WSU Conference to Focus on the Role of Liberal Arts in the Future

PULLMAN, Wash. — Discussion of the intellectual, social and political challenges faced by
liberal arts educators is the focus of a conference being held at Washington State University
Nov. 3-5. The conference, entitled “The Liberal Arts in the New Millennium,” is hosted by
WSU’s College of Liberal Arts.
“This year’s conference addresses the historic role of liberal arts and how it can be
integrated with science and technology,” said Barbara Couture, college dean. The three-day
event features lectures, panel presentations, workshops and performances by prominent
scholars and artists from across the nation and WSU faculty.
An opening keynote address, “Across the Pacific: Asian Americans and Globalization,” will
be delivered by Evelyn Hu-de Hart, director of the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in
America at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of books on the Yaqui Indians
and articles on the Asian Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mark Trahant, columnist for the Seattle Times, will deliver a talk titled “The Constitution as
Metaphor: Writing about Individuals, Tribes and State in the New Century” on Thursday
evening. Trahant is a former editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, and former publisher of the
Moscow-Pullman Daily News. He is a visiting scholar at the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment
Center and author of a history of American Indian contributions to journalism.
Phyllis Campbell, CEO of US Bank of Washington and WSU regent, will speak on “The
Liberal Arts and the Global Community” from her perspective as a university leader and
businesswoman. Campbell is the featured speaker at a luncheon Friday at 11:30 a.m.
The closing keynote speech will be given by Alan Wald, professor of English and American
Culture at the University of Michigan and an intellectual historian and scholar of literary
radicalism. Wald is an author of “Writing From the Left.” His talk is titled “Cultural Studies and
Commitment in the New Millennium.”
Coco Fusco, author of the 1995 Critics’ Choice Award book “English is Broken Here: Notes
on Cultural Fusion in the Americas,” and a performance artist whose work touches on race,
immigration, sexuality and the politics of representation, will present an installation performance,
also on Friday.
The conference also features workshops for faculty and students on teaching and research
presented by leading WSU professors from several colleges. Among the topics to be addressed
are the liberal arts as they relate to race, rhetoric and academic literacy; science research;
interdisciplinary research; scientific investigation of learning; globalization; women’s studies;
distance learning; the use of research as a learning tool in undergraduate education; the English
as a second language student; contemplative practice; architecture as the nexus of the liberal
arts; technical and professional writing; and the impact of foreign languages.
Related events include an exhibit on book arts, a film by Coco Fusco, the WSU Jazz Festival,
a play, and a piano and flute recital.
Most conference events are free; however, there is a $15 fee for the Campbell luncheon.
Contact Anne Smith at 509/335-4581 by Oct. 25 to reserve luncheon space; seating is limited. For
a complete program, visit the conference Web site at