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Upcoming Programs and Lectures


January 13 (Wednesday) at 5:30 pm. Opening of Winter 2016 exhibition,  Changing Arctic Landscape.  Music and refreshments!

January 20 (Wednesday) at 5:30 pm. (tentative) Reception celebrating Kwame Mason, director of documentary "Soul on Ice," on African Americans in ice hockey.

January 26 (Tuesday) Time TBD.  John Treat reading from his new novel, The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House (set in Seattle during the early years of the AIDS pandemic)

February 8 (Monday) at 5:30 pm.  Prophesizing the Global. A Conversation with Fabrice Monteiro. Artist Fabrice Monteiro critically reimagines global pasts, presents, and futures--from the transatlantic slave trade to contemporary environmental crisis. Recently recognized by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2015, his virtuosic photographic images are beautiful, arresting and haunting.  (Fabrice Monteiro will be joined in conversation with MCE director Mark Auslander)

Fabrice Monteiro is represented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, 608 2nd Avenue, Seattle. His installation "Maroons," is on display at the gallery February 4-March 12, 2016.

This event is part of the university's year-long series on Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice: Black and Brown Lives Do Matter.

February 17 (Wedneday).  Lecture on Slavery and an Object of Memory. Ashley’s Sack: Slavery, Kinship, and the Fabric of Memory

Mark Auslander
Wednesday, Feb, 17 at 5:30 pm.
Museum of Culture and Environment, Dean Hall

Abstract:    One of the most evocative objects to be exhibited in the forthcoming Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is an embroidered cloth bag that has come to be known as “Ashley’s Sack.”  Stitchwork on the bag, signed “Ruth Middleton," recounts the bag’s painful history, as a gift presented by an enslaved woman, Rose,  to her daughter Ashley, when Ashley was sold at age nine in South Carolina. This presentation explores “Ashley’s sack” as an object of history, memory, and aesthetic creativity. We begin by trying to unpack Rose’s gift during the time of slavery,and then examine the literary and visual aesthetics of Ruth’s 1921 needlework composition. We next turn to the challenge of identifying the historical personages referenced in the text, Rose, her daughter Ashley, and Ashley’s grand-daughter "Ruth Middleton,” the apparent embroiderer. We conclude with some reflections on the exhibitionary challenges faced by the new Smithsonian museum as curators prepare to display this emotionally resonant artifact.

February 18 (Thursday)  Pluto Day. 5:30 pm.   To mark the 86th anniversary of the discovery of Pluto, CWU astronomy and physics faculty will discuss the history of scientific exploration of Pluto and report on the latest scientific discoveries about the dwarf planet and the Kuiper belt.

February 23 (Thursday) 5:30 p.m. Sven Haakanson Arctic Life Lecture.  Sven Haakanson, curator of North American Anthropology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, joins us to discuss Arctic Culture in Alaska.

February 25 (Thursday) 5:30 pm. Dr. Audrey Huerta on Shifting Ice Sheets.





FALL 2015

Thursday, October 1.  Fall Opening Reception.  6:15 pm.  (Following opening of "Notes from Suburbia" exhibition at Sarah Spurgeon Hal at 5:00 pml).   Opening of "Elhwa: A River Rebon"; "The Penitent: Images from Eastern State Penitentiary";   "Pluto and New Horizons" and our new campus-wide model of the Solar System.


Join the Museum-Art parade on Thursday, October 1 at 6:00 pm. to celebrate the opening of our new campus-wide scale model of the solar system. We will start in the CWU Art Department in Randall Hall, where “Pluto” can be seen, and travel to the inner planets at the Museum of Culture and Environment in Dean Hall, where the “sun” is the size of a baseball.  Children, students, and all others are invited to help make "comets" in the Art Department at 5;00 pm, to carry during our parade “across the solar system” to the sun.

October 13 at 12:00 noon pm.   “Ultimate Questions: Artists Confront Mass Incarceration and the Death Penalty.” A roundtable with Rene Denfield (Lion Rock Writers Series novelist.) Museum of Culture and Environment, Dean Hall Lobby

This roundtable brings together novelist, poets, and visual artists whose work engages with the death penalty and current penal regimes. How do artists evoke the experiences of Death Row and imprisonment; under what circumstances can and should writers and artists seek to transform their audience’s understandings of those who have so often been demonized or forgotten by mainstream society?  (Facilitated by Mark Auslander)

November 12 at 5:30 pm. Film screening: Return of the River" (Elhwa)

December 2 at 5:30 pm.  100th "Birthday Celebration" for the General Theory of Relativity.




Saturday, May 9. Basket Making Workshop .11:00 am-2:00 pm.


Saturday, May 9. 4:00 pm.   Downton Abbey Tea at the Museum. Students in costume serve tea in Downton Abbey-style to guests. Free, but by reservation only


Tuesday, May 26.  at 5:30 pm.  Lecture by Dr. Vincente Rafael (University of Washington)  Colonial Contractions: the Philippines Under Spain, the United States and Japan, 1565-1946

This talk will give a brief history of the emergence of the Philippines from a collection of largely autonomous islands with extensive linkages to the rest of Southeast and East Asia to a loosely bounded colonial entity under three global empires: Spain, the United States and Japan. It will show how the nation-state continues to be an imperial artifact even as it seeks to come to terms with its post-colonial condition which includes globalization and an ever-growing overseas population. Finally, it will ask how an understanding of the Philippines nation-state as the site of multiple empires allows us to situate it in comparative perspective to the rest of the world.

Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of several works on the cultural and political history of the Philippines, including  Contracting Colonialism, White Love and Other Events in Filipino History,, Discrepant Histories, and he Promise of the Foreign_ He is currently finishing a book, Motherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation.  He was born and raised in Manila, educated at the Ateneo de Manila University and subsequently at Cornell University. He has been with UW since 2003.



Thursday, May 28. 5:00 pm.  Lecture and Book Signing by Jack Nisbet, reading from his latest book.




TO BE RESCHEDULED .  "Composting: Making Dirt for Earth Week”  Lecture by Dr. Steve Gilbert, Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND),

It is not a matter of “IF” we are going to have composting but “WHEN”.  We need to be responsible for the organic waste we are generating.  Composting of yard and food waste from homes, restaurants, and institutions such as schools and hospitals is absolutely necessary for ensuring a sustainable and healthy environment.  Composting has many advantages such as reducing landfill usage, curbing production of green house gases, and creating a useful product.  To be successful the public must enthusiastically embrace composting.  We aim to increase support for composting by improving the public’s understanding of the benefits of composting and the joys of making dirt.

Co-sponsored by Our Environment.