Inquiring Minds

WWU faculty accepted as humanities speakers for Washington

By: Becky St. Clair

Greg Dodds is assistant professor of history at WWU.

Ron Jolliffe is a professor of English.

Two WWU faculty have been named to the Humanities Washington “Inquiring Mind” speaker list for 2009.  Ron Jolliffe, professor of English, and Greg Dodds, assistant professor of history, auditioned in May for the positions.  

Those accepted to the speaker roster are asked to commit to at least 10 speaking engagements throughout the state of Washington during the 12 months of their appointment.  A new focus for this year is intra-faith dialogue.

For his audition, Jolliffe’s topic was, “The Past in the Tense Present: Looking Up from Ancient Manuscripts.”  It is a basic introduction to the way ancient manuscripts are turned into contemporary printed English.

“It is a process that is far more complicated than the majority of non-specialists understand,” explains Jolliffe.

The topics participants speak on during their auditions are the topics they will present at speaking engagements throughout the year.  Auditions are fifteen-minute overviews of the chosen topic, followed by a fifteen-minute question-and-answer session with the auditioning committee.

Dodd’s topic of presentation was his research on Erasmus, the Reformation, and what lessons we can draw from that period in terms of civil debate, tolerance, and open discussion.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my research with an audience that extends beyond the world of academic specialists,” says Dodds.

Both Jolliffe and Dodds will be traveling around the state of Washington presenting their respective topics between now and June 30, 2009.

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