It takes just a few minutes on the right social media string to recognise that such inflammatory comments are raw meat for a sizeable and dangerous ethnocentric online community who consider Muslims sub-human.
We've spent the past several months reviewing more than 120,000 Twitter posts and Facebook comments involving Muslim candidates for the 2018 midterm elections.
Across the world today, academic freedom is endangered. Political leaders in Brazil, India, Poland and Turkey have all recently threatened professors. Two of the world’s most powerful states, China and Russia, are famous for monitoring what universities teach. Authoritarian-minded leaders attack professors because such scholars are experts in their domains of knowledge and because, by their profession, they are committed to seeking and sharing truth -- even when they are challenging political and economic power and thus risking their lives and livelihoods.
In the United States, such explicit efforts to undermine academics are less common. Instead, the erosion of academic freedom has occurred more subtly. Much press has been devoted to President Trump’s recent executive order requiring that colleges and universities protect free speech. The executive order no doubt reflects the president’s constituents’ concerns that college campuses are limiting the expression of conservative ideas. Yet even for those who believe (as I do) that we need more conservative voices on campus, the president’s order is worrisome. It implies that he believes that the federal government should perhaps police the content of speech and thought on campuses.
Conversation with Maria McLeod
Detroit author Steve Hughes will chat about his book “STIFF” with Western Washington University professor Maria McLeod at 7 p.m. today, April 11, at Village Books, 1200 11th St., Bellingham.
Poets will have a special place at the podiums of Lit Con, a celebration of the written word running Thursday, April 11, to Sunday, April 14, at locations around town.
The overall event, presented by Vashon Center for the Arts, will feature authors from Vashon, Seattle and Tacoma in 75 events and other enticements, including ongoing art exhibits at VCA. Lit Con will also include a free slate of programs, many for youth, at Vashon Library. The conference’s entire schedule, as well as links to purchase spots for ticketed events and to a mobile app to navigate the event, can be found at vashoncenterforthearts.org.
Another visiting poet, Elizabeth J. Colen, will present “Generating Prose Through Juxtaposition,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13, in the Blue Heron classroom. This workshop will focus on Colen’s technique for generating work so that participants never have to sit cold in front of a blank page.
Colen, who lives in Bellingham and teaches at Western Washington University, is the author of “What Weaponry,” a novel in prose poems, two poetry collections and other works.
Nonetheless, traditional ecological knowledge is making its way into more academic settings, starting with the Salish Sea Institute at Western Washington University. “It doesn’t make sense for us to do any work without considering the historical perspective from the tribes and the current perspective from the tribes,” director Ginny Broadhurst told me. “You can’t really look at one piece of this without looking at the whole.” The institute, still in its infancy, is a new program at the university that combines Western sciences and TEK in a concentration devoted to the health of the Salish Sea. Regarding the inclusion of TEK with Western science, Broadhurst said, “It’s not how do you do it, it’s how could you do it without it? What the Western world has sort of done too much is think that we know everything and don’t need to ask others, and we just proceed and we do that to own detriment with blinders on.” The program is one of the first of its kind, but it is building on a 30-year history of collaboration of First Nations and regional scientists.
The number of women represented in the film industry remains low, but the third Cascadia Film Festival has grown since last year, with its unique lineup of female-driven films.
The 2019 Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival will take place from Thursday through Sunday, April 11-14, at various locations around Bellingham, including the Pickford Film Center, Mount Baker Theatre and Western Washington University. The festival only screens films directed by women.
Listener Paulette Thompson asked our SoundQs team: How much do Americans know about our neighbor to the north?
We turned to Canadian Kyla Sweet. She's with the Canadian Studies Centers at the University of Washington and Western Washington University.
Sweet said Americans don't know much about Canada — but then Americans don't know much about anywhere, even their own country.
"When they did a poll recently as to how many Americans would pass the citizenship test, only 39 percent were successful," Sweet said.
A team of American scientists have flown to the Mount Everest region to study how pollution has impacted the Himalayan mountains and glaciers that are melting due to global warming.
The team led by John All of Western Washington University left March 27 and plans to spend the next two months in the region collecting samples and studying the ice, snow and vegetation.
In May, the team members will try to climb the 29,035-foot-high Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, and its sister peak Mount Lhotse.
They plan to study the color and mineral content of the snow and ice on higher elevations of the mountains while collecting plants and other vegetation on the foothills, All said.
Western Washington University said police searched the campus Tuesday for a person who snatched a Make America Great Again hat off a man’s head around 10 a.m.
A spokesperson for the university said police are investigating the hat-snatching, which happened near Edens Hall, as a strong-arm robbery.
By Mary Cullinan and Sabah Randhawa
For The Herald
Eastern Washington University and Western Washington University anchor both sides of our state. While each university is distinctive, our mission and values are similar. Founded as colleges for teachers in the 19th century, our universities have evolved into institutions that transform the lives of students and work with employers and other partners to serve our growing state economy.
Each year as we graduate thousands of students, most of them Washingtonians, our universities help to ensure that our state continues to thrive with a knowledgeable professional work force and an informed citizenry. Our universities are significant engines for the economy and the well-being of the state.