Crossing boundaries is
Women's History Month theme

Despite the sometimes formidable obstacles facing them, women continue crossing boundaries, as next month's similarly named Women's History Month theme asserts.

From a showcase of the University's own female trio of staff photographers to an exploration of women moving through the North American punk subculture of the 1990s, Emory's annual celebration of women that begins on March 2 promises a rich and diverse schedule of events.

"As always, we tried to involve as many of the visual arts as possible and as many divisions of the University as possible," said Ali Crown, director of the Women's Center. Brenda Bynum, affiliate artist in Theatre Studies, is developing a performance piece of the poetry of Wislawa Szymborska, the 1996 Nobel Prize-winning poet. Said Bynum, "I didn't know about Wislawa Szymborska until she won the Nobel Prize. I found her poetry very, very moving and exhilarating."

During "As Plain as the Stone of a Plum: The Poetry of Wislawa Szymborska," the poet's work will be read in Polish, in English and by the author herself, courtesy of a recording Bynum has secured. Those interested in participating in the March 25 event should contact Bynum at 727-8020.

Rebecca Walker, daughter of novelist Alice Walker and now a well-known activist in her own right, will speak March 4 on "Being Real: Women and Men Tell the Truth and Change the Face of Feminism." "Walker is a woman who herself has crossed boundaries in the work she's done," said Crown. Shortly after graduating from college, she formed the Third Wave Direct Action Core, which crisscrossed the country registering inner city residents to vote. To date, the group has registered 200,000 people.

To cross other boundaries, some women have had to "dress as or pretend to be men to get anywhere in society," said Crown. Two lectures look at cross gender issues: "Dressing Up in Daddy's Suits: Cross-Dressing Women Refashion Gender in the U.S.," (March 20) by Gayle V. Fischer, a University of Georgia professor; and "Transgender: Minding the Body or Embodying the Mind," (March 26) by Erin Swenson, a female Presbyterian minister ordained as the male Eric Swenson.

"Womenspirit, World Spirit: A Gathering," the annual interdenominational ceremony at Cannon Chapel, "is a beautiful service in the middle of the month that takes in a lot of different traditions of women's spirituality," said Crown. Other worship services include Columbia University Chaplain Jewelnel Davis on March 2; Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Methodist Church of Ghana, on March 9; and Chung Hyunkyong of Union Theological Seminary on March 16.

Rounding out the month are a master dance class and lecture with The Plainsmen, a Native American dance troupe, and a workshop titled "Expanding Our Boundaries and Reclaiming Our Power." A full schedule events for "Women Crossing Boundaries" is available from the Women's Center.

-Stacey Jones

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