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University of Oregon

Presidential Research Lecture: Gordon Sayre

IMG_1063On March 4, UO professor of English Gordon Sayre delivered the Spring 2014 Presidential Research Lecture: “Lines and Voices: Maps and Narratives in 18th Century Middle America.”

Using 18th century maps and narratives, Professor Sayre discussed the exploration and mapping of the Mississippi / Missouri basin, focusing on the often forgotten role of French explorers in American history. His lecture also addressed research in the humanities and literature, including his own work examining a magnificent hide painting that depicts a battle between Spanish and French colonists on the Great Plains in 1720.

Professor Sayre has taught at the UO since 1993, Gordon Sayre is a specialist in Colonial American literature from the 16th through early19th centuries in French and English. His research also focuses on autobiographical accounts and Native American studies, as well as the intersection of environmental studies and literature – a field for which the University of Oregon has international renown. Sayre is the author, editor, or translator of five books, including his most recent translation, The Memoir of Lieutenant Dumont: A Sojourner in the French Atlantic, 1715-1747 (U of North Carolina Press, 2012). He is currently beginning work on a project about climate and extinction in early America.

UO English also honored and celebrated Professor Sayre’s lecture by hosting a reception in the Booth Lounge attended by faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students. After the reception, the gathering walked with Professor Sayre to the lecture.

webmail.uoregon.eduProfessor Sayre fielded questions from the audience and questions submitting via text and Twitter. Professor Paul Peppis (English) was emcee for the event.

Scott Coltrane, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,) and Kimberly Andrews Espy, Vice President for Research and Innovation, presented Professor Sayre with a framed poster commemorating the event.

The English Undergraduate Organization live tweeted the event (surely the first UO English event to be live tweeted). You can view the feed @EnglishUndergrad or follow the hashtag #ENGPresResearch.

View the lecture on the UO Channel: http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/2014/02/26/presidential-research-lecture-lines-and-voices/.

webmail-1.uoregon.eduRead Professor Sayre’s Guest Commentary for the Register-Guard based on his research: http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/31192988-78/oregon-french-early-state-native.html.csp#. Read the Register-Guard coverage of the lecture: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/31216499-75/sayre-explorers-floods-french-diane.html.csp.

The 2014 Presidential Research Lecture was presented by the Office for Research, Innovation and Graduate Education. Sponsored by RIGE, the Outstanding Research Career
 Award is given annually to two
 tenured faculty members of associate 
or full professor rank. Award recipients share their outstanding work with campus colleagues by giving the Presidential Research Lecture on campus in the year following the receipt of their award.