Scholarly Selections Partnership with Washington State History Museum Begins Oct. 16

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The lecture series invites students and members of the community to free presentations on pop culture, local history and more – beginning Oct. 16.

Join UW Tacoma and the Washington State History Museum for an eclectic series of conversations this fall, with topics ranging from the anarchist community of Home, nature poetry in a time of Global Warming, and a deeper look at Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

These talks form the Scholarly Selections series, held the third Thursday of the month this fall at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington State History Museum

On Oct. 16, librarian and Lecturer Justin Wadland will talk about the utopian experiment of Home, Washington, and the struggle between the “Nudes and the Prudes” in 1911. Wadland will discuss how a newspaper article on nude bathers led to a Supreme Court Case; the author was accused of advocating disrespect for a law. “My presentation will tell the story of what sparked that article, and then take it through the court cases that were around not only that article, but also the nude bathing in Home,” Wadland says.

On Nov. 20, Janie Miller, a full-time lecturer, will discuss what it means to be a poet, and especially one who writes about nature, in a time of unrest and environmental imbalance. Miller has taught classes in creative writing, poetry and environmental writing at UW Tacoma. Her work looks at the environmental imagination and its relationship to activism.

On Dec. 18, Elizabeth “Libi” Sundermann will take a closer look at Pink Floyd The Wall, a film based on the band’s album of the same name, asking how memories of World War II affected musicians and filmmakers. While many think of Pink Floyd as just a psychedelic rock band, when you really look at the film and the music, Sunderland says, “You realize that it is this very personal story” for members of the band and the filmmakers, filled with postwar symbolism. For instance, both Roger Waters (the band’s co-founder) and the film’s main character lost their fathers in World War II. Knowing details like this “makes for a much richer reading of the film and the music,” says Sundermann.

Scholarly Selections was conceived by Sundermann and Washington State History Museum Head of Education Stephanie Lile (also a UW Tacoma lecturer), as Sundermann was volunteering at the museum. “(Stephanie) and I have always felt like it was just a no-brainier” for the university and the museum to build a closer partnership with events like these, Sundermann says.

Scholarly Selections also give lecturers the somewhat rare opportunity to share their research. Though Scholarly Selections isn’t limited to lecturers, it does have a high proportion of lecturers presenting; this fall, all three presenters hold the title.

Talks are given on the third Thursday of the month throughout the year, when the museum offers free admission. “We really wanted to open it up (and) make sure the community could participate,” says Sundermann.

“We really do want to be a part of the community that we’re in, and this is a way that we can reach out to that community,” says Sundermann.

Scholarly Selections: Autumn 2014

What: Nudes vs. Prudes: The Free Speech Fight that Ruined Home, with Justin Wadland, librarian and lecturer at the University of Washington Tacoma
When: October 16 at 6:30pm
Where: Washington State History Museum
​Cost: Free and Open to the Public

What: Another Nature: Re-imagining the Green Poem, with Janie Miller, full-time lecturer at University of Washington Tacoma
When: November 20 at 6:30pm
Where: Washington State History Museum
Cost: Free and Open to the Public

What: Deconstructing the Wall: Pink Floyd and Post-War Angst, with Elizabeth "Libi" Sundermann, full-time lecturer at University of Washington Tacoma
When: December 18 at 6:30pm
Where: Washington State History Museum
​Cost: Free and Open to the Public​

Written by: 
Abby Rhinehart / October 9, 2014
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, Media Relations, 253-692-4536,