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Anna Plemons named WSU’s 2019 Woman of the Year

Anna Plemons.Anna Plemons, a clinical assistant professor of English, has been selected as the 2019 WSU Woman of the Year.

Plemons teaches classes on the WSU Pullman campus in composition, rhetoric, and digital technology and culture. Additionally, she is the director of the Critical Literacies and Achievement and Success Program (CLASP) for the College of Arts and Sciences.

She, and five other 2019 WSU Women of Distinction, will be honored at the 2019 WSU Women of Distinction Celebration, 6 p.m. Monday, March 4, in the M.G. Carey Senior Ballroom of the Compton Union Building on the WSU Pullman campus. This event is free to those that RSVP prior to March 1.

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WSU Insider

The Passamaquoddy Reclaim Their Culture Through Digital Repatriation

Today, a renewed spirit of indigenous activism coincides with the homecoming of some Passamaquoddy cultural artifacts. Audio engineers at the Library of Congress are using new technologies to convert rare, historical recordings into a much cleaner digital format, and, in a Native-first approach to archival work, the library is giving the tribe curatorial control.

Kimberly Christen.

The return of the Passamaquoddy archive involves the work of a large interdisciplinary team. There are, in addition to the librarians and engineers at the American Folklife Center, two academics who specialize in digital repatriation: Kim Christen, professor of English and director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University; and Jane Anderson, at New York University.

Christen manages an open-source content-management program called Mukurtu. Since its launch, several years ago, the software has been used by more than six hundred groups, including the Passamaquoddy, to curate their own Web sites and regulate access in accordance with custom. On the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, for example, members of eight participating tribes can log in to view materials specific to their community; the Web site of the Warumungu tribe restricts access to certain items according to gender.

The tool is not only for First Nations; Terry Baxter, an archivist in Oregon, is helping Don’t Shoot Portland, a civil-rights group that opposes police violence, use Mukurtu to organize everything from children’s drawings to protest announcements.

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The New Yorker

English department chair hopes to advocate for faculty

Donna Potts.WSU English professor Donna Potts was selected to serve as chair of the English department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Potts said she was encouraged to run for the open position because of her commitment to the department.

She said she wants the faculty in the department to have a voice and be able to design their course the way they want to. However, some courses, like English 101, already have a structured curriculum.

“I consider myself an advocate for the faculty. I represent the faculty,” Potts said. “What I’m trying to do is to have a committee of faculty that is advisory, so that it’s not me from top down, reviewing people.”

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Daily Evergreen


‘Who is Scott Free?’ A search for meaning after Trump’s misuse of a medieval idiom.

From the moment he tweeted “covfefe” in the middle of the night, President Trump has been perplexing his millions of Twitter followers with cryptic messages ranging from vague threats to North Korea to his retweets of Islamophobic videos without any comment.

But on Monday, a curious person by the name of Scott Free caught the Internet’s attention.

The unfamiliar proper noun appeared in Trump’s remarkable tweetstorm Monday, in which he wished a long prison sentence on his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and insisted longtime adviser Roger Stone would not testify against him, leading some to question whether the statements amounted to witness tampering.

Paul Brians.

People have been assigning wrong origins or spellings to the age-old idiom for years, according to the 2008 book “Common Errors in English Usage” by Paul Brians, a retired English professor at Washington State University.

People might think the term has something to do with Scottish people (or an unfortunate “Scott”) or that it is “scotch-free,” somehow related to whisky. Others, Brians noted, have erroneously believed “scot-free” alludes to Dred Scott, the slave who sued for his freedom only to lose in an 1857 Supreme Court case.

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Washington Post