Linfield Reports, 3/20/17

Copperman reading highlights teaching in Mississippi Delta

Michael CoppermanAuthor Mike Copperman will present a reading on Tuesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m., in the Austin Reading Room of the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

Copperman, senior instructor of English at the University of Oregon, will read from and talk about his memoir, Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta, which captures what it’s like to teach in America’s poorest and most troubled public schools. Of the memoir, Joe Wilkins, associate professor of English at Linfield, writes, “I was knocked out by the pure hard honesty of Copperman’s story.”

Teacher captures both the disorientation of living in the divided world of the Mississippi Delta and the heartbreaking struggles of too many of our nation’s young people.

Copperman has taught writing to low-income, first-generation students of diverse backgrounds at the University of Oregon for the last decade. His prose has appeared in The Oxford American, The Sun, Creative Nonfiction, Salon, Gulf Coast, Guernica, Waxwing and Copper Nickel, among other magazines. Copperman has won awards and garnered fellowships from the Munster Literature Center, Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, Oregon Literary Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission.

This reading is a part of the “Readings at the Nick” series. The lecture is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Linfield Nicholson Library and the Linfield English department. For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte at 503-883-2517,


Exhibit to feature Iranian visual culture

The Points of Departure art exhibitThe Linfield Gallery will feature Eugene-based artist Tannaz Farsi in a solo exhibition, “The Points of Departure,” March 22 through April 29 in the James F. Miller Fine Arts Center at Linfield College.

An artist talk will be held on Wednesday, March 22, at 5 p.m. in the Delkin Recital Hall in the Vivian Bull Music Center, followed by a reception.

In this exhibit, Farsi weaves together three works that articulate different moments within the history of Iranian visual culture. Exploring the semiotic richness of specific traditional iconographies, Farzi sets her interpretation as a reflection upon the present.

The exhibit features a series of large scale works, including an expansive linear structure drafted from a 15th century drawing of a polygonal and star pattern found in The Topkapi Scroll, an architectural booklet attributed to the central or western region of Iran. In the second work, Farsi has collected the names of Iranian women, historical and contemporary, to create a visible and accountable document of women’s public intellectual labor in Iran and abroad. The last piece of work includes an arrangement of 1,000 live tulips. The tulip is a potent and complex symbol in Iranian culture, having been used to represent martyrdom, renewal and opposition. Planted specifically for “The Points of Departure” at the turn of spring equinox, the tulips move through their cycle of regeneration, to grow, bloom and change throughout the exhibition.

Farsi’s work has been exhibited at venues including Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Tacoma Art Museum, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI; Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, among others. Born in Iran, Farsi lives and works in Eugene, where she is on the faculty at the University of Oregon.

All exhibits are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is located in the James F. Miller Fine Arts Center on the Linfield College campus. For more information, call 503-883-2804 or visit Linfield Gallery at


‘The Laramie Project’ to be performed at Linfield

Pioneer Hall, Linfield CollegeLinfield College will present “The Laramie Project,” a play written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project and directed by Jacob Coleman, on Wednesday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield.

The play depicts a community’s reaction to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., a brutal killing that became a rallying cry to combat hate homophobia and hate crimes. The play is based on more than 200 interviews gathered by Kaufman and members of the New York-based Tectonic Theater Project. The Laramie Project re-enacts the chronology of Shepard’s visit to a local bar, his kidnapping and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, police, killers and other Laramie residents.

The play is free, open to the public and sponsored by the Gender Studies Program. For more information, contact Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt at 503-883-2485 or


Linfield alumna to discuss African American literature

Leslie Larkin '97Lesley Larkin, associate professor of English at Northern Michigan University, will present “What’s Race Got To Do With It? African American Literature and the Ethics of Reading,” on Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room in the Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

Larkin, a 1997 Linfield graduate, will focus on her book, “Race and the Literary Encounter,” which addresses how black literature has challenged the notion that reading is a race-neutral act by modelling interventionist strategies to create anti-racist readers.

Larkin teaches courses in American literature, African American literature, women’s literature and literary theory at Northern Michigan University. Her first book, “Race and the Literary Encounter: Black Literature from James Weldon Johnson to Percival Everett,” published in 2015, traces the strategies developed by modern and contemporary Black writers to challenge, model and theorize modes of reading race. Her essays, on topics from prenatal ultrasound imaging and gender formation to reader ethics in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” have been published in “LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory,” “MELUS: Multiethnic Literature of the United States,” “Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy,” and “The Canadian Review of American Studies.” Larkin is currently working on a second book, tentatively titled “Reading in the Postgenomic Age,” which explores how United States and Canadian authors engage the overlapping of contemporary literary and scientific practice.

This lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Barbara Seidman at 503-883-2210 or


Linfield students compete at theatre competition

Rachel Kiefer '17Four Linfield College theatre students were recognized for outstanding work at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in Denver, Co., Feb. 20-24.

Seventeen Linfield students and four faculty members attended the festival, participating in a variety of shows, workshops and competitions. Junior Rosalie Olson received a meritorious achievement award in the undergraduate category for her scholarly paper, “Maids: An Analysis of Molière’s Female Ideal in ‘Tartuffe’ and ‘The Learned Laides’.” Junior Savannah Hurst also received a meritorious achievement award for scenic design of “Talley’s Folly” by Lanford Wilson. Senior Alyssa Lawrence presented her Prompt Book and discussed her work as stage manager in last fall’s production of “The Madwoman of Chaillot” in the Stage Manager Competition. Senior Rachel Kiefer presented a project in the lighting design competition featuring her work in “The Madwoman of Chaillot.”

Six Linfield students were nominated to participate in the Irene Ryan Acting competition. The nominees and their partners include: Ben Bartu and partner Madison Ryder; Glenn Rust and partner Bailey Sipila; Robert Murphy Jackson and partner Joella Cordell; Marcos Galvez and partner Alyssa Lawrence; Melory Mirashrafi and partner Antoine Johnson; and Naomi Boydston and partner Lillie Moses.

Rob Vaughn, technical director and sound designer at Linfield, led a workshop presentation, “Okay, But Where Do We Put It After the Show? Stock Turntables.”

KCACTF is an annual drama conference that provides Northwest theatre students with the opportunity to attend workshops, performances and seminars on a variety of theatrical topics including directing, acting and design.


Community news

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, professor of English and co-coordinator of the Gender Studies Program, published “Extreme Vetting,” a chapbook of political poems.


Events calendars

View the Linfield events calendar or the Linfield athletics calendar.