News for the Smith College Community //September 13, 2001
Kahn Conference to Conclude Project
As the Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute enters its fourth year, it is compiling an impressive list of yearlong projects. While bringing together dozens of faculty and student scholars, the Kahn projects have also explored, researched and documented a wide spectrum of contemporary topics that are pertinent to the sociology of the new millennium.
Last fall, the institute launched its fourth yearlong project, "From Local to Global: Community Activism in the New Millennium," with the overarching goal of clarifying and deepening an understanding of activism and social movements through a prolonged series of interdisciplinary discussions and ongoing student-faculty research.
Now, as the Kahn Institute fellows near the completion of the project, their goals have been realized, they say, albeit with some unexpected changes. One shift in their expectations "had to do with our understanding of globalization," wrote the fellows in a project summary. "We had initially expected that our studies of 'community activism' would divide into two groups: those working on movements within the U.S. and those working on movements outside the U.S. But it soon became evident that our intellectual interests did not 'map' onto geography in the ways that we had anticipated. Over the course of the project we all became more acutely aware of the impact of globalization on movements and activism everywhere."
Next week, when the Kahn Institute presents "Global Movements, Local Resistances: Community, Identity, and Social Change," a three-day conference that will conclude the "Community Activism" project, some of the project fellows' discoveries and many of their new questions will be the focus of a series of lectures and discussions.
The conference will open on Thursday, September 20, with the Smith premiere of Naming the Days, a one-woman play by artist-activist Deborah Lubar that follows three women who return to their country as refugees and struggle to redefine who they have become. The play, which will be performed in Hallie Flanagan Studio at the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, will also run on Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22, each evening at 8 p.m. For the first performance only, admission will be free to people with a Smith College identification card.
On Friday, September 21, the conference will continue with two open discussions, both in Neilson Browsing Room. "Community, Identity, and Social Change," at 2 p.m., will feature speaker Mary Katzenstein, of Cornell University, with comments from Kahn fellows. At 4 p.m., Nancy Naples, professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, will open "Globalization and Community Activism," with comments from Martha Ackelsberg, Kahn organizing fellow and professor of government.
Two panel discussions, on Saturday, September 22, will close the conference in Seelye 201. "Art and Activism," at 10 a.m., will feature Amie Dowling, of The Dance Generators, as well as Lubar and artists Julie Lictenberg and Eveline MacDougall. At 2 p.m., "Activism and the Academy" will include panelists Felice Yeskel, of the Stonewall Center at UMass, and several Kahn fellows.
Meanwhile, as the "From Local to Global" project wraps up, the institute's current project, "Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Ancient and Modern Worlds" is just getting under way and will run through the spring semester. Organized by Dennis Hudson, Vera Shevzov and Jamie Hubbard, all of the Department of Religion, the project will explore issues of religious tolerance and intolerance, especially as they are defined through the relationship between adherents to a particular religion and those who hold different beliefs.
The fellows pose the question, "Are those who dwell beyond a given sacred boundary -- the 'others' -- to be included, excluded, banished, eradicated or ignored" by adherents to a different religion?
Project fellows will conduct independent research on the phenomenon of religious tolerance while also studying historic and modern case studies, such as the fate of the Baha'i, and the portrayal of the religious "other" in miracle stories in the Russian Orthodox tradition.
A highlight of the "Religious Tolerance" project will be the six-week residence as a visiting Kahn fellow of Romila Thapar, professor emeritus of history at Jawarhal Nehru University in Delhi, India, and former Neilson Professor.
Thapar will give two public talks while at Smith. The first, titled "Cyclic and Linear Time in Early India," on the religious history of India, will take place on Wednesday, September 19, at 5 p.m. in Wright Auditorium. A reception will follow the talk.
In the spring, the Kahn Instutute will launch its sixth project, "Europe's Others/Other Europes," which will run through fall 2002. The institute will hold an informational meeting for students interested in applying for fellowships on Tuesday, September 18, at 5 p.m. in the Kahn Institue lounge in Neilson. Applications will be accepted through Friday, October 5.
Smith's UW Drive Adapts, Launches Anew
Following a successful campaign last year in which 35 percent of the campus participated, the Smith College United Way Committee will launch its 2001 campaign this month, after making some adjustments to address public concerns.
The committee will launch its campaign with a goal of $140,000. The theme of the campaign is "Help Change a Life."
Funds raised by the Smith College United Way campaign will be contributed to the Hampshire Community United Way (HCUW), which has set a goal of $2,000,001 for its campaign, which officially begins on Thursday, September 13. The county organization allocates funds to some 60 agencies and programs that help people in need in a variety of ways. Some of the recipients are the Red Cross, Amherst and Northampton survival centers, Jessie's House, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Girl Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Salvation Army and the YMCA.
An estimated one out of every four Hampshire County residents is affected by contributions to the United Way, according to the HCUW board of directors.
This year's Smith College United Way campaign, as usual, will include a campuswide fund drive that will award prizes to donors through a periodic lottery, including, for the first time, weekend stays in area hotels, plus an array of music recordings, books and gift certificates to local businesses.
For several decades, Smith has held a community-wide fundraising campaign for the United Way and in recent years, the college has accounted for a substantial portion of the total amount of funds raised by HCUW. In fact, with contributions totaling approximately 8 percent of the county's funds raised, Smith College is the second-largest contributor, surpassed only by the University of Massachusetts.
"There are a lot of very committed, very generous people in the Smith community who have identified the United Way as a cause worth donating their money to," says Sandra Doucett, director of corporate and foundation relations in advancement, and co-chair of Smith's United Way steering committee. For example, last year's campaign included 108 donations of $500 or more from Smith community members, Doucett says.
But she emphasizes that any donation, whether it be $1 a week or $10 a year, is appreciated. "However people can get started is a welcome way to change people's lives," she says. Smith employees can opt to contribute to United Way by designating a regular amount to be automatically deducted from their paychecks, Doucett points out. That option is included on the contribution solicitation.
In the wake of last year's controversy involving the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), in which the national organization's discriminatory policies were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Hampshire Community United Way board of directors voted last May to discontinue funding to the Great Trails Council, the regional chapter of the BSA, as of December 31, 2001. Therefore, beginning in 2002, the Great Trails Council will be ineligible to receive funding from the undesignated portion of campaign contributions. However, the group will continue to receive United Way contributions specifically designated by donors for that organization.
The Great Trails Council has typically received only about 1 percent of the HCUW's total allocation, according to the HCUW board of directors. "This means that 99 percent of the contributions benefit other agencies," reads a letter from the Smith campaign committee to former President Ruth Simmons last year. "These agencies would experience a severe curtailment of funding as a result of a decision by Smith to discontinue support for the United Way.
"We strongly agree that Smith must in no way condone discriminatory practices against any group," the letter continues. However, the committee feels that a protest against one group "can be accomplished without placing in serious jeopardy so many other critical community programs that support women, children, the elderly and other members of our community in need."
Smith community members will receive letters soon announcing the Smith College United Way campaign, which will continue into early December.
Soph Intern Applies What She's Learned
After a year of studying engineering as one of Smith's earliest Picker Program scholars, Meghan Flanagan '04 this past summer put some of her knowledge to work while picking up some valuable skills that she will likely need in the future.
As an intern with Daniel O'Connell and Sons, the construction company contracted by Smith to carry out the renovation and expansion of the fine arts complex, Flanagan participated in planning, surveying and overseeing blueprints for the project. "I'm being slowly exposed to a lot of stuff," she said in July.
Flanagan, who applied for the eight-week internship last year after hearing about it through the Picker Program, says her involvement in the project has been an eye-opener. "I didn't realize how many facets of work went into it," she says, noting the daunting coordination of subcontractors, the careful scheduling of each segment of construction and the millimetric specificity of measuring and planning. "I really had no idea of all that was involved. It's all totally new to me."
Flanagan has enjoyed learning how to survey, she says, a process by which distances, elevations and other topographical elements are calculated in preparation for architectural planning. She was charged with "shooting the numbers" -- surveying lingo, she explains-for Joe Borreck, the project's surveyor, on several occasions and helping to stake out building lots.
Now, as she drives along the highway, she will no longer wonder what's going on when she sees a surveyor peering through a surveyor's level on the side of the road. "You have these machines on tripodsnow I know what they are," she says.
So far, Flanagan has taken only courses that explore electrical and environmental engineering. She particularly enjoyed working on toy technology in her Introduction to Engineering course, she says. At this point, she's not sure what field she will pursue after college, though she's interested in civil and mechanical engineering.
If she happens to head in that direction, her internship will come in handy. Because of her summer experience with O'Connell and Sons, "I feel like I might be a step ahead when I go to find a job," she says. "I'll know what it's like out there. It'll be nice to know what all the numbers add up to."
For now, though, as she begins her sophomore year as a Picker Program scholar, she's keeping her interests broad by taking classes in theater, physics, music and art. That's, after all, one of the reasons she chose to attend Smith: for its strong academic offerings in the humanities coupled with an engineering program.
"It's neat to explore all these different things," she says.
Conference to Explore Art and Computers
Unless you book a flight to Paris and hoof it to the Louvre to take in da Vinci's Mona Lisa with your own eyes, it's likely that any duplicated image you see of t he artist's immortal painting will be dependent upon computer technology. If it hasn't been modified -- enhanced, cropped, brushed, highlighted, sharpened or copied by computers -- it's at least been transmitted digitally to a computer screen, and some form of computer alteration is common in many of today's images.
The advent of computer technology and its inevitable marriage with art has yielded a new hybrid: computer art, the hottest and hippest in modern art movements. Computers are involved in every aspect of today's art, from its creation and preparation to its distribution and presentation.
But artists and curators around the world are wondering where it will all lead. How far will computer science and art go? What does it mean to the future of art? Will the definition of art be changed forever? How will that change impact society?
On Saturday, September 22, leaders in art and technology will gather at Smith to explore these questions and more at "The Visual Arts in the Digital Age," a conference coordinated by the Smith College Museum of Art. The conference is sponsored by the Emily Hall Tremaine Fund and the Smith College Lecture Fund.
The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a welcome by Susan Bourque, provost and dean of the faculty, and an introduction by Suzannah Fabing, director and chief curator at the museum.
David A. Ross, director of the San Francisco Museum of Art, will follow with the conference keynote address, "What's My Job? Artists and Museums in the (Post) Mechanical Age."
Other morning talks include "Digital Age, Digital Art," by Lawrence Rinder, director of contemporary art at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and "Borderless -- From Micro to Macro," by Karim Rashid, a renowned industrial designer and award-winning artist.
Afternoon presentations are: "Digital Imaging in the Conservation Lab and in the Museum Gallery: The Case of Mondrian's Transatlantic Paintings," by Ron Spronk, associate curator for research at the Straus Center for Conservation, Harvard University art museums; "Re-Siting: How the Web Relates to DIA's Mission as an Institution," by Sara Tucker, digital media director for the DIA Center for the Arts in New York; "Do You Still Believe?" by contemporary art specialist Kathleen Cullen; "The Web of Collaboration: New Technologies and New Opportunities," by Jennifer Trant, executive director of the Art Museum Image Consortium; and "Streaming Images, Teaching Technologies," by Dana Leibsohn, assistant professor of art at Smith.
Registration is required to attend "The Visual Arts in the Digital Age." To register, consult www.smith.edu/artmuseum/ symposium or send email to email@example.com.
Smith As Community Contributor
Smith College does not generally provide financial support to other organizations since the college, too, relies on gifts to support its program and capital needs. However, once in a while, when an organization fills an important educational need in the community or provides the college, its faculty and students with services that wouldn't otherwise be available, Smith makes a financial contribution to that organization.
For example, the college's most recent contributions were $7,000 to the final phase of the Northampton Community Music Center renovation, and $25,000 to the final phase of the Forbes Library renovation. NCMC is particularly important to the community because it provides supplemental music education that the local public-school system cannot.
In recent years, Smith has also contributed
funds for the construction of a new fire station; an expansion
of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital; a major renovation project
at Northampton High School; improvements to Elm Street designed
to increase pedestrian, bicyle and automobile safety; and the
purchase of a heat-imaging device for the city's fire department.
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).
Dunn Garden Dedication
New Libraries Web Site
S.O.S. Sweater Sale
Disability Services Jobs
Lyman Conservatory Renovations
Museum of Art Information
Faculty and Staff
Photograph the Poets
S.O.S. House Reps Training
Study Skills Workshops
Nina Rothchild Fund
International Study Meeting
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 17
Meeting Amnesty International
Language lunch tables French, Italian. Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room A, B
Computer science TA lunch table Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room C
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Tuesday, September 18
SGA Senate meeting Open forum. All students welcome. 7:15 p.m., Seelye 201
Keystone Bible Study Fellowship 4-6 p.m., Wright Common Room
Meeting Newman Association.
Language lunch tables Chinese, German. Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room A, B (alternate weekly)
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Wednesday, September 19
Lecture "Cyclic and Linear Time in Early India." Romila Thapar, visiting Kahn fellow, will speak on the religious history of India. Part of the Kahn Institute project, "Religious Tolerance and Intolerance in Ancient and Modern Worlds." (See story, page 1.) Reception follows. 5 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
Meeting MassPIRG. 7 p.m., Seelye 101
Buddhist meditation and discussion. 7:15 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Chapel
ECC Bible study Student-led
weekly discussion of topics raised by the Sunday morning worship
community. Snacks provided. All welcome.
Classics lunch Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room C
President's open hours First come, first served. 4-5 p.m., College Hall 20
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Social events coordinator dinner 5:45 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room C
S.O.S. dinner 5:45 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room A
Thursday, September 20
Informational meeting on Anthropology 242J, Andean Amazonian Spirituality and In-Situ Biodiversity, the January interterm 2002 program in biocultural diversity in the Peruvian high Amazon. Open to Five College students. For more information, consult www.smith.edu/anthro/peru/regeneration.html. 4 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room
Meeting for juniors and seniors planning to apply to health profession schools. The Board of Pre-Health Advisers will provide information on admission exams, application procedures and services, and other topics. 5 p.m., Burton 101
S.O.S. training session Mandatory for S.O.S. house representatives. Meet other house reps and the S.O.S. board, and learn about this year's S.O.S. events. Dinner provided. For more information, call the S.O.S. office, ext. 2756. 6 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Chapel
Meeting Smith TV. 7 p.m., Media Resources Center
Intervarsity prayer meeting 7-10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, Chapel
Language lunch tables Korean, Russian. Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room A, B (alternate weekly)
Glee Club lunch table Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room C
Friday, September 21
Open discussion "Globalization and Community Activism." Nancy Naples, sociology professor, University of California-Irvine; and several Kahn fellows. Part of the conference, "Global Movements, Local Resistances: Community, Identity and Social Change," of the Kahn Institute project "From Local to Global: Community Activism in the New Millennium." (See story, page 1.) 4 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room*
Language lunch table Hebrew. Noon, Duckett Special Dining Room C
Symposium Dinner to open "The Visual Arts in the Digital Age." (See 9/22 listing). Registration required. For more information, consult www.smith.edu/artmuseum/symposium. 6 p.m., Alumnae House
Saturday, September 22
Panel discussion "Art and Activism." Artist Amie Dowling, playwright Deborah Lubar, and others. Part of the "Global Movements, Local Resistances: Community, Identity and Social Change" conference of the Kahn Institute project "From Local to Global: Community Activism in the New Millennium." (See story, page 1.) 10 a.m., Seelye 201
Panel discussion "Activism and the Academy." Part of the "Global Movements, Local Resistances: Community, Identity and Social Change" conference of the "From Local to Global: Community Activism in the New Millennium" project of the Kahn Institute. (See story, page 1.) 2 p.m., Seelye 201
Sunday, September 23
Meeting Gaia, for students interested in the environment. 5:45 p.m., Chapin
Meeting Feminists of
Quaker (Friends) meeting for worship. Preceded by informal discussion at 9:30 a.m. All welcome, childcare available. 11 a.m., Bass 203, 204*
Roman Catholic Mass Dinner follows in Bodman Lounge. All who would like to sing in the Sunday choir, please arrive at 3:30 p.m. All welcome. 4:30 p.m., Chapel*
Intervarsity Prayer Meeting 9-10 p.m., Chapel
The Henry L. Seaver Collections: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Henry L. Seaver's Stunning Bequest Through December. Mortimer Rare Book Room vestibule, Neilson Library, third floor*
Paradise Gate A site-specific architectural sculpture made of natural materials by North Carolina sculptor Patrick Dougherty, which will remain on campus all year. Sponsors: Smith College Museum of Art; Botanic Garden. Burton Lawn*
The Journey Not the Arrival: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906-2001 An exhibition of rare materials from special collections, chronicling the life of the aviator, author and 1928 Smith graduate. Through October 31. Neilson Library, Morgan Gallery (entrance corridor) and third floor*
Linear Dimensions Recent figurative works, including paintings, drawing and sculptures, by Eileen Kane '67. Through Oct. 31. Alumnae House Gallery*