News for the Smith College Community //September 14, 2000
to Celebrate Women Activists
The Sophia Smith Collection's official opening for research of the collected papers, writings and notable documents of eight prominent women activists of the 20th Century will provide the backdrop for this year's Kathleen Ridder Conference. The two-day event, titled "Agents of Social Change: New Resources on 20th-Century Women's Activism," will take place September 22 and 23 in various campus locations.
The conference is coordinated and sponsored by the Sophia Smith Collection (SSC), and the college's Project for Women and Social Change in conjuction with the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute's yearlong project "Agents of Social Change."
The conference will feature several renowned women who have either sought to improve society as activists during the past century or documented the activist accomplishments of others. These celebrated activists took on what were sometimes considered to be controversial causes, such as civil rights and liberties, feminism, welfare rights, urban reform and racial justice.
Among the most prominent of the celebrated collections are those of Dorothy Kenyon, a feminist lawyer and judge and a promoter of women's rights; Ms. Magazine cofounder Gloria Steinem, a Smith alumna and trustee; Constance Baker Motley, a civil rights attorney with NAACP and the first African American woman to be appointed a federal judge; and Frances Fox Piven, a professor, social theorist and welfare rights advocate. Also to be opened are SSC holdings of Jessie Lloyd O'Connor, a labor journalist in the 1920s and '30s; Mary Metlay Kaufman, a civil rights and labor attorney, law professor and peace activist; and the records of the Women's Action Alliance, a national anti-sexism information clearinghouse, advocacy group and service organization; and the National Congress of Neighborhood Women, a grassroots feminist organization dedicated to preserving neighborhoods and families by empowering poor and working-class women through education, job training, and leadership development.
Sherrill Redmon, head of the SSC, says she expects conference attendees to be "overwhelmed with the number and variety of women who were involved in these social issues. We're trying to call attention to who these people were. "
"Agents of Social Change" will kick off at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 22, in Wright Hall auditorium, with a keynote address titled "Insider/Outsider: An Historian Looks at Social Movements," given by Linda Gordon, professor of history at New York University. That evening, at 8 p.m., also in Wright auditorium, videos about women's activism will be shown.
On Saturday, September 23, a morning plenary session, "'I Was Appalled': The Invisible Antecedents of Second Wave Feminism," will be led by Linda Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and professor of history at the University of Iowa, at 9 a.m. in Wright auditorium.
At 10:30 a.m. three workshops will take place in several locations focusing on the celebrated collections. "Feminist Organizing 1919-1963," moderated by Kate Weigand and Daniel Horowitz, will center around the collection of Dorothy Kenyon; "Professional Women Fighting for Social Justice," moderated by Kathleen Nutter and Maurice Isserman, will feature the collected papers of Jessie Lloyd O'Connor and Mary Kaufman; and "Equal Justice Under Law? Race and Reform," moderated by Nancy MacLean, will focus on the collection of Constance Baker Motley. At 3 p.m. a workshop titled "Persistence and Transformation: The Women's Action Alliance and the Feminist Movement, 1971-1997," moderated by Nancy Whittier and Marla Miller with participation by Steinem and WAA founder Brenda Feigen, will focus on the SSC collection of Steinem's documents and those of the Women's Action Alliance. And "Grassroots Organizing," a workshop facilitated by Martha Ackelsberg and Eileen Boris, with Piven and Peterson participating, will focus on collections of Piven and the National Congress of Neighborhood Women.
An afternoon plenary, "Successes and Failures of Feminism: Women's Activism from the 1960s On," led by Barbara Epstein, professor of history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Wright auditorium.
The conference will end with a roundtable session titled "Another Century of Struggle," which will feature several of the events' speakers interacting with audience members to review the weekend's topics and propose agenda for further research and activism.
Coinciding with the Ridder Conference will be an SSC exhibition, "Agents of Social Change: Celebrating Women's Progressive Activism Across the 20th Century," on display in the Morgan Gallery, located in the Neilson Library foyer, and in the Alumnae Gym. The exhibit will run from September 20 through December 31.
Redmon says she hopes to bring attention
to the collections of the activists through the conference and
the exhibition so that graduate students and scholars studying
social history and women's history can take advantage of the
valuable documents now available. "We're trying to mainstream
women's history," she says. "There was a lot going
on that wasn't chronicled."
The Smith College Board of Trustees welcomed seven new members at a board retreat held in New York City at the end of July. Joining the board for a two-year term was Katrina Gardner '00, last year's head of Smith's student government association. Other new members, all of whom will serve five-year terms, are:
In other business at the retreat, trustees received a report on the future desirable expansion of the campus prepared by its architectural consultant, Frances Halsband of the New York firm of R. M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects. The report reviewed various options the college might consider for meeting its space needs over the next half-century and beyond. Also on the board's agenda was a long-range financial planning exercise and the approval of the appointment of Albert G. Mosley, professor of philosophy, with tenure.
Art Made of Steel, Bronze, and Stone
While the Smith College Museum of Art may be closed temporarily for renovations and expansion, exhibitions curated by museum personnel continue. Since May, the college's lower campus has been transformed into an open-air gallery for one such exhibition titled "Bronze, Steel, and Stone: Selections from the Nasher Collection." The exhibition features five sculptures lent to the Museum of Art by Raymond D. Nasher in memory of his late wife, Patsy Rabinowitz Nasher '49.
The installation, on display through October 29, features contemporary works by American and European sculptors. The works, all of which were completed between 1968 and 1991, are a sample from what has come to be known as one of the world's greatest collections of contemporary sculpture. After being shown at Smith, the sculptures will be moved to Dallas, where they will be exhibited with other works from the Nasher collection at a sculpture center scheduled to open next year.
The exhibition consists of sculptures constructed using the natural, industrial materials cited in its title. Each achieves a different effect, from the imprisonment of space in William Tucker's Building A Wall in Air to musings on the practical and spiritual meanings of paths in Richard Long's Slate Line. Two sculptures are by women artists, including Venezia Blu, a work by Beverly Pepper, one of the few women to gain an international reputation in large-scale sculpture.
The other woman whose works are featured in the exhibition is Magdalena Abakanowicz, a Polish artist whose work has been shaped by her experiences during World War II and during the Soviet occupation of her country. Her Bronze Crowd stands in the plaza between McConnell and Sabin-Reed halls. The fifth in a series of crowd sculptures, its 36 figures evoke a range of interpretations. The final sculpture in the exhibit is Mark di Suvero's In the Bushes 1970-75, a work that compares the industrial and artistic uses of steel.
While a virtual tour of "Bronze, Steel, and Stone" is available on the Smith Web site at www.smith.edu/artmuseum/nasher, the Smith community has a unique opportunity to view an international exhibition of distinctive sculptures right here on campus. Whether you're en route to class or taking a walk during lunch break, make a stop at Burton Lawn. The Museum of Art has compiled a detailed brochure for a self-guided tour; copies are available in the brochure holders near the exhibit.
Raymond Nasher will visit the campus to present a lecture titled "The Sculptural Revolution in the 20th Century" on Wednesday, October 18, at 5 p.m., in McConnell auditorium. In addition to being the founder and chairman of the Nasher Foundation, he has twice been appointed to the President's Committee on Arts and the Humanities.
Smith Lends its Bloomsbury Group Goods
When "The Art of Bloomsbury," an exhibition showcasing the artistic achievements of London's famous Bloomsbury group, arrived at the Yale Center for British Art last May 20, critics hailed the show with rave reviews. "A large and tightly focused exhibition," a New York Times reviewer noted of the show's more than 200 paintings, drawings, and sculptures, and the supplementary books, dust jackets, autograph letters, and photographs, many of which were provided by Smith's Mortimer Rare Book Room. "There are enough autograph letters (none of them perfunctory) to give an interested visitor a long and happy day's reading," wrote the reviewer. "There are photographs by the dozen, and not one of them is dull."
The exhibition, which is the largest and most complicated loan exhibition ever organized at the Yale Center for British Art, originated in London's Tate Gallery earlier this year. Curated by Richard Shone, London's version of "The Art of Bloomsbury" emphasized the fine art produced by members of the Bloomsbury group, a famous group of writers and artists, friends and acquaintances who gathered at 46 Gordon Square in London in the early half of the 20th century. Bloomsbury, according to the Fairfield Citizen-News, was "a controversial, often scandalous, hotbed of arts and letters in the staid England of the early 20th century." The renowned group included writer Virginia Woolf; her husband Leonard Woolf; her sister Vanessa Bell, an artist; Vanessa's companion Duncan Grant; and her husband, Clive Bell. Also in the Bloomsbury group were writer E. M. Forster, biographer Lytton Strachey, painter Roger Fry and economist John Maynard Keynes.
Much of the work included in the Tate Gallery's exhibition was produced by Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry between 1910 and World War II. But when "The Art of Bloomsbury" arrived at Yale, curator Elizabeth Fairman decided to "add a whole historical section to the exhibition," says Karen V. Kukil, associate curator of rare books at Smith.
Aware of Smith's abundant Bloomsbury collection, Fairman obtained more than 50 pieces of Bloomsbury material from the Mortimer Rare Book Room. Included among those materials are original manuscripts and correspondence by Virginia Woolf (bequeathed to Smith by Frances Hooper '14), an original book jacket design by Vanessa Bell (given to Smith by Anne Safford Mandel '53) and a photograph album owned and assembled by Leslie Stephen, Woolf's and Bell's father (a gift from Elizabeth Power Richardson '43 and Phyllis Cooley Paige '80). The photo album "is one of the star pieces in the Yale show," notes Kukil. "The album contains very early pictures of Woolf and her siblings."
Fairman's decision to incorporate historical and literary material into "The Art of Bloomsbury" proved to be the "one great advantage over the British version [of the exhibition]," asserts a June 15 article in Aufbau. "It could be said that the addition of this bravura display has the unintentional effect of domesticating the paintingsby turning them into backdrops for the personal dramas and verbal likenesses of the Bloomsbury ménage conjured by Virginia's prose. In fact, the visual and the verbal play off each other."
Kukil agrees. "You can see the interplay between the arts, how they all influenced each other," says Kukil of the exhibition, which brings together Bloomsbury paintings, sculptures, Omega Workshop furniture, letters and literature. On June 6, Kukil gave a gallery talk titled "Not a word sounds and yet the room is full of conversations: The Bloomsbury Collections at Smith College." The show concluded on September 3.
Where Have I Seen Your Face Before?
If you suspect that you have recognized some familiar faces in different places on campus, you're right. Since last May, several college employees have shifted their focus and switched positions, often from one department to another or one building to another. Meanwhile, a host of new people can be seen occupying familiar positions. Here's a list of people who have assumed new roles on campus: Audrey Smith, director of admission; Margaret Bruzelius, dean of the sophomore and junior classes; Adrian Beaulieu, associate dean for international study; Brenda Allen, director of institutional diversity/assistant to the president; Michael Marcotrigiano, director of the Botanic Garden; Kelly Taylor, student financial services adviser; Chris Forgey, policy specialist in the Provost/Dean of the Faculty office; Louise Krieger, job and internship assistant in the Career Development Office; Charlene Imes, Praxis assistant in the Career Development Office; Lakisha Coppedge, administrative assistant in the School for Social Work.
Watch future issues of AcaMedia for profiles of some of the college's new personnel.
SFS Team Inspired to Walk, Run
As the academic year gears up, Patti Corjay, Shelly Cotnoir, Valerie Schumacher, and Susan Stano have been spending their days helping Student Financial Services (SFS) run smoothly. But outside of work, they're spending time running -- and walking -- in preparation for the grueling challenge of the upcoming Boston Marathon.
No, it's not Patriot's Day yet. The Boston Marathon for which these women are training takes place on September 24. And though it follows the same 26.2-mile route as the "real" Boston Marathon, this one is about raising funds -- not clocking times.
The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk is now in its eleventh year. Last year Schumacher and Stano (and Stano's husband, Joe) were among the 7,000 participants who walked, ran and jogged to raise $2.8 million for cancer research and treatment at the Dana Farber Clinic in Boston. This year, Corjay and Cotnoir will join them on what they call the SFS Marathon Team.
The inspiration behind the team's involvement is Corjay's 7-year-old son Nicholas. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, he has been receiving chemotherapy at Dana Farber for the past year. "When we heard about Nikki, we all wanted to help," says Schumacher. "But apart from saying 'Let me know if there's anything I can do,' there wasn't really much help we could lend at the time. Then Sue read about the marathon, and we had a concrete way to support Nikki."
Nikki Corjay, who was an extra in last year's Hollywood movie, The Cider House Rules, continues to receive treatment at Dana Farber. Meanwhile, he's making important contributions to the Jimmy Fund's effort himself. Not only was he a poster child for the recent bicycle Pan-Mass Challenge for the Jimmy Fund, he also will be a poster child for the September 24 marathon. Faces of children like Nikki line the Boston Marathon route, inspiring participants onward.
"It's incredibly moving," says Schumacher. "When you see their faces and read their 'What I Want to Be When I Grow Up' statements, you want more than anything to help give them a chance to grow up."
The SFS Marathon Team will run and
walk a total of 104.8 miles on September 24. For more information
about Nikki or the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, or to contact
a member of the SFS Marathon Team about pledges, visit a Web
site created by Schumacher at www.javanet.com/~roadkill/marathon.htm.
American Studies professors Daniel
and Helen Horowitz have each recently received appointments to
a prestigious organization -- or two. Helen Horowitz won one
fellowship from Radcliffe Institute's Schlesinger Library for
the 2000-01 academic year and another from the American Antiquarian
Society, of which she is a fellow. Her husband, Daniel Horowitz,
has been elected to the Society of American Historians, an elite
society consisting of 250 academic and nonacademic members. Helen
Horowitz is also a society member.
Sources of further information, if any, are indicated in parentheses. Notices should be submitted by mail, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) or by fax (extension 2171).
As part of the Fine Arts Center complex, the Smith College Museum of Art is closed for renovation and expansion until early 2003. Temporary administrative offices are located at Leonard Hall, Clarke School for the Deaf, 32 Round Hill Road. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The museum's mailing address remains Smith College Museum of Art, Elm Street at Bedford Terrace, Northampton, MA 01063. To contact the museum, call ext. 2770, or send e-mail to artmuseum@smith. edu; you can visit the museum's Web site at www.smith.edu/art museum. The art department and art library are in Bell Hall, 45 Round Hill Road.
Students' Aid Society Grants
Sports Event Workers Needed
President's Open Hours
Sources of further information, if any, are shown in parentheses at the end of event descriptions. An asterisk following a listing indicates that the event is open to the public. Admission charges, if any, are listed when known. Items for this section must be submitted on Event Service Request Forms.
Monday, September 18
Tuesday, September 19
Informational meeting for faculty members interested in participating in the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute's 2001-02 project, "Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Ancient and Modern Worlds." Project organizers are professors Dennis Hudson, Vera Shevzov and Jamie Hubbard, all members of the religion department. 5-6 p.m., Kahn Institute lounge, Neilson Library third floor
Tennis vs. Springfield, 4 p.m., tennis courts*
Presentation of admission information by the Smith College School for Social Work. An opportunity to learn about graduate professional training in clinical social work. Seating is limited. Call ext. 7960 to register. 6-7:30 p.m., Seelye 106
Volleyball vs. U.S. Coast Guard, 7 p.m., Ainsworth Gym*
S.O.S. Community Service Fair Meet with local community service agencies and learn about opportunities for volunteering for jobs ranging from literacy tutor or case advocate to house builder. 7-8:30 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Wednesday, September 20
Teach-In "Images of Race, Class, Gender and Privilege: A Personal Account." Peggy McIntosh, associate director, Wellesley College Center for Research for Women. Sponsor: Office of Multicultural Affairs. 7:30 p.m., Wright auditorium
Language lunch table Spanish. Noon-1 p.m., Duckett dining room
Meeting for Smith interns regarding community work. 6 p.m., Dewey common room
Informational meeting for members of the class of 2002, to discuss academic issues and policies. Attendance is recommended for all juniors. 7-8 p.m., Wright auditorium
Informational meeting First Lieutenant Lisa Soulders will discuss undergraduate and graduate employment in the United States Marine Corps. All classes welcome. 7-9 p.m., Wright common room
Buddhist service and discussion 7:15 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Soccer vs. Williams, 4:15 p.m., athletic fields*
Thursday, September 21
Lecture "Racing Latinas." Frances Negrón-Muntaner, filmmaker, best known for Brincando el Charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican. Open lecture for WST 101. 7:30 p.m., Seelye 106*
Informational meeting Pomona Exchange Program for spring and fall 2001. 4:30 p.m., Office of the Class Deans
Friday, September 22
Keystone B.I.G. meeting Fellowship meeting of Campus Crusade for Christ. 7 p.m., Wright common room
Saturday, September 23
Lecture "Successes and Failures of Feminism: Women's Activism From the 1960s On." Barbara Epstein, University of California, Santa Cruz. Part of the conference "Agents of Social Change." 1:30 p.m., Wright auditorium*
Panel "Permanent Wave: The Next Generation." Featuring Rebecca Walker and Amy Richards, founders of the Third Wave Foundation; and activist Erin Howe '02. Facilitated by Crystal Daugherty '98. Part of the conference "Agents of Social Change." 4:30 p.m., Wright auditorium*
Panel "Another Century of Struggle," a roundtable discussion by participants of the conference "Agents of Social Change," including Anne Braden, Linda Gordon, Jan Peterson, Frances Fox Piven, Amy Richards, Gloria Steinem and Rebecca Walker; moderated by Daniel Horowitz. 8 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall*
Workshops in conjunction with the conference "Agents of Social Change," featuring the collections of Gloria Steinem, Frances Fox Piven, the Women's Action Alliance and the National Congress of Neighborhood Women (see story, page 1). 3 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room*
Coffeehouse with Psalm 150, a jazz-gospel group. All welcome. 8 p.m., Gamut
Sunday, September 24
Quaker meeting Meeting for worship. Preceded by informal discussion at 9:30 a.m. All welcome, childcare available. 11:30 a.m., Bass 203, 204*
Roman Catholic mass with Fr. Stephen-Michael Ross, OCD, celebrant, and Elizabeth Carr, Catholic chaplain. Dinner follows in Bodman Lounge. 4:30 p.m., chapel
"Standing Women of Callanish" Mixed media sculptures by Smith alumna Mary Craig McLane. Through October 24. Alumnae House Gallery*
"Agents of Social Change: Celebrating Women's Progressive Activism Across the 20th Century." An exhibition of papers from the collections of eight activist women, recently opened by the Sophia Smith Collection. Created by the staff of the SSC in conjunction with the conference "Agents of Social Change." Runs September 20 through December 31. Morgan Gallery, located in the Neilson Library foyer, and the Sophia Smith Collection, Alumnae Gym*