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March 26-27: Environmental writer explores storytelling

William Cronon
William Cronon

William Cronon, one of the country’s foremost environmental writers, thinkers and historians, will be the featured speaker at two free, public events March 26-27 as part of WSU’s Visiting Writer Series.

“William Cronon is an exceptional historian who has a scholar’s depth and breadth of knowledge but also a novelist’s skill at telling stories,” said Larry Hufford, director of the School of Biological Sciences and the Charles R. Conner Museum of Natural History at WSU. “His seminal book, Changes in the Land, was tremendously influential in shaping the way we think today about wilderness and the pervasiveness of human influence on the American environment.”

Cronon will present “The Portage: Time, Memory and Storytelling in the Making of an American Place” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the CUB auditorium on the WSU Pullman campus. On Thursday, he will join an interdisciplinary panel of faculty experts from WSU and the University of Idaho in examining “The Personal Voice of Scholarly Writing” 3:30-5:30 p.m., on the UI campus in Moscow.

Learn more about these cross-disciplinary events

Philosophy forum to explore free will Jan. 23-24

Alfred Mele
Alfred Mele

Recent discoveries in neuroscience are challenging long-held beliefs about conscious decision making, or “free will.” Alfred Mele, an expert in action theory, will examine this critical intersection of science and philosophy in two free, public events Jan. 23-24 at WSU Pullman.

On Thursday, Mele will deliver the 52nd Frank Fraser Potter Memorial Lecture in Philosophy, “Free Will and Neuroscience: What Do Old-School and New-Wave Studies Show?” at 7 p.m. in the Compton Union Building (CUB) Auditorium.

On Friday, he will present the Potter Talk, “The Power of Situations, People and Education,” at noon in Bryan Hall 308.

More about the Potter philosophy events

Jan. 27-31: Humanities Week looks at scholarship, influence

Three free, public presentations will highlight Humanities Week presented by the WSU Humanities Planning Group.

Guest speakers from Duke and Michigan State universities will join WSU faculty in covering a range of topics, including:

  • “Is a Little Pollution Good for You? How the Humanities Can Contribute to Science and Policy”
  • “Four Glimpses of Scholarship in the Humanities: A Roundtable”
  • “Cosmopolitan Humanities”
  • “Empathy and Religious Diversity”

Get more details and a list of events

Nov. 18: New compositions to illustrate faculty music lecture

Greg Yasinitsky
Greg Yasinitsky

“Where Did that Come From? Musical Composition and the Creative Process” will be discussed in a free, public presentation by Regents Professor Gregory W. Yasinitsky at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in the Honors Hall lounge, WSU Pullman. Part of the Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series, Yasinitsky will premiere one of his compositions to illustrate his topic.

Through demonstrations with fellow WSU musicians, he will answer a wide variety of questions: What goes into creation of a piece of music? How much is intellectual and how much intuitive? How may basic building blocks of music (rhythm, melody and harmony) be assembled and reassembled to create new musical structures? What are the characteristics of spontaneous composition and improvisation? What are the roles of the performers and audience?

Read more at WSU News

Arts and Sciences faculty webinars available online

The WSU Global Campus Digital Academy, a free educational resource open to the public, features hour-long webinars hosted by WSU faculty. Current offerings from CAS faculty (and a Ph.D. candidate) include discussions on mural making, dream analysis, home-brewed beer, and the role in history and literature of two iconic superheroes.

“College is about more than classes,” said Global Campus Vice President Dave Cillay. “It’s also about access to WSU’s wide range of extracurricular educational resources, whether it be the passion and expertise of our WSU faculty or the diversity of our cultural events.”

Learn more and register at