Join the Foundation and Eugene Public Library for a new virtual monthly event series featuring experts and enthusiasts from around the world speaking on topics of local, national and global interest. Save the second Friday of each month (Sept 2020-June 2021) to engage with distinguished speakers connecting you to the ever-delightful quest for knowledge through inspiring lunch break conversations!
Speakers will lecture briefly, participate in a Q&A, and share resources for further reading as we gather and engage with each other.
All events are free and open to the public, and begin at 12pm. The Zoom room opens at 11:45am. Advanced registration required.
Upcoming Events (Past events are at the end with reading lists and videos, if available.)
In Conversation with: Andrew Whitehead, Former Editor of the BBC World Service News
Covering the News: A Look Back at 2020
December 11, 2020
Understand what is at stake for journalists as they cover the news, including a global pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and Brexit.
Andrew Whitehead was until recently Editor of BBC World Service News, where he was responsible for the live news and current affairs content of the world’s most respected radio network. He also served as the BBC’s Delhi correspondent and political correspondent during his 35-year career with BBC News.
He is an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham; teaches at the Global Education Oregon London Centre, and is a visiting professor at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, south India.
He is the author of A Mission in Kashmir (2007), which uses oral history and personal testimony to interrogate the established Indian, Pakistani and Kashmiri narratives of how the Kashmir conflict started in 1947. His biography of Freda Bedi—Oxford communist, Indian nationalist, and Tibetan nun—was published in 2019.
Learn more at his personal website and blog: www.andrewwhitehead.net.
In Conversation with: Dr. Alisa Freedman, Professor of Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender at the University of Oregon and the Editor-in-Chief of the U.S.–Japan Women’s Journal
Japanese Emoji, Cultural Literacy, and Global Communication
January 8, 2021
This talk explores the fun and fascinating world of emoji. Learn what the emoji in our phones reveal about our cultural literacy and teach us about Japanese and other world cultures. Discover the ways emoji use differs between generations, how emojis get approved for use, and why emojis make us better communicators and global citizens. And bonus: discover what famous works of literature have been translated into emoji!
Alisa Freedman is a Professor of Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender at the University of Oregon and the Editor-in-Chief of the U.S.–Japan Women’s Journal. Her books include Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road, an annotated translation of Kawabata Yasunari’s The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, and co-edited volumes on Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan, and Introducing Japanese Popular Culture. She has published widely on Japanese modernism, Tokyo studies, youth culture, gender, television, humor as social critique, teaching pedagogies, and digital media, along with publishing translations of Japanese literature. She is writing two books: Cold-War Coeds: The Untold Story of Japanese Women Sponsored by the U.S. Military and TV Japan: Screaming Samurai Form Anime Clubs in the Land of the Lost. Alisa has been nationally recognized for excellence in mentoring and enjoys presenting at cultural events like anime cons and Japan festivals.
In Conversation with: Raffaella Falchi Macias, Artistic Director + Founder of Sambaxé Dance Company and Executive Director of Youth Art Exchange (San Francisco)
The Intersection of Visual Design and Cultural Arts: Carnaval Dance & Costume Making
February 12, 2021
San Francisco’s Carnaval is a vibrant tradition that brings community across the Bay Area together with music, dance, and visual spectacles. Raffaella Falchi Macias is a quadrilingual multi-disciplinary artist and architect who focuses on community-building in the arts, who leads an annual Samba parade contingent featuring over 100 dancers of all ages. Explore the development of Carnaval costume design and learn how she curates and builds one of a kind costumes that transform the streets of San Francisco’s Mission District with vibrant rhythm.
Raffaella Falchi Macias is Youth Art Exchange’s new executive director after more than 13 years as a faculty artist, director of programs, and most recently deputy director. She is an educator, designer, dancer and choreographer and holds a B.A. in psychology from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Architecture from California College of the Arts. She is an architectural designer with a keen sense of cultural awareness, and an aptitude for selecting color and organizing space. She received a fellowship from CCA and worked with the favela community of Manguinhos in Rio de Janeiro under the Brazilian architect Jorge Mario Jauregui and his Favela/Barrio project. She has spent over a decade as an educator teaching architecture and dance to public high school students. Her multicultural heritage inspired her interest in the visual and performing arts. She is the founder and artistic director of Sambaxé dance company, and is a world dance faculty member at the ODC in San Francisco as well as being part of the ODC Pilot 64 program. She proudly speaks Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Raffaella wears many hats, but is able to wear each hat well.
In Conversation with: Jeremy Nissel, Owner of J. Michael’s Books
Separating Fact from Fiction: An Independent Bookstore Owner Reflects on 45 Years in the Business
March 12, 2021
Enjoy a conversation with the owner of one of Eugene’s literary institutions, J. Michael’s Books, and hear what it’s been like to run a bookstore during a global pandemic. Score some great book suggestions for your summer reading list!
Jeremy Nissel is the proprietor of J. Michaels Books. He has been selling books in downtown Eugene since the summer of 1975. Presently located in Eugene’s historic Quackenbush building, the bookstore has occupied two previous downtown locations – in the early days on the corner of 7th and Olive, and later on the 300 block of East 11th. While its location has changed, the bookstore’s mission has remained the same for nearly five decades: To offer our customers a hand-picked and compelling general selection of new, used and antiquarian books that is not available elsewhere.
In Conversation with: Dr. Peter Kopp, a public historian of the North American West and Associate Professor, University of Colorado – Denver
A Global History of the Cascade Hop
April 9, 2021
Learn how the craft beer revolution emerged from the hop fields and scientific research centers of the Pacific Northwest with Dr. Kopp, author of Hoptopia: A World of Agriculture and Beer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley (University of California Press, 2016).
Dr. Kopp is a public historian of the North American West with specialties in the history of agriculture and the environment. His book, Hoptopia: A World of Agriculture and Beer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley (University of California Press, 2016) won the American Historical Association’s Pacific Coast Branch Book Award for first time authors (2017). Dr. Kopp has also written articles and developed public history projects on tourism and the National Park Service, the built environment of the Southwest borderlands, and the “green” activism of the Grateful Dead. Currently, he is preparing a book manuscript on Fabián García, the “Father of New Mexico Chile.” Kopp earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada in 2012 and served as the Director of Public History at New Mexico State University from 2012-2019. He is currently an Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado at Denver.
In Conversation with: José Spellman-Lopez, Urban Garden Manager of Norris Square Neighborhood Project in Philadelphia
Planting Seeds: Building Intergenerational and Cross-Cultural Community Through the Urban Gardens
May 14, 2021
José Spellman-Lopez grew up in Los Angeles and was intrigued by gardening/growing things so he found his way to OSU to have opportunities that he didn’t have to connect with nature in LA. He will present on how he goes about “planting seeds” to build intergenerational and cross-cultural community.
The Norris Square Neighborhood Gardens are featured in the Smithsonian’s archives as heritage gardens and are highlighted throughout the world as community-driven cultural gardening rooted in the Puerto Rican diaspora of North Philadelphia. Partnering closely with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, the gardens are landmarks in Philadelphia, gathering spaces, and outdoor classrooms for people of all ages.
Jose Spellman-Lopez, joined the Norris Square Neighborhood Project (Philadelphia, PA) as Urban Garden Manager after completing his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science from Oregon State University. He currently manages six large gardens on old parcels that were vacant and abandoned (previously more than 40 rowhouses) in North Philadelphia – a Puerto Rican and now Dominican community. Jose incorporates his experience guiding youth in garden spaces to empower them to explore their surroundings and to help them navigate their food growing options. When not in a garden, you can find Jose, his wife Corrie, and their dog Boone walking the many city parks, hiking along various trails, and replicating delicious recipes. As the growing seasons progress, Jose enjoys working alongside the youth and earning their trust, and also bonding with the Campesinxs.
In Conversation with: Reed Davaz McGowan, Executive Director of Eugene Public Library Foundation
An Interactive Look at Creating a Sustainable Arts Practice
June 11, 2021
In addition to leading the Eugene Public Library Foundation, Reed is a multi-media designer who weaves tactile design pieces. Follow along with making a basic tapestry weaving loom from objects you may have around your house and learn how to make your arts and crafts activities more sustainable.
Reed Davaz McGowan grew up in Eugene and first fell in love with reading at the Eugene Public Library, She has since built over 20 years of expertise as a nonprofit leader. As an executive director of organizations in San Francisco and Philadelphia, she has focused on increasing access to and funding for innovative arts and educational programming for underserved and often marginalized youth and communities. She collaboratively transformed a vacant meat market into a dynamic community arts space on the Mission Street commercial corridor in San Francisco. Reed received her Master of Arts in Arts Management from the University of Oregon in 2007, earning the Walton Research Scholarship for her research on youth leadership development in the arts. In 2002, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon. She is also a multimedia designer and public transportation enthusiast.
In Conversation with: Dr. Lisa Price
The Biological and Cultural Construction of Race
September 11, 2020
Recommended Resource List (curated by Eugene Public Library)
Join us for an exploration of race as a biological and cultural construction. This discussion sheds new light on what race is, and will be interesting to those seeking additional context to understand the social movement, Black Lives Matter, that has gained strength and new allies over the course of the last few months.
Dr. Lisa Price, is a professor of anthropology at Oregon State University. Her background makes her uniquely qualified to share her expertise and insight on this topic. She regularly teaches a course at OSU on this same subject. Her international work includes consulting for scientific organizations and presenting at conferences on various aspects of diversity in education.
Dr. Price specializes in food systems, farming, food security, gender, agro-biodiversity, ethnobiology, and methodology development. Her research interests are primarily at the interface of human culture, specifically gender, and the food environment. Her geographic area of specialization is Mainland Southeast Asia, although her experience covers many countries in Asia and Africa as well as North America and the Pacific.
In Conversation with: Ben Niedelman, Sommelier
The Oenology of Books: How To Pair a Wine With Your Favorite Genre
October 9, 2020
Recommended Resource List (curated by Eugene Public Library)
Video of Event
New York sommelier and Eugene native Ben Niedelman conjures the right wines to go with some of our favorite books.
Ben Niedelman grew up in Eugene, but it wasn’t until after college that he was bitten by the wine bug. He developed his palate in high-end, wine-centric restaurants, and eventually began working as a professional sommelier. His next step took him out of the restaurant industry and into wine distribution. After moving to New York, he quickly found a position as a Senior Consultant to some of the top wine collectors in the world. He is a Certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine, and holds the Advanced Degree from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Ben lives in Brooklyn with his amazing Australian wife and outrageously cute dog.
In Conversation with: Cheryl Hartup, Curator of Academic Programs and Latin American and Caribbean Art at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and UO student + JSMA intern Wendy Echeverría García
Transcultural Bridges and Political Activism: Mexico and the Graphic Arts, 1929-1956.
November 13, 2020
Travel may still be limited but you can still visit early 20th century Mexico with the help of a Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art curator, who will take us on a fascinating journey of artworks produced in response to the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). You’ll learn why printmaking flourished as artists addressed what happened to the ideals of the Revolution and see imagery that attacked fascism and imperialism, promoted labor and indigenous rights, and expressed a renewed interest in cultural traditions.
Cheryl Hartup is Curator of Academic Programs and Latin American & Caribbean Art. An art historian specializing in the art of Latin America and the Caribbean, Hartup holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a certificate in museum studies from New York University (1990 and 1991), and an M.A. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin (1997).
Prior to coming to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in 2016, she held curatorial positions at the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art in New York City, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Miami Art Museum, now the Pérez Art Museum Miami. From 2005 to 2012, she served as chief curator at the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico. At the Dallas Museum of Art she curated the exhibition “Indigenismo to Modernism: The Art of Post-Revolutionary Mexico, 1920-1950,” and in Miami she curated exhibitions featuring new work by Jac Leirner, Fabian Marcaccio, Cildo Meireles, and Glexis Novoa, among other artists. At the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Hartup co-curated such exhibitions as “Mi Puerto Rico: Master Painters of the Island, 1780-1952” and “El Greco to Goya: Masterpieces from the Prado Museum.”
In addition to her curatorial expertise, she also writes reviews for “ArtNexus Magazine,” artforum.com, and “Visión Doble.”