Each year, PLACE organizes faculty from a variety of disciplines and utilizes their diverse knowledge to analyze the year's theme. This composition of faculty members lead classes, discussions, and events in order to expose students at Linfield to the widespread implications of the year’s theme and allow the student body to collectively explore one idea through multiple perspectives.
Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza, current director for PLACE, is associate professor of Philosophy at Linfield College, where he received the 2011-2012 Samuel H. Graf Faculty Achievement Award and was 2008-2009 Allen & Pat Kelley Faculty Scholar. He is the current president for the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport (IAPS), as well as co-chair and co-chair of the Translation Project for the same association. Vice-president and founding member of the Spanish Association for Sport Philosophy, he is also Member-at-Large of the Association for Sport Philosophy in Latin Languages. He serves in the editorial board of Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, for which he is also Book Review Editor for North America. He has edited Cycling & Philosophy (with M. Austin), published articles and reviews in journals such as Sports, Ethics, and Philosophy, and the Journal for the Philosophy of Sport, and written chapters for many anthologies and edited collections on risk, various sports, the Olympics, martial arts, East/West comparative philosophy, consciousness and cognition, and literature (some in Spanish). He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy as well as an M.S in Sociology of Sport, both by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He enjoys cycling and swimming (whenever he manages to find the time to indulge in them).
In 2014-2015 Jesús will teach three courses that fruitfully relate to the theme of “How Do We Know?” PHIL 210 Sport, Philosophy and Society (fall and spring) will look at how movement, play, games and sports can be both means toward embodied knowledge and objects of intellectual inquiry themselves. PHIL 370 20th Century Philosophy (fall) covers a period of intense philosophical inquiry and disputation that centers on language as well as the ways we acquire knowledge and describe reality. Some schools fully embraced the scientific method and science as the only true way, while others questioned its universal validity to provide answers that are ultimately satisfying in aesthetic or existential domains. PHIL 430 Contemporary Topics (spring) will be customized to fit the topic via a selection of contemporary readings that focus on the roles of ignorance, knowledge, wisdom, and meaningfulness. There is a possibility that the course will be co-taught with Prof. David Fiordalis (Religious Studies), in which case it would be a seminar on Buddhism as it intersects with science. It would have an experiential component, and will contextualize Buddhist methodology within a broader framework of holistic and embodied cognition.
Jennifer Heath, current associate-director of PLACE, is a Professor in the Department of Physics and also teaches in the Environmental Studies program. She teaches throughout the physics curriculum, including Electronics, and Energy and the Environment. Her research explores the electronic properties of materials, especially thin film materials for solar cells. She has been a visiting scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and has consulted for several solar energy companies, and she recently completed a term as the chair of the NW section of the American Physical Society. She holds a MS and PhD in physics from the University of Oregon, and earned her BA in math and physics from Whitman College. Her publications include articles in Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Physics, and Progress in Photovoltaics, and several book chapters on solar cell characterization techniques. She strives to connect students with meaningful science research experiences, through summer and academic year internships in her laboratory, the iFOCUS pre-orientation program for freshmen, and through a recent re-design of introductory labs to incorporate more authentic approaches to scientific investigation.
During 2014-2015, Heath will teach several upper level courses that take a sophisticated approach to the question, “How do we know,” in which science majors explore the boundaries of our theoretical and practical understanding, and perhaps, the limits of scientific investigation itself. The Science Colloquium lecture series (PHYS 485) will provide a more broadly accessible forum for exploring this question, through presentations by visiting scientists, journal readings, and discussion. Members of the community are invited to join the Science Colloquium for selected events, or register for the course and participate more fully in the discussion.
Susan Currie Sivek is an assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communication. She teaches courses in media literacy, media theory, reporting and writing, and multimedia production. Her research focuses on the role of magazines in forming and shaping communities of readers, as well as on changes in journalism due to technology. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and her B.A. in English from Trinity University. Sivek is also the magazine industry correspondent for the PBS-affiliated website MediaShift, which is read by a diverse global audience that includes media professionals and educators.
In fall 2014, Sivek will team-teach a new course, Social Media Theory and Practice, with Dr. Lisa Weidman. The course will focus on the uses of social media by both journalists and advertising/public relations practitioners. It will also address larger social, economic, legal, and ethical matters pertinent to these growing media. Social media increasingly affect public knowledge of a variety of significant issues. Sivek also frequently teaches the introductory Living in a Media World course, designed to build students’ media literacy and critical thinking skills.
Nicholas Buccola is Associate Professor of Political Science and the Founding Director of the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice. His teaching and research interests are in the field of political theory. He is the author of The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass (New York University Press) as well as articles on judicial philosophy, contemporary political theory, Friedrich Nietzsche, James Baldwin, and liberal education.
Hillary Crane is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and teaches courses on language, culture, religion, and medical anthropology as well as on Chinese cultures. Her research emphasizes areas where religion and medicine intersect or conflict over issues of gender identity, illness, or suffering. She is the co-editor of the collection Missionary Impositions: Conversion, Resistance, and other Challenges to Objectivity in Religious Ethnography and several publications on the gender identity and scarification practices of Taiwanese Buddhist nuns.
In 2014-15, she will be teaching a seminar, Gender, Sexuality and the Body which will emphasize recent anthropological scholarship on the body and various epistemologies of bodily practice. She will also co-teach Social Theory, with Rob Gardner. In that course students will come to see social theories as contested knowledge through which sociologists and anthropologists endeavor to better understand and explain social and cultural phenomena.
David Sumner is Professor of English and Environmental Studies. He specializes in American nature writing, rhetoric, Western American literature, and the connection between literature, landscape, and ethics. He teaches various courses in American Literature and rhetoric. He also directs Linfield’s writing program and oversees the Linfield writing center. Professor Sumner has published in the fields of literature and the environment, rhetoric, and writing pedagogy. In addition, he has published a series of interviews with contemporary nature writers such as Terry Tempest Williams, Barry Lopez, and David Quammen. His most recent article, “Eco-terrorism or Eco-tage: An Argument for the Proper Frame” appears in the fall 2013 issue of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.