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Oct. 14: First lecture in new humanities fellows series


By Adrian Aumen, College of Arts & Sciences

PULLMAN, Wash. – Three professors in the College of Arts and Sciences are the inaugural humanities fellows at Washington State University.

Donna Potts and Susan Dente Ross, professors of English, and Michael Hubert, assistant professor of Spanish, were among 14 WSU faculty members who submitted research proposals that were evaluated by an independent faculty committee. Their awards and accompanying $12,500 grants were conferred through the Humanities Planning Group (HPG) at WSU, with funding support from the college.

“The work of these three fellows underscores the integral nature of the humanities to intellectual life and society in general,” said Christopher Lupke, chair of HPG and professor of cinema studies and Chinese at WSU.

The humanities fellow designation and grant are intended to promote further research and to encourage pursuit of greater external funding for humanities research.

Academic disciplines within the humanities include history, philosophy, religion, ancient and modern languages, cultural studies, literature, art history, classics and linguistics.

First public lecture Oct. 14

The humanities fellows will deliver public lectures about their proposed research.

Potts, whose expertise is in Irish and world literature, women’s studies and trauma theory, will present an examination of literary and cinematic representations of sexual assault, especially in the college setting, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, in Goertzen Hall 21. Her lecture, “‘Readings Will Grow Erratic:’ Reading Rape in the Humanities,” is also part of the WSU Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series.

Ross, who specializes in public policy and media issues as well as social movements and peace and cultural studies, will present her research into the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness through examination of associated biases, sexism and misunderstandings. “A Madwoman in Suburbia: Life In and Out of Asylums” is scheduled for March 3, 2015.

Hubert, whose research focuses on second-language acquisition, particularly Spanish, investigates the widely misunderstood relationship between speaking and writing in the development of foreign language proficiency. He will present “The Development of Speaking and Writing of Foreign Language in Academia” on April 2.

Humanities in action at WSU

HPG is a group of faculty members who have been working to create a Center for the Humanities at WSU. The group has sponsored a variety of events and initiatives on the Pullman campus and plans to submit a proposal this fall to the Faculty Senate to establish the center.


Christopher Lupke, chair, Humanities Planning Group,, 509-335-2755
Debbie Brudie, manager, Humanities Planning Group,, 509-335-0698


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