About the University
Western Washington University is one of three state-supported “regional” comprehensive universities in Washington. Stressing the liberal arts and offering bachelors and masters degrees, it enrolls about 15,000 students. The Wilson Library houses over a million volumes of books and periodicals, more than a million microforms, and a large collection of government documents and audio-visual materials, all of which may be surveyed via the university’s web site at www.wwu.edu where you may also access the catalog as well as housing for photos of accommodations. My colleagues and I have developed an interdisciplinary program in Native American Studies, and we are steadily enhancing an extensive collection in this area. The library provides open stacks, which will be readily accessible to seminar participants. The English Department maintains two several computer laboratories, which will also be available to participants, although laptops are readily available for check out at the library and the residences provide computer access as well. The university provides wireless access, with the (free) accounts you will set up upon arrival.
The university is situated on the crest of Sehome Hill above Bellingham Bay, a busy commercial and fishing harbor, which is the site of the second largest marina in Puget Sound and of the southern terminus of the Alaska Ferry. The campus boasts one of the largest outdoor sculpture collections in the nation and several architectural award-winning buildings. Campus activities during the summer include summer stock theater, concerts, and a film series.
Local Area and Weather
Summer weather is usually mild (with an average high in the seventies). It is usually clear and dry, although it also provides cloudy and wet days periodically, hence all the green. On most days, though, the views from campus are spectacular. To the south, there are the Olympic Mountains; to the west, the numerous islands that make the Puget Sound famous; to the north, the nearby Lummi Reservation and, a few miles farther, the Canadian Coastal Range; and to the east, the Washington Cascades, with the Twin Sisters and Mount Baker’s 10,778 foot peak, which mark the edge of the two huge national parks and wilderness areas that encompass numerous streams, lakes and hiking trails.
Bellingham, a city of 85,000, provides many activities for participants and their families, including Mount Baker Theater and Pickford Cinema—featuring classic and art films, concerts, and lectures—an excellent museum, numerous fine parks, two large lakes for swimming and boating (or simply relaxing in a fine setting), several local organizations and bookstores who offer poetry readings and musical performances, and, of course, extensive shopping opportunities for those so inclined. There are a multitude of fine restaurants and two nationally recognized brew pubs, one of which hosts a summer, outdoor film festival. Moreover, Bellingham is situated only 90 miles north of Seattle and 20 miles south of the Canadian border; it has easy freeway access to the many and diverse cultural and entertainment attractions of Seattle as well as Vancouver, British Columbia, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, an hour from campus. For more on the city, go to: http://www.cob.org/