Emory Report

September 25, 2000

 Volume 53, No.5

Reconciliation Symposium

Karen Poremski is coordinator of the Reconciliation Symposium

"Commercialization of the Academy," Saturday, Jan. 27, 9:30­11:30 a.m.; facilitated by Donald Stein, Candler Professor of Psychobiology, Emergency Medicine and Neurology.The main purpose of this session is to address the impact of the commercialization of academic research and scholarship on higher education and academic freedom. Who will be speaking on the panel?

Eyal Press, co-author of "The Kept University" (Atlantic Monthly, March 2000) will give a paper, and then we'll have three responses from Emory faculty members who are particularly well-suited to the discussion of these issues: James Fowler, Candler Professor of Theology and Human Development and Director of the Center for Ethics; David Blake, vice president for academic health affairs; and Lanny Liebeskind, Dobbs Professor of Organic Chemistry and chair of the Chemistry department.

What kinds of questions and issues are at stake in this panel? How are they connected to the work we do at Emory?

We'll try to answer the question of how we reconcile the growing trend to commercialize all aspects of intellectual activity with academic freedom and traditional academic values.

The questions involving research are many: What type of research should the university support-only that which creates a product or reaps a profit? What is considered proprietary, and what is in the public domain?

While research is most obviously connected to issues of funding, we should note that teaching is not immune to commercialization, especially if we consider it a commodity that can be sold-for example, over the Internet. Is a course outline or syllabus intellectual property? How much can a source of funding affect the ways we train graduate students?

The commercialization of academic life has serious implications for how we create and sustain intellectual community-at Emory and elsewhere.

Reconciliation, Sexuality and Gender: Poetics, Politics, and Pragmatics, Friday, Jan. 26, 3:15­5:15 p.m.; facilitated by Frances Smith Foster, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women's Studies and director of the Institute for Women's Studies.

What do you hope this session will accomplish?

The panel seeks to help us think-again-about what we believe about sexuality and gender, why we believe it, and how our actions correspond with our beliefs.

Who will be speaking?

Members of various neighborhoods of the Emory community whose professional work experience has made them particularly sensitive to and cognizant of issues of gender and sexuality: Pamela Epps, associate director of training for the Emory counseling center and adjunct professor of psychology; Jim Grimsley, senior resident fellow in creative writing whose second novel, Dream Boy, won the American Library Association's Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Award for Literature; Jennifer Hirsch, assistant professor of international health and coordinator of the Emory AIDS International Training and Research program; Mark Jordan, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion whose publication The Silence of Sodom: (Homosexuality in Modern Catholics continues a series of works on the history of Christian teachings on sex; and Mary Odem, associate professor of women's studies and history, who specializes in the history of sexuality and multicultural approaches to history and women's studies.

The format of this session will be a bit different from the other symposium panels; how will you proceed?

Rather than give papers, the panelists will participate in a conversation. They will briefly present issues they wish to raise individually, answer questions posed to them, then address as a group three main questions: What is going on? In what context and to what extent? So what?

What kinds of questions and issues are at stake in this panel?

Questions of sexuality and gender and their impact on our lives loom large on a university campus, where the identity formation of students is intimately involved with such questions, and where emotion and myth are, if not supplanted by, at least joined with logic, imagination, and research.

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