Newsletters

Newsletter Fall 2000

Volume 6, Number 1

AWF Executive Board Activities

The Association of Women Faculty (AWF) and the Academic Women’s Network (AWN) have recently initiated a faculty exchange at board meetings. AWN, which was organized in 1990 by women faculty at the School of Medicine, was active in encouraging and supporting women faculty on the Danforth Campus in their early efforts to form AWF. This new faculty exchange at meetings helps further our mutual goals of promoting professional and social interactions among academic women faculty. President-elect Susan Rotroff, Classics, will represent us at the next AWN meeting and we welcomed Nancy Baenziger, PhD, Anatomy and Neurobiology, at our board meeting on September 27. We will also exchange newsletters. Additionally, we have an annual joint dinner to be held this year on November 15. For more details, please see the section on Meeting and Events on Campus. Since this is our only joint function during the year, we hope most of you will be able to attend.

The members of the executive board complete much of their work through committees. At present, our committees are as follows:

  • Brown Bags: Alison Wylie
  • Childcare and Family Responsive Policies: Mané Lagos
  • Mentoring: Fatemeh Keshavarz
  • Nominations: Rebecca Copeland
  • Non-tenure Track Faculty: Virginia Marcus
  • Publications: Angela Miller

If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, please contact the chair or Vivian Pollak.

Committee Reports:

Brown Bag Lunches

Alison Wylie

The first Fall AWF Brown Bag Lunch is to be on the subject of Teaching Practice on October 23 at noon in Hurst Lounge in Duncker Hall. Akiko Tsuchiya will convene this discussion.

Future Brown Bag Luncheons are currently under discussion. In the spring, we will have our annual Brown Bag Lunch with Washington University women administrators (WABBL). We also plan to have at least one of our meetings scheduled for the late afternoon, in an effort to accommodate those whose schedules prevent attendance at noon meetings. As always, we welcome suggestions. If you have an idea for a future Brown Bag Luncheon or Afternoon Meeting, please contact Alison Wylie.

Nominating Committee

Rebecca Copeland

The new AWF board consists of the following: Vivian Pollak (President), Susan Rotroff (President-Elect), Fatemeh Keshavarz (Past president), Sally Goldman (Secretary), and Rebecca Copeland, JoEllen Lewis, Angela Miller, Akiko Tsuchiya, and Alison Wylie as councilors-at-large. If any AWF member would like to be nominated to the board, or know of someone who should be nominated to the board, please inform Rebecca Copeland.

Non-tenure Track Faculty

Jo Ellen Lewis

Ginger Marcus, senior lecturer and coordinator of the Japanese language section in the ANELL department, will be chairing the Non-Tenure Track Committee this academic year. Ginger has been an active member of the Non-Tenure Track Committee for the past four years and has taught at the university since 1985. In addition to teaching Japanese, Ginger was recently elected an executive member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Teachers of Japanese.

Ginger plans to continue with the work that the Non-Tenure Track Committee did last year involving identifying concerns of AWF members, identifying possible solutions to such concerns and evaluating “best Practices” examples at other universities that are similar to Washington University.

We thank Ginger for agreeing to assume this important role.

Related News

Mané Lagos (Romance Languages) reports that the University Committee on Child Care, chaired by Richard Roloff, has been meeting regularly throughout the summer and fall and very soon will be sending recommendations to the chancellor.

Website

Sally Goldman (Engineering) who serves double duty as our AWF secretary and our web keeper, writes: “Check out the new AWF web page at http://artsci.wustl.edu/~awf. Please send any suggestions you have. I hope to expand the “Links” page. To do this, I need suggestions from AWF members.

Member News

Rebecca Copeland (ANELL) completed her study of late 19th-century women writers, which was published this June by the University of Hawaii Press under the title Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan.

Mary Jean Cowell (Performing Arts) has been elected to a three-year term on the National Board of the American College Dance Festival Association and to a two-year term as vice president of the Missouri Dance Educators Organization.

Mary Ann Dzuback (Education) is presenting a paper entitled “Academic Women and Professional Power: Passing the Torch” for a panel on “Educating the Next Generation: Women Professionals as Role Models in Twentieth-Century America” at the History of Education Society in San Antonio in October 2000.

Prurient Interests: Gender, Democracy, and Obscenity in New York City, 1909-1945 by Andrea Friedman, History and Women’s Studies, was published by Columbia University Press this summer.

Naseem Hines (ANELL) participated in the Eighth Conference on Early Literature in New Indo-Aryan Languages, which was held August 23-25 in Leuven, Belgium. She presented a paper on the 14th-century Sûfî text, Cândâyan, composed in Avadhî (the easternmost dialect of Hindi) by Maulânâ Dâ’ûd. Naseem is presently preparing an English translation of this text, which belongs to a genre of medieval Hindi literature generally known as “Literary Allegorical Romance.” Her work on Cândâyan is complicated by the fact that the modern editions of the text are printed in Devanâgarî, leading to the corruption of the earlier manuscript, which was in a Perso-Arabic script. While undertaking this translation, Naseem is also working to restore the text to its original form. To do so, she must first locate these earliest manuscripts.

Melissa Jonson-Reid (Brown School) received a large federal grant to conduct a longitudinal study of public sector service paths and outcomes for neglected children and their families. The grant period is for three years and is jointly funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Justice and the Office of Education. Recent publications include the lead article in volume 22 of Children and Youth Services Review, entitled “From placement to prison: The path to adolescent incarceration from child welfare supervised foster or group care.”

Fatemeh Keshavarz (ANELL) with the help of colleagues in the Program on Comparative Literature, organized the workshop “Middle Eastern Literature and the World: Literary Encounters,” which was held at Washington University from October 6 to 8. The workshop, which brought seven nationally and internationally acclaimed scholars of Middle Eastern Literatures in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish to campus, allowed for the exploration of other literary traditions. In addition to panels and presentations, there was a small music and poetry celebration on Saturday, featuring performances by graduate students as well as faculty.

Mané Lagos (Romance Languages and Literatures) presented a paper at the 50th International Congress of Americanists in Warsaw, Poland this past July. Her presentation was entitled, “Saga familiar a dos voces: La casa del lago de Rosario Ferré.” She also had an article published, “Deconstrucción del estereotipo hispánico en narraciones de Julia Alvarez, Cristina Garcia y Esmeralda Santiago” in Studies in Honor of Myron Lichtblau, ed. Fernando Burgos. Newark: Juan de la Cuesta, 2000. 195-214.

Elizabeth Oyler (ANELL) spent a very productive summer researching the14th-century war tale, “The Tale of the Heike,” in Japan, thanks to generous funding from a Grimm Traveling Fellowship. In between reading and making copies of materials difficult to obtain in the US, she also had the rare opportunity to attend a private performance of biwa (lute) balladry. Among the pieces performed was one that she is presently studying. Late in August, she presented the first stages of her summer research at the European Association of Japanese Studies conference in Lahti, Finland, which provided a fantastic opportunity to get feedback on her work from the well-established community of scholars of Japanese literature in Europe.

Vivian Pollak (English) published her book The Erotic Whitman (University of California Press, simultaneous paper and hardback) in August. Presently, Vivian is at work on a new project called American Women Poets Reading Dickinson. She’ll be doing a presentation of one of the chapters at the Modern Language Association meeting in Washington, D.C., in December and also at a meeting of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers in San Antonio in mid-February. [Editor’s note: for a brief excerpt from The Erotic Whitman, consult The Record (October 9, 2000):7.]

Honors and Awards

Linda Nicholson Installed as the first Susan E. and William P. Stiritz Distinguished Professor of Women Studies

By Rebecca Copeland

Linda Nicholson (Women’s Studies and History) was installed as the first Susan E. and William P. Stiritz Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies on October 3, 2000. The ceremony, which was held in Holmes Lounge, provided a rare opportunity for women’s studies faculty members and supporters to celebrate their accomplishments. Following brief remarks by Chancellor Mark Wrighton and Chancellor Emeritus William Danforth, William and Susan Stiritz, the benefactors of this new professorship, spoke on the importance of women’s studies. Special mention was made of the important work that Joyce Treblicot and Helen Power have contributed to the development of women’s studies at Washington University. Susan Stiritz, who is presently completing her dissertation in English literature at Washington University, acknowledged the significant mentoring she has received from Helen and from English Department faculty members Mirian Bailin, Guinn Batten, Erin Mackie and from Andrea Friedman, who holds a joint appointment in History and Women’s Studies.

After the Stiritzes’ splendid endorsement of women’s studies at Washington University, Linda Nicholson treated the audience to a gracious, entertaining and poignant address entitled “Continuity and Change.” Using the motif of a tapestry, she described the many threads that had been woven through her life to create the person and the scholar that she is today.

We congratulate Linda on her installation and look forward to adding new weaves and textures to her tapestry!

Patty Jo Watson, the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished Professor of Anthropology (Arts & Sciences) received the Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award. The award was announced on April 15, 2000, during the Chancellor’s Gala, and the ceremony conferring the award took place September 26. The award, which was inaugurated last year, recognizes outstanding academic accomplishments and service and is bestowed upon two faculty members annually: one from the Danforth Campus and the other from the School of Medicine. This year, the School of Medicine recipient was Carl Frieden, PhD, the Alumni Endowed Professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the School of Medicine. The School of Medicine award, the Carl and Gerty Cori Faculty Achievement Award, is named in honor of Nobel laureates in Physiology/ Medicine in the 1940s. The Arthur Holly Compton Award honors the 1927 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics.

As reported in The Record, criteria for selection are: Outstanding achievement in research and scholarship; recognized prominence within the community of scholars; service and dedication to the betterment of the university; and respected accomplishments in teaching.

Watson, who joined the faculty in 1969, is renowned for her pathbreaking work in cave archaeology and her interdisciplinary scientific contributions to an understanding of North American prehistory. Much of her work has examined the origins of agriculture, both in the Near East and North America.

Author of nearly 100 scientific articles and numerous highly regarded books, Watson’s most influential publications are two books on her Mammoth Cave research, two on archaeological theory and articles on procedures she has developed for recovering charred botanical remains from archaeological sites.

She is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Barbara Anna Schaal, Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences and Professor of Genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine, will be named Spencer T. Olin Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences. A formal installation will be held in the spring.

After earning a PhD in population biology from Yale University in 1974, she joined the faculty of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in 1980 as associate professor of biology and was named full professor in 1986. As Dean Edward Macias reported in his email to the Arts and Sciences faculty:

“Professor Schaal’s research investigates the evolutionary process within plant populations using a wide variety of techniques, from field observations to quantitative genetics and molecular biology. Schaal . . . is known for applying molecular genetic techniques to the study of plant evolution. Current research projects in her lab, many in collaboration with students from the Missouri Botanical Garden, span the range from molecular evolution of specific DNA sequences to higher level systematics and analysis of developmental patterns.”

AWF Members in Quotations

Contributed by Rebecca Copeland

“The thing that struck me is how much he seems to think one sex’s gain is another sex’s loss, and it’s a battle of the sexes.”

Lodged between an article on barbecue champions and crossword puzzles, the Everyday Section of the Post-Dispatch (Sunday, October 8, 2000) carried a review of Lionel Tiger’s controversial book The Decline of Males: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women (St Martin’s Griffin). Tiger argues, as the title suggests, that men are being shortchanged by recent trends providing women special advantages and that this new world order threatens man’s very survival. John McGuire, the author of the review, interviewed Helen Power for a response to Tiger’s claims. With typical equilibrium and calm restraint, Power recommended that pundits and academics consider the fact that not all sexual difference is biologically determined. “If men are biologically geared to rape, why does culture seem to intervene?” Power asked, after citing alarming statistics that place the USA above all other developed nations in the number of rapes per capita. “If people like Tiger condemn feminists for not looking at biological and sexual differences, some biologists could be criticized because they do not look at cultural differences.” Hold that, Tiger!

Meetings and Events on Campus

Second Fall 2000 Feminist Reading Group Meeting

Faculty and graduate students are invited to the second feminist reading group of the 2000-2001 season, scheduled for Thursday, November 2, 2000, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hurst Lounge, Dunker Hall, room 201. The discussion will be on “Female Masculinity” by Judith Halberstam (Duke University Press, 1998). The facilitator for this meeting will be Professor Andrea Friedman. Copies of the book are available at Left Bank Books, 399 North Euclid.

For further information, please contact the Women’s Studies Office at 314-935-5102 or send an email to women@artsci.wustl.edu.

Acts of Writing: Japanese Language and the Construction of Identities in Japanese Literature

The members of the Japanese literature faculty at Washington University, Rebecca Copeland, Marvin Marcus and Elizabeth Oyler, will host the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Association of Japanese Literary Studies on the Washington University campus November 10-12. The conference will feature twenty-three paper presentations by distinguished scholars in the field of Japanese literature. Given the topic of this year’s conference, many of the papers will concern issues of gender, sexuality and nationalism and may be of interest to AWF members, all of whom are warmly encouraged to attend. The conference will be held in Anheuser-Busch Hall, room 401, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon. For more information, contact Rebecca Copeland (copeland@artsci) or visit our webpage http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~ajls/.

Annual AWF/AWN Dinner

Dinner at Talayna’s will be at 310 DeBaliviere with the medical school faculty (AWN) at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 15. Please mark your calendars. There will be an Italian buffet. Also, please note that if you are coming from Washington University, it is not possible to make a left turn onto DeBaliviere from Lindell. Consider taking Delmar instead. It’s about a five-minute ride from campus. Once at the restaurant, there is ample parking. Some people think they have the best pizza in town! Look for an e-mail with further details (such as the cost of the meal, which will be moderate) closer to the time.

Kate Chopin on Stage

The Performing Arts Department will be presenting Henry Schvey’s original stage adaptation of Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” in honor of the 150th anniversary of her birth. This classic feminist text, directed by Annamaria Pileggi, will be offered as a staged reading in the A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre from January 25-28, 2001. Contact Henry Schvey if you are interested in finding out more information, auditioning for the reading or in buying tickets for the performances.

Conferences of Note

The 22nd Annual Conference of the National Women’s Studies Association will be held June 13-17, 2001 in Minneapolis, Minn. The conference is hosted by the Department of Women’s Studies in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. The goal of the conference is to discuss the ways women studies should engage the 21st century. “How will women’s studies resist, complicate and/or make use of [the] possibly liberatory or lethal forces [of the 21st century]? How will these cultural and material forces reshape our institutional spaces, community connections, and intellectual and political work?” These issues will be addressed through four plenary sessions. Presently, the conference organizers are accepting proposals for papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, posters, research cafes and discipline review panels. For more information contact Beatrice Thompson, NWSA, PO Box 408259, Chicago, IL 60640. Email: beathompson@prodigy.net Website: www.nwsa.org/nwsa2001

A note on the AWF News Editors

Rebecca Copeland, Fatemeh Keshavarz, and Angela Miller are responsible for editing and producing this issue of the AWF News. If you have items that you would like to publish in the spring issue, please send them to one of the above. Deadlines will be announced in the spring.