September 4, 2001
'Telling Our Stories' highlights history
By Stephanie Sonnenfeld email@example.com
Back for its third year, the Womens Centers Telling
Our Stories event is spotlighting its first-ever staff participants.
Marion Dearing, executive assistant to President Bill Chace, and Catherine
Howett Smith, associate director and director of academic services at
the Carlos Museum, will share their life experiences on Tuesday, Sept.
11, at Miller-Ward Alumni House, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Though the topics of conversation between the two women wont be
known until they sit down and begin chatting, Womens Center Director
Ali Crown said mothersand daughtersand the bonds between the
two will surely be a main theme.
The rest is up to Dearing and Howett Smith.
The format of the program is simple and personal: The two speakers sit
in armchairs in front of the group and have an impromptu chat about their
lives. To me, the intimacy and interplay were important. I wanted
the audience to get the feeling that we were sitting in [the speakers]
living room, eavesdropping on them, Crown said.
Telling Our Stories began in 1999 with Rebecca Chopp, former
provost, and Johnnetta Cole, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology,
Womens Studies, and African-American Studies. Last year it featured
Patricia Hudgins, professor of radiology and otolaryngology, and Suzie
Tindall, recently retired professor of neurological surgery.
Crown and Patti Owen-Smith, a psychology professor at Oxford, said they
had seen programs similar to Telling Our Stories presented
at various universities and professional conferences, but they had to
mull over the perfect venue and presentation for such and event at Emory.
Now with the success of the program, Crown said shed love to see
Telling Our Stories become a biannual event, with spring and
Telling Our Stories has many purposes, Crown added. It allows
for women from all parts of campus to come together to connect, as well
as hear a part of modern womens history. When we tell these
stories, we really live them, and they become more of a part of us,
she said. Those listening come to know those things we share as
women, and also how we differ. We even are able to understand how life
events have helped to make us who we are.
The success of previous Telling Our Stories programs is testimony
that people desire a personal element in their day-to-day interactions
with each other, said Owen-Smith. Too seldom in the academy and
in institutions outside the academy do we honor and give credibility to
the personal nature of peoples lives, she said.
The event will be videotaped and archived at the Womens Center
and in Woodruff Librarys Special Collections. This year, there are
plans to post a video of the program on the Womens Centers
Cost for Telling Our Stories, which includes a three-course dinner, is $23 and reservations must be made by Sept. 6. For more information, call 404-727-2001 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.