Linfield Reports, 2/20/17

Linfield welcomes columnist Leonard Pitts

Leonard Pitts, Jr.Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. will speak on the current political environment on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield College. His talk is titled “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Pitts’ column tackles issues related to current events, pop culture, social issues and family life. Syndicated nationally, the column reaches millions of newspaper readers around the country.

Of his six fiction and non-fiction books Pitts’ most recent is the historical novel “Grant Park.” It explores issues of race and events around the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the presidential election of Barack Obama. His first novel, “Before I Forget,” was published in 2009 to critical praises. In 2012 he wrote “Freeman,” a novel set during the Civil War.

Pitts wrote a memoir/social study, “Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood,” in 1999. A collection of his columns, “Forward From This Moment,” was published in 2009. And in 1983 he wrote his first book, “Papa Joe’s Boys, about Michael Jackson and his brothers.

Pitts’ work has appeared in such publications as Musician, Spin, Reader’s Digest and Parenting. He wrote, produced and syndicated “Who We Are,” an award-winning 1988 radio documentary about the history of Black America, and has written and produced numerous other radio programs on subjects as diverse as Madonna and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 2004, Pitts was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. In 2009 and 2002, GLAAD Media awarded Pitts the Outstanding Newspaper Columnist award. In 2002, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists awarded Pitts its inaugural Columnist of the Year award. Other recognitions include the prestigious ASNE Award for Commentary Writing from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Feature of the Year-Columnist award from Editor and Publisher magazine, both in 2001.

Millions of readers were initially introduced to Pitts through a column he penned in response to the 9/11 attacks. His defiant, open letter to the terrorists circulated the globe, generating 30,000 emails, and has since been set to music, reprinted in poster form, and quoted on television and radio.

The lecture honors Black History Month. It is free, open to the public and sponsored by the President’s Office, Diversity Grants Committee, Nicholson Library, Office of Student Affairs, the departments of English, Mass Communication, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, Theatre and Communication Arts, and the Writing Center.

For more information, contact Brad Thompson, 503-883-2291,


Odenbaugh featured in annual Powell philosophy lectures

Jay OdenbaughPhilosophy Professor Jay Odenbaugh will present two lectures as part of the annual Walter Powell Philosophy Lecture series Feb. 22-23 at 7 p.m. at Linfield College.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, in Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall, Odenbaugh will present “On the Contrary: How to Think About Climate Skepticism.” He will discuss different types of climate skepticism and the evidence for anthropogenic climate change along with some common arguments against it. He will consider the role of consensus and dissent in science and recent discussion of “Merchants of Doubt” and Climategate.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall, Odenbaugh will present “On the Contrary: How to Think about Climate Communication.” In this talk, he will discuss psychological issues concerning American opinion on the topic of climate control, the relevance or irrelevance of scientific literacy to climate skepticism, the role of affect and cognitive biases in environmental decision-making. He will consider climate communication and how we might most effectively motivate pro-environmental behavior and beliefs. The discussion ends with a case study for persuading individuals on both sides of the political aisle for taking global climate change seriously.

Odenbaugh is associate professor and chair in the department of philosophy at Lewis & Clark College. His main areas of research interest are in the philosophy and history of science, though he has strong interests in aesthetics and ethics. He has published over 35 articles and is currently writing a book entitled “In a Sentimental Mood: Emotion, Evolution and Expression.”

The Walter Powell-Linfield College Annual Philosophy Lectureship is in recognition of a generous gift from Michael Powell in honor of his father. Walter Powell founded Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, the largest private bookstore in the United States with more than one million volumes.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Leonard Finkelman at 503-883-2760 or



Happy birthday, Linfield! College turns 159

Happy Birthday Linfield 2016It’s time to celebrate Linfield’s birthday and there’s plenty of cake to go around!

The Linfield community will celebrate Happy Birthday, Linfield! on Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fred Meyer Lounge in Riley Hall at Linfield.

The celebration, hosted by Linfield for Life – Student Alumni Association, is honoring Linfield’s 159th birthday and the campus community is invited to the party to enjoy cake, music and a photo booth.

Follow activities throughout the day at @LinfieldCollege and @LinfieldforLife, and use the hashtag #HBDLinfield.

For more information, contact Mariah Torres at 503-883-2282 or


Core Ensemble to present ‘Ain’t I a Woman!’ at Linfield

Ain't I a WomanIn celebration of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, Core Ensemble will present “Ain’t I a Woman!” on Wednesday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield College.

Chamber Music Theatre is a unique performance format developed by the Core Ensemble featuring a marriage of theatrical narrative to chamber music performance. In “Ain’t I a Woman!” actress Shayla Simmons portrays multiple characters while interacting with the onstage musical trio of cello, piano and percussion.

“Ain’t I a Woman!” celebrates the life and times of four powerful African American women – renowned novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, ex–slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, folk artist Clementine Hunter and civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. The musical score is drawn from the heartfelt spirituals and blues of the Deep South, the urban vitality of the Jazz Age and contemporary concert music by African Americans. “Ain’t I a Woman!” is a joyful exploration of the trials and triumphs of  four passionate and accomplished women.

This is Core Ensemble’s third visit to Linfield. Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured every region of the United States and internationally to Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and the British Virgin Islands. It has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, The Palm Beach County Cultural Council and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

The performance is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Lacroute Arts Series, the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, and the Department of Music. For more information, call 503-883-2802. The Lacroute Arts Series is made possible by the generosity of Ronni Lacroute, Linfield College trustee and arts benefactor.


Mary Sully’s artwork focus of Jonasson lecture

Phil DeloriaPhilip Deloria, a Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan, will present “Towards an American Indian Abstract: The Art and Politics of Mary Sully” on Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room in the Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

Between the late 1920s and mid 1940s, Dakota Sioux artist Mary Sully created a unique portfolio of art, completely unknown to contemporary American or American Indian art history.  Deeply engaged with modernist art and design, and with indigenous women’s traditions of the Northern Plains, Sully’s work is both aesthetically pleasing and conceptually challenging. In this talk, Deloria will offer close readings of several images in order to make the case that Sully’s art both belongs in, and alters, the canon of American and American Indian arts of the twentieth century, and that its engagement with ‘culture and personality’ anthropology helped produce a politics visible in both form and content.

Deloria received a Ph.D. in American Studies at Yale University in 1994. His research focuses on the social, cultural and political histories of the relations between American Indians and the United States. His 1998 prize-winning book “Playing India,” traced ‘Indian play’ from the Boston Tea Party to the New Age movement, while his 2004 book “Indians in Unexpected Places,” examined the ideologies surrounding Indian people in the early twentieth century and the ways Native Americans challenged them through sports, travel, auto-mobility, film and musical performance. Deloria is a former president of the American Studies Association, a past trustee of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Jonas A. “Steine” Jonasson Endowed Lecture that honors Jonasson, professor emeritus of history, who was associated with Linfield for more than 60 years before his death in 1997. The endowment is used to bring in distinguished scholars and speakers in the area of history. Jonasson held the unofficial title of Linfield historian and wrote “Bricks Without Straw,” a history of the college.

For more information contact Lissa Wadewitz at 503-883-2719 or


Community news

Anna Song, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, and her husband, Blake Applegate, have been named directors of the choral program at Young Musicians and Artists Summer Camp. YMA Choir students learn a range of vocal genres in a fun, lively atmosphere that blends concert choir and voice class.

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, Ronni Lacroute Chair in Shakespeare Studies, published “The Radical Argument of the New Oxford Shakespeare” in The New Yorker.


Events calendars

View the Linfield events calendar or the Linfield athletics calendar.