20th Apr 2019

Where the Light Gets In: Slam Poetry Artist Zachary Kluckman on single parenthood, depression, and the power of art-making in community

Before I knew it, I was working with undocumented students, and people in recovery, activists, artists, even elected officials. All of this because I started writing poetry.

02nd Jul 2018

We Were All Women in the Womb: Icelandic Drag Performers On Feminism and Free Expression

"Gender is a social construct and drag breaks it down and reconstructs it."

13th May 2018

“Mama, I’m Coming Home”: A Mother’s Journey Through Her Son’s Mental Illness

It is ironic that the Oregon State hospital, where that famous Jack Nicholson movie (about an insane asylum run amok) was filmed is now where my son is being housed.

17th Mar 2018

ASTROBLAST: Astrophysicist Raymond Frey Remembers Stephen Hawking

Today's column is dedicated to English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, researcher and author, Professor Stephen Hawking.

04th Feb 2018

Sifting Through Stardust: Conversations with Astrophysicist Raymond Frey

In his new column for Combustus, astrophysicist Raymond Frey, head of the University of Oregon physics department, takes questions sent in by readers on everything from, "Is time travel really possible?" to "What is dark energy, anyway?"

09th Jun 2017

Of Love, Loss and Rebirth: Motoi Yamamoto’s Saltscapes

The former dockyard worker from Hiroshima decided that instead of creating one enduring piece to serve as metaphor for a love never-ending, he would construct a series of temporary installations meticulously fashioned from the painstakingly slow arrangement of so many tiny grains of salt.

16th Jul 2014

Closer to Wildness: Interview with Oregon Artist Irene Hardwicke Olivieri

"I realize that many people might never read what I write in a painting, but I like knowing that if they do, they might find something interesting, like the text in one painting describes how to raise caterpillars, another describes aphrodisiac recipes from around the world. When I’m working on a painting about something deeply personal like family secrets, the text happens organically – I’m feeling, thinking, painting."

21st Dec 2013

Marwa Alnajjar, Amman, Jordan: “We defend our artworks with our fists and our crazy courage”

Countries in the Middle East vary a lot. for instance, there is a great difference between Dubai and Afghanistan, but professional women are oppressed all over the world in many ways. I myself have faced a lot of obstacles being a woman artist, yet I knew that women can do everything men could do. The more men have told me, "you can't do that," the more I had to prove them wrong. I had to hold it up for all women who looked up to me to be brave and courageous. We defend our artworks with our fists and our crazy courage. When you have guys that disrespect you, you're gonna have to teach them a lesson, otherwise they are going to keep walking all over you. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is out there; it's not easy. But this also reflects views of the art world in general.

21st Sep 2013

Censorship and the Sins of Omission: The Plight of the Independent Presses

But there is another type of book banning – a banning by omission, rather than commission – that goes unnoticed. Marketplace censorship, the de facto banning of books by independent presses that don’t have advertising budgets, or distribution deals with one of the few book distributors who have a virtual monopoly on distributing to bookstores and libraries.

21st Sep 2013

Postcard From Pakistan: Cross-Cultural Friendships Drown Out the Silencing

Many American friends might be even surprised to know that despite a big public outcry about US drone attacks and high civilian casualties, a large number of Pakistanis don't blame or hate the American people. They understand that Americans are as much victims of this present 'war' as we are. This understanding, this acceptance, is born of the deep spirituality permeating most of our society.

21st Sep 2013

Censorship in the High School: Missing the Point About What We Deem Offensive

This was no student vandal...much worse. This was the work of one of my colleagues.

21st Sep 2013

The Censorship Issue

Freedom of expression. It's a basic human right guaranteed to each and every one of us by the United Nations. But does this freedom in reality truly exist?

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