SHPR Digest – April 2013


Congratulations go out to Jim Blumenthal
who was the focus of a feature story
entitled ‘Hemisphere to Hemisphere’
for the College of Liberal Arts.

“When Jim Blumenthal finished his degree at the University of San Diego in 1989, he took off on a backpacking trip through Asia. He had no idea, at the time, that in ten years he would receive his Ph.D. in Asian religions, or that by the end of twenty he would have personal relationships with world leaders of modern Buddhism, the Dalai Lama included. For Blumenthal, an associate professor of philosophy at Oregon State, the trip was a process of self—and global—exploration:…”

You can read his full feature here.

Jim will also be presenting “Buddhist Thought: The Basics” to the
Religious Studies Group on Tuesday April 2nd at 4pm in Milam  301.

When asked what he would like on his pizza, he replied:
“Make me one with everything…”


Speaking of the Religious Studies Group, David Arnoldthey were featured this month in a front page story in the Barometer in a story entitled “A Close Look at Religions” by Dakotah Splichalova.

“With an inclusive philosophy, the Religious Studies Club focuses on investigating scholarly issues and creating a collegiate community committed to interreligious values and study.”

During March, the group met on 3/6 to discuss perennial philosophy and again on 3/15 to discuss the process of Papal Conclave and the impact of the selection of Pope Francis to the Catholic Church.   The Religious Studies Group is advised by Amy Koehlinger, Paul Kopperman, and David Arnold (pictured left above).

Click here to read the full Barometer article.


The Horning Endowment for the Humanities held the Digital Humanities Symposium earlier this month exploring the impact of contemporary technological advances on scholarship and research in the humanities disciplines.   The event featured Rob Iliffe (director of the Newton Project / Sussex), Anita Guerrini (OSU), Patrick McCray (UC Santa Barbara), Dan Rosenberg (UO) and James Capshew (Indiana).

You can watch Anita Guerrini’s presentation
Google Books, the n-gram, and Culturomics” below:


The Phronesis TeamPhronesis: A Laboratory for Engaged Ethics is a new SHPR project directed by a team of Philosophy faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students and will be launching its first major experiment in the spring quarter. In concert with the College Hill High School alternative education program in Corvallis, the Phronesis team is running an on-campus class for at-risk youth focused on research and writing skills through the application and test of working ethical hypotheses. The topics in the class will be selected by the students, and framed by peace and social justice narratives such as LGBT rights, discrimination in education, criminal justice issues affecting individuals with developmental disabilities, and the role of social media. The narratives are geared toward helping students to recognize and work to ameliorate social inequalities in their communities. Combining journaling, investigative research, social experiments, and community projects, the students’ work in the class will culminate in the production of individual research portfolios that test the ethical hypotheses they’ve developed against the evidence of their own experience.

The project is supervised by Drs. Sharyn Clough and Stephanie Jenkins, and the class itself will be taught by Matt Gaddis, as part of his practicum requirements for the Applied Ethics MA program, along with Sean Creighton who recently defended an Applied Ethics MA thesis that discussed State standards for high school science curricula. Philosophy major Sione Filimoehala is the teaching assistant for the class. Ashley Eveleth, a community volunteer, rounds out the team.

Check out the Phronesis website for more exciting details!


Colorado State University recently created a new web resource – “100 Views of Climate Change” – which prominently features both a wonderful short video presentation by Kathleen Dean Moore entitled Climate Change: A Moral Crisis and another great review of Moral Ground:  Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril!

Kathy also participated in the March event (sponsored by the Spring Creeks Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word) “Thinking About Animals Thinking” where she read a lovely essay from her book Wild Comfort entitled “The Possum in the Plum Tree.”

You can watch her presentation below

Other speakers at this event included Michael Nelson, Virginia Morell, Bill Ripple, Dave Mellinger.   You can watch all of their videos on our YouTube Channel!

OSU press will be re-releasing Moore’s award winning book Holdfast this month.


While we are talking about animals and Spring Creeks, we should mention the amazing event with Virgina Morell that happened last month.    Morell’s presentation, Animal Wise, was an insightful and inspirational look into minds and emotions of animals.

We had so many people attend this event, from school children to seniors, that we had to move the event from C&E hall and into Austin Auditorium to accommodate the crowd!


Lights, Camera, Nichols!    C-SPAN was recently on campus filming Christopher McKnight Nichols’ class on US foreign relations for their show American History TV.

Watch for his episode to air sometime in June!

Nichols was also just featured by the College of Liberal Arts in a cover piece entitled “Fitting-In.”   This article highlighted Nichols success and popularity as a professor at OSU, his latest work, the “Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History,” and the American Military and Diplomatic History Conference which he is hosting on May 7th.


Nichols isn’t the only faculty involved with a current Oxford reference publication…,

Allen Thompson is also currently co-editing the
Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics, with
Stephen Gardiner at University of Washington.

Allen also recently became the
Treasurer of the International Society
for Environmental Ethics.

Congratulations Allen!


What does it mean to “Be Orange?”
What does it mean to “Be Good?”

In this new project, led by Stephanie Jenkins, philosophy students have worked to explore these questions and have blogged their work.

Visit to read their results (which clearly show why we have some of the best students anywhere)!


The Horning Endowment for the Humanities also sponsored a lunch bunch talk in March with Nicole Archambeau entitled “Reconsidering the Health Care Provider: Lessons from Medieval Miracle Accounts.

Nicole’s interesting presentation has become the most popular
video on our YouTube Channel for the month!


Big congratulations go out to Stacey Smith who was just awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship!!  The fellowship provides a stipend to travel to the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif. where she will conduct research for her next book project, “An Empire for Freedom: Transcontinental Abolitionism and the Black Civil Rights Struggle in the Pacific West.

This month, we also got a first look at the cover for her current book, “Freedom’s Frontier:  California and the Struggle over Unfree Labor, Emancipation, and Reconstruction” which is due out on UNC Press in August.

Finally, Smith has been invited to submit a paper and give a talk on the Thirteenth Amendment in the American West at a special conference called “The World that the Civil War Made,” which will take place at the Richards Center for the Civil War Era at Pennsylvania State University on June 21, – 23, 2013.   The essays by participants will eventually be published in an edited collection for University of North Carolina Press in 2015.



We also got our first look this month at the cover for Nicole von Germeten‘s upcoming book “Violent Delights, Violent Ends: Sex, Race, & Honor in Colonial Cartagena de Indias.”

Her book, on University of New Mexico Press, is also due out in early Fall.   Click here to read a synopsis of her upcoming work.



Ava Helen Pauling cover

Mina Carson‘s long-awaited biography of the complex Ava Helen Pauling, which comes out this June, is an important addition to the literature on women’s and family history as well as her famous spouse, Linus Pauling.

Ava Helen Pauling: Partner, Activist, Visionary shares the fascinating history behind one of the great love stories of the twentieth century and the personal story of Ava Helen’s own career as an activist first for civil rights and liberties, then against nuclear testing, and finally for peace, feminism, and environmental stewardship.


Courtney Campbell and the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture announced three awards to support the Religious Studies initiative across the School.

1)      The first of these is the annual student award for best undergraduate and graduate paper address an issue of relevance to religious studies.  Please announce this to your students, and encourage any students who have submitted excellent papers in relevant classes to submit a paper.

2)      The Second is a teaching fellowship, which provides some professional development funds for developing a new course or revising an existing course to advance the aims of our current Religion and Culture certificate, and ultimately our anticipated major.

3)      The third is the continuation of the Hundere Publishing Fellowship that was initiated by Marc Borg, and provides some funding for course releases to allow a faculty member to work on and complete a book-length project.

Contact Courtney for more information!


United Nations Association of Oregon

On Tuesday, March 26, Joseph Orosco addressed the United Nations Association of
Rose Villa in Portland on the topic of “Just Wars and Good Interventions”.


Helen Wilhelm

Finally, we have a new face
in the front office!

Helen Wilhem will be joining us
while Heather Stinger is away.

Please stop in and say hello
if you have not already done so!


Upcoming Events

April 2, 7:00 PM (LaSells Stewart Center, C&E)
A Dying to Tell:  Stories of Good Death
(A Hundere Lecture with Felicia Cohn)

April 08-11, 7:30 PM (LaSells Stewart Center, C&E)
OSU Holocaust Memorial Week
Alex Hinton, Ruth Klüger, Peter Hayes, & Henryk Grynberg (and more!)

April 16, 4:00 PM (Memorial Union, Journey Room)
American Liberalism and the Cold War: The Case for Monroe Sweetland
An American Culture and Politics Lecture with Bill Robbins

April 25, 7:00 PM (Memorial Union, Pan Afrika Room)
Lincoln’s Bequest: Losing and Finding Religion in a Time of War
A Hundere Lecture with Ray Haberski

April 26, 12:00 PM (Memorial Union, Pan Afrika Room)
Bellah’s Lament: the Making of Civil Religion in America
A Lunch Bunch Lecture with Ray Haberski

April 29, 4:00 PM (LaSells Stewart Center, C&E Auditorium)
Cultural Competence: The Spirit Catches You
A Hundere Lecture with Anne Fadiman

April 30, 7:30 PM (LaSells Stewart Center, Austin Auditorium)
Waging Peace:  The Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture
Leah Bolger, National President of Veterans for Peace

May 06/08/10 (Memorial Union, Journey Room)
Science and Nationhood
A Horning Visiting Scholar Lecture Series with Robert Fox

May 07 (MU, Journey Room / LaSells C&E)
The American Military and Diplomatic History Conference
David Milne, Timothy Lynch, Danielle Holtz, Christopher McKnight Nichols


The Last Word

Hard to believe another month has already passed us by.    A personal thank you to everyone who sent in updates and suggestions for this month – as you can see, even on a slow month, we are a fantastically active School!

If you have items or updates that you would like included in the next issue, please send them as well as any comments/suggestions to Robert Peckyno before April 30th!


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