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College of Liberal Arts News

Professor Seth Cotlar Discusses the Development of Nostalgia

The latest issue of Oregon Humanities, the magazine of the Oregon Council for the Humanities, features an article by Seth Cotlar on nostalgia and its relation to modernity.

Cotlar, an associate professor of history at Willamette, discusses the history and development of American nostalgia and what it means in terms of today's society.

"In a modern American society that, at least on the surface, impels us to value the new over the old and progress over stasis, our nostalgic desires stubbornly affix themselves to that which time has taken from us. ... If we slow down long enough to think about these moments when we are overcome by nostalgia, what we hear is the sound of our psyches humming a mournful counterpoint to modernity's celebratory symphony," Cotlar writes.

Cotlar teaches American history and is currently working on a cultural history of nostalgia in modernizing America from 1776-1865. His book on democratic political thought in the 1790s will be published next year.

Read Cotlar's entire article at http://oregonhum.org/becoming-modern.php. To learn more about his research, visit http://willamette.edu/people/archives/2008/02/radicalism_in_a.html.

CLA Graduation: Bidding Adieu to the Class of 2009

In 12 short days, students in the Class of 2009 will graduate and continue along the paths they’ve helped to pave over the last four years. With 434 undergraduates set to make their way across the outdoor stage on Brown Field, we’re talking about a lot of paths.

College of Liberal Arts graduates originate from 29 states, with 39 percent coming from Oregon, and women make up 55 percent of the graduating class. The most popular majors — adhering to the pattern of recent years — are economics, psychology, politics, English and biology.

Award-winning journalist and political commentator Juan Williams will speak at the CLA graduation, and honorary degrees will also be presented to singer/composer Bernice Johnson Reagon and author Timothy Egan.

Wulapalooza Returns

The 11th annual Wulapalooza, Willamette University’s free music, art and Earth festival, was held Saturday, April 25, with Brown Field as home base.

The festival began at 11 a.m. with a performance by Green Tree, an a capella group composed of male and female TIUA students. Other performers included The Mae Shi from Los Angeles, Gil Mantera’s Party Dream from Ohio, and Mirah and Thee Emergency from Seattle. The day also included a student art show and a host of other activities.

Each year Wulapalooza includes a fundraiser for a local charitable foundation. This year the event sponsored the Jane Goodall Environmental Middle School in Salem. The event, as always, was free -- but monetary donations for the sponsored group were collected.

This year was the festival’s 11th anniversary. Over the past 11 years it has evolved from a small festival providing a creative outlet for students on campus to a community-wide event that attracts nationally recognized talent.
For more information, visit Wulapalooza online.

Professor/Coach Steve Prothero Retirement Gathering

Following 46 years of teaching mathematics and 44 years of coaching the Bearcat golf teams (both men’s and women’s), Steve Prothero is retiring this month. His coaching tenure is the longest for any coach in any sport in the history of the Northwest Conference, and it is believed that Professor Prothero has taught mathematics longer than any other faculty member in Willamette’s history. As a testimony to the youthful powers of sports and academia, he still looks young enough to do more of both for many more years.

A celebration of Prothero’s retirement is planned for Friday, May 22nd at Illahe Hills Country Club in Salem. The event will feature a noon golf tournament of men and women who played golf for Prothero at Willamette, and a 5 p.m. dinner. It is likely that the dinner will include plenty of stories told at Coach Prothero’s expense. The dinner is open to anyone who would like to attend and who reserves a seat.


$150 --    Golf and dinner (includes $50 gift to the WU Golf Fund); or
$50 -- Dinner only (includes $25 gift to the WU Golf Fund)

Contact Mike Bennett ’70 by May 15 to reserve a spot:  mbennett@willamette.edu, or call 503-370-6761.