Emory's celebration of Women's History Month during the month of March will feature a variety of events "to honor the foremothers who broke through the boundaries," according to Ali P. Crown, director of the Women's Center.
This year, the Women's History Month Committee has selected "The Physical Woman" as the month's theme. "With the eyes of the world focused on Atlanta and sports for the 1996 Olympics, many groups are turning their attention to a celebration of women in sports. At the ancient Olympic Games, women were excluded both from watching and participating in events," Crown said. "Throughout history, however, women have managed to include athletics in their lives. In sports--as in other areas--women always have found a way to move outside the limitations imposed on them."
While the month is laden with a myriad of scholarly, physical and spiritual pursuits that celebrate the strength and collective diversity of women, much attention has centered on keynote speaker Naomi Wolf, who will speak on March 28. Wolf, an author, feminist and social critic, is best known for her books The Beauty Myth and Fire with Fire: The New Female Power and How It Will Change the Twenty-first Century. "Wolf's current writing takes a historical overview of how female desire has been understood in different cultures throughout time," said Crown. "In her talk, titled `Promiscuities: Reinvisioning Female Desire and a New Sexual Ethic,' she promises a new understanding of female desire for the modern world, one that is both genuinely liberating and deeply ethical." Wolf will speak at 8 p.m. in the Winship Ballroom of Dobbs Center.
Other events throughout the month encompass images of women with disabilities, examine the history and politics of 20th century women's sports, and explore the use of the body through a classicist's scholarship and in a workshop on self-awareness through movement.
A forum titled "The Freak and the Beauty: American Rituals of Embodiment" will take place at 4 p.m. on March 4 in 355 Dobbs Center; another forum titled "The Disruptive Power of Women Athletes: Race, Sexuality and Representation in Women's Sport" will be held at noon on March 5 in 355 Dobbs Center. Classicist Page DuBois will speak on "The Slave Body" at 4 p.m. on March 1 in the Reception Hall of the Carlos Museum.
Other events include a colloquium with poet Gwendolyn Brooks at 2 p.m. on March 19 in Candler Library, followed by a reading, booksigning and reception at 7 p.m. in Winship Ballroom. A performance by the Emory Dance Company titled "Watching the Dance Go By: Modern Dances of the Past and Present," will take place at noon on March 21 in the Museum's Reception Hall.
Ongoing events include "Atlanta's Women's Shelters: A Personal Look," a month-long service project providing an opportunity for volunteers to serve at a metro Atlanta women's shelter. Those interested should contact Volunteer Emory at 727-6268.
"The significance of National Women's History Month is the role it plays in the importance of individual women in our past history," Crown said. "Everyone benefits--women have been written out of literature, and we're trying to put them back in. It gives young women the power to do what they need to do because they have a past to celebrate."
-- Danielle Service