science andtechnology. Fellows are awarded one term ofrelease from teaching, though theymay keep their office in AutzenHouse for the full academic year.The Center provides all Fellowswith a computer and general officesupport services. Applications must be submittedby 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.For application information, checkthe Center’s website:http://oregonstate.edu/dept/humanities/or call 541-737-2450, or write to:

Fellowship ProgramCenter for the HumanitiesOregon State University

811 S.W. Jefferson AvenueCorvallis, OR, 97333-4506

Center fellowships. . . (continued from page 1)

Photography. . .(continued from page 2)


Thin traces of human existence

Sandstone Alcove, Gary Tepfer

My understanding of what is most beautiful hasbeen shaped by the vast and majestic landformsof the American west. The preciousness of waterin the Southwest and its delightful abundance inthe Northwest have made me acutely aware ofmoisture as the lifeblood and sculptor of land.

Eugene photographer Gary Tepferreturns to the Center Winter Term

with an exhibit of images taken in theAmerican Southwest. Tepfer has been photographing inand around Canyon de Chelly everyyear since 1987. In a previous Centerexhibit, he showed pictures taken inthe Altai Mountain region ofMongolia as part of an art andarchaeology project that began in1992. In the words of the artist: “I amdrawn to those places and spaceswhich challenge me physically andspiritually. Mountains, plains,canyons, and watercourses provokemy imagination, my own need forphysical discovery and adventure.What will I find exciting around thatnext bend or from the top of that nextrock? “I return again and again to thesesame places as each occasionprompts the imagination to wonderwhat a scene might be like tophotograph in different seasons andlight conditions. “In the American West andMongolia, I seek to capture the thintraces of human existence from a timewhen people lived lightly on the land.The manifestations of daily life andritual merge and are softened by thenatural landscape. I want to capturethat aspect of the natural world whichstands apart from human existence butam often struck that the locations towhich I am drawn to makephotographs are often the same placesthat are the most rich in the ritualartifacts of ancient peoples. I strategizewhere to be for a certain time . . . andtiming is everything.”

Many of the photographs in theexhibit also were shown last

spring at the White Lotus Gallery inEugene, in conjunction withpresentations by Native Americanwriters Harry and Anna Lee Walters.

Tepfer leads yearly camping workshopsin the Four Corners area emphasizingnative culture, natural history, andphotography. Harry Waters has served asa guide for the workshops. He is theformer director of the Navaho StudiesDepartment and the Hatathli Museum at

the Navajo Community College inTsaile, Arizona. The exhibit runs January throughMarch at Autzen House, 811 S.W.Jefferson Avenue. It is open to thepublic 9 to 4 weekdays. Forinformation, call 541-737-2450.


Fall & Winter CalendarFALL TERM

Art Exhibit: September--December

The Place Names ProjectPhotographs by Rich Bergeman


4 p.m., Autzen House.


11 What Is Required for aNatural History of Mind’?Liz Stillwaggon Swan,Horning Fellow in theHistory and Philosophy ofScience.

18 From Yidishe Gauchos toKosher Kibbe withGuacamole: LatinAmerican Jewish Writing.Jacobo Sefamí, CenterGuest, Department ofSpanish and Portuguese,School of Humanities,University of California-Irvine.

November1 ‘Connecticut Shade’: a novel.

Keith Scribner, Department ofEnglish, OSU.

15 Knights Rampant in the Vault:Vicissitudes in the History of aManuscript. Barbara Altmann,Director, Oregon HumanitiesCenter; Chair, RomanceLanguages, University ofOregon.


Art Exhibit: January--March

The American Southwest,Photographs by Gary Tepfer



31 Mobbing McCarthy andSocializing Socialism? Fandomof East Germany’s MonopolyFilm Studio (DEFA) in theContemporary USA. SebastianHeiduschke, Center ResearchFellow, Department of ForeignLanguages and Literatures, OSU.


7 Freedom on the Fence. Filmscreening by Andrea Marks,Former Center Research Fellow,Art Department, OSU.

21 Imagining the Unimaginable.Hand-painted animation byShelley Jordon, CenterResearch Fellow, ArtDepartment, OSU

28 Seeds to the Wind: Growing UpAcross Furrows and Borders inNeoliberal Rural Mexico. FinaCarpena-Méndez, CenterResearch Fellow, AnthropologyDepartment, OSU.

Center Program Advisory Board 2010-11

Mina CarsonHistory

Marisa ChappellHistory

Sharyn CloughPhilosophy

Kayla Garcia, ChairForeign Languages and Literatures

Jon LewisEnglish

David McMurrayAnthropology

Michael OsborneHistory

Andrew VallsPolitical Science


David RobinsonCenter Director

Wendy MadarAssociate Director

The Center for the HumanitiesThe Center was established in 1984 as an out-growth of the Humanities Development Program,which had been creating innovative interdiscipli-nary courses since 1977. The Center continues tooffer a certificate program in Twentieth CenturyStudies, but its focus has broadened to a concernfor improving the quality of humanities researchas well as teaching at OSU. This is accomplishedthrough the awarding of resident research fellow-ships to both OSU and visiting scholars, as wellas by sponsoring conferences, seminars, lectureseries, art exhibits and other events. The Centeroccupies Autzen House, 811 S.W. JeffersonAvenue.

David Robinson Wendy Madar Alison Ruch Director Associate Director Office Coordinator

Non-Profit OrgU.S. Postage

PAIDCorvallis, OR

Permit No. 200

The Center for the HumanitiesAutzen House811 S.W. Jefferson Avenue,Corvallis, OR 97333-4506(541)737-2450