Faculty Notes

by John McLain

Book cover

The Tanoak Tree: An Environmental History of a Pacific Coast Hardwoodby Frederica Bowcutt

Frederica Bowcutt’s new book, The Tanoak Tree: An Environmental History of a Pacific Coast Hardwood, came out in May from the University of Washington Press. Tanoaks, which are native to Northern California and Oregon, are dying off at alarming rates because of sudden-oak death, an introduced disease. Bowcutt’s approach examines the trees’ complex historical, social, political, and economic significance from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Indian Country Today calls the book “an honorable treatment of Indigenous Peoples and accurately portrays their health struggles due to the loss of their ancestral diet, as well as their resilience in recreating their food systems.”

Sarah Eltantawi is host of the radio show “Contemporary Islam Considered” on Marginalia Review of Books, a channel of the Los Angeles Times Review of Books.

Ruth Hayes screened her short direct animation 16mm film loops, “Super Moon Sand Photograms,” at the April Experiments in Cinema festival in Albuquerque, N. M. The film is one of several similar works of direct animation recently produced by Hayes and her collaborators in Crackpot Crafters, which includes alumnus and adjunct faculty member Devon Damonte ’87.

Emeritus faculty Rob Knapp is studying net-zero energy buildings in Japan this fall as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar. Knapp is rejoining a research group he participated in at Waseda University in Tokyo under an Abe Fellowship. While in Japan, he is conducting an in-depth inventory—including site visits and interviews—of Japanese net-zero buildings. The project seeks to understand the similarities and differences between net-zero building in Japan and the United States.

Nancy Koppelman has been named a member of the Speakers Bureau for Humanities Washington through 2016. She will speak on the topic “Human Rights in History” at a variety of venues across Washington.

In May, the journal Science published Carri LeRoy’s article describing the work of the Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP), “Bringing Science inside Prison Walls.” LeRoy is co-director of SPP, a partnership of Evergreen and the Washington Department of Corrections. Her co-director is Dan Pacholke ’08, Secretary of Corrections.

Emerita faculty Helena Meyer-Knapp’s essay appears in the book People without Borders: Becoming Members of Global Communities, from the Untested Ideas Research Press. The essay offers interplay between the Confucian language of “cultivating” a moral citizen and Meyer-Knapp’s encounters and engagement with gardens and gardening in the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, and the Pacific Northwest.

Greg Mullins organized a seminar at the American Comparative Literature Association meeting in March. The seminar offered 12 papers on human rights, vulnerability, and precarity. Greg’s paper was “Queer Heartstrings of Human Rights.” His essay “Queer Rights?” appears in the new Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights.

Faculty member Jim Neitzel and science instructional technician Alberto Napuli ’94, along with more than 40 Evergreen undergraduates, co-wrote “Whole Genome Comparison of a Large Collection of Mycobacteriophages Reveals a Continuum of Phage Genetic Diversity,” published April 28 on eLife. A large consortium of academic institutions conducted the research. Evergreen’s participation was made possible by a grant Neitzel received from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Erik Thuesen received a National Science Foundation grant for the research project “Life at extremes: Linking the phylogenetic and genomic diversity of ctenophores to ecophysiological adaptations in the deep sea.” During the five-year, $2 million project, Thuesen will collaborate with other marine invertebrate researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience at the University of Florida.

A poster for Moon in the Mirror, a monodrama opera.

Moon in the Mirror, Zhang Er's monodrama opera

Zhang Er’s monodrama opera, Moon in the Mirror, written in collaboration with Martine Bellen and Stephen Dembski, premiered at Flushing Town Hall, New York, N.Y., in September. Described as an “opera-in-progress,” Moon in the Mirror offers a contemporary retelling of the story of Chang E, a Chinese myth about a woman who flees her domestic life to live forever on the moon. The opera premiered in Queens, in the heart of one of the city’s Chinese communities, just in time for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.