Concordia saves money through joint purchase

New financial software bought with McGill


[Dy combining its purchasing L ) power with that of McGill Uni- versity, Concordia has made a substantial saving in its acquisition of financial information systems soft- ware.

The new system, called SCT Ban- ner 2000, has been bought from Systems and Computer Technology Corp., based in Philadelphia, for about $3 million, with an option to buy a student information system at a preferred rate from SCT when need- ed.

The entire deal, which saw McGill acquiring new financial and student information systems from SCT, was for $14 million over a five-year

African families

Economist Dan Otchere says the extended family system is

holding development back.

Page 2


Etudes frangaises’ Paul Bandia is starting a massive project on

sub-Saharan translation.

Page 3

Women's work

The Simone de Beauvoir Institute celebrates two

decades with prizes.

Page 6


implementation period.

Rector Frederick Lowy hailed the cooperative venture as advantageous for everybody. “The new system gives us the financial tools for the future,” he said. “Our two institutions will continue to work together on projects of mutual benefit, while pursuing our own institutional goals.”

Chief Financial Officer Larry English said, “A long period of con- sultation went into this decision. This system will ensure that the peo- ple making decisions have the information they need. It will result in better central control, planning, monitoring and analysis of our resources, and make it easier to inte- grate financial information into the World Wide Web.”

Work by little-known Canadian photographer discovered in Scotland

The new system replaces CUFS (Concordia University Financial Sys- tem), which had been in place for eight years, and has a history of prob- lems related to use and access. Larry Tansey, Manager of Processes, Sys- tems and Policies, says all this will change for the better.

“CUES was really ’60s technolo- gy,” Tansey said. “With this new system, everyone at Concordia will have much better access to informa- tion. Researchers will be able to track their grant money, for example, and managers can find out whether cheques have cleared.”

English, Tansey and others had been looking for a new financial sys- tem for Concordia for some time.

See Financial, p. 11


Archives provides expertise for project


chance meeting at a dépanneur

last fall led to a happy collabora-

tion between a group of academic

researchers and Concordia’s own Archives Department.

When Photography Professor

Katherine Tweedie ran into Archives

Director Nancy Marrelli last fall, the two women started talking about Tweedie’s summer trip to Scotland. She and two colleagues had been looking at and scanning about 1,000 vintage prints by a neglected Canadi- an photographer, Margaret Watkins, when a collector showed them 3,500 negatives and contact prints.

Trying to scan every one of them onto her laptop in only three weeks was a hopeless task. Fortunately, the collector generously allowed Tweedie to bring the negatives and contact prints back to Canada to fin- ish the job.

Marrelli’s professional instincts were aroused. She offered to provide the researchers with storage space, a place for student assistants to work, and guidance on organizing and pre- serving the material.

Watkins’ life followed the some- what melancholy trajectory of many middle-class women of her time. She was born in 1884 in Hamilton, where her Scottish-immigrant father ran a dry-goods store.

Around the age of 30, Watkins studied photography at the Clarence H. White School. Later in New York, she taught at the school and had a career as an established photog- rapher, exhibiting in many artistic venues. To augment her teaching salary, she worked in the top ranks of advertising. Her work from this peri- od, remarkable for its modernity, is increasingly being shown in galleries.

In 1929, Watkins moved to Glas- gow and dropped out of the stimulating relationship she had between the art world and industry.

She travelled widely at first, notably to Germany, France and Russia, and took many photographs there and down at the Glasgow docks. The war of 1939-1945 prevented her from returning to Canada, and she retreated into quiet seclusion. She died in 1969.

Tweedie and her colleagues, Mary O’Connor of McMaster University, and Lori Pauli, assistant curator of photography at the National Gallery of Canada succeeded in obtaining a SSHRC grant to produce a book with a CD-ROM on the cultural sig- nificance of Margaret Watkins’ life and work.

“She was an amateur archivist her- self,” Tweedie said admiringly, as she fingered Watkins’ little envelopes, many bearing the photographer's own notes. “She annotated everything.” Tweedie is delighted to have Archives’ help, and considers it highly appropriate that the University’s tech- nical expertise is being put to scholarly use.

While she and Nancy Marrelli supervise the work of four student and external volunteers on the stor- age of the negatives, her colleagues are dealing with Watkins’ manu- scripts and letters. They hope to produce the results of their research by the year 2000.


Extended families drain potential investment, says economist Dan Otchere

Is Africa being crippled by its cultural value system?


or years, Economics Professor

Dan Otchere has been studying graphs and other economic indica- tors charting the downhill course of African economies. Now the Ghanaian-born economist thinks policy planners seeking to solve Africa’s economic puzzle should take a hard look at its ancient culture to obtain the missing link.

Otchere says an understanding of the culture-economy nexus in Africa may be the key to solving the devel- opmental problems that have plagued the continent for decades.

“Culture means a lot more to the average African than any other aspect of society,” Otchere said. “If this is true, can we establish a con- nection between economic growth, standards of living and culture? I’m trying to examine that relationship, which appears to work in other areas like the Asia-Pacific region, but fails to do so in Africa.”

Otchere holds a PhD in economic development and monetary econom- ics. He makes no claims to being a specialist in linking culture and eco- nomic development, but the economic problems of Africa have never ceased to intrigue him.

“The dismal performance of African economies since indepen- dence [in the 1960s] has baffled me a lot,” Otchere said. “I am so sur- prised at the slow economic growth

of these countries in spite of the improved quality of life available elsewhere.”

African countries seem unable to translate economic growth into eco- nomic development. There has been some economic growth, expressed in quantitative increases in the gross domestic product (a measure of a country’s annual production of goods and services), but improvements in areas like education and health have been impeded not only by inflation and rapid population growth, but also by cultural problems.

Otchere said that almost all of the cultural problems stem from the extended family system, a network of obligation that spreads far beyond the nuclear family of the mother, the father and their children to include grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and in-laws.

The extended-family system has obvious social benefits, but in terms of economic growth, it leads to heavy dependence on a single breadwinner, who may be expected to support many relatives. This expenditure drains the breadwinner’s savings, capital which could have gone into the banking system to generate eco- nomic growth.

Most of this financial support goes into consumption, because of the dearth of investment opportunities on the continent. Indeed, much of the money leaves Africa altogether.

“As a result of the extended-family system, the tax base of the society

Professor Dan Otchere with student Kofi Akosah-Sarpong


becomes smaller,” Otchere said. “This puts a burden on governments, causing deficits, inflation and curren- cy devaluation.”

Otchere said the way out of the cycle is to take a non-sentimental look at the extended-family system. The McGill-trained economist said he is not the first to point to the cul- ture-economics link, but African politicians and policy-makers have failed to take notice, and will find it hard to legislate against negative cul- tural practices.

He is quick to point out that he does not advocate a wholesale jetti- son of African cultural values, and has praise for African arts and music. “Some aspects of African culture can promote development, but the nega- tive aspects outweigh the positive. There is always a net effect, and that is what I am interested in.”

Most African countries are now in what he calls a “dual phase” of extended-family and nuclear-family values, a mirror of the coexistence in Africa of two economies, modern

and traditional. Otchere said that education, globalization and the encroachment of other cultures will bring about further evolution.

Otchere spoke on the culture- economy nexus to African students at a McGill University seminar on “Business Investment Prospects in Africa,” and is working with Anthropology student Kofi Akosah- Sarpong on a paper, “The Role of Superstition and Religion in the Development Process of African Economies.”

2 Marcu 19, 1998

Ireland was never like this



Rob Allen, longtime teacher in Concordia’s Creative Writing program, has published another work of fiction himself. On March 5, he presented | Napoleon’ Retreat, a novel es in contempo ry Montreal and. ublishe d

Bandia works on translation’s long and varied history


hen it comes to translation

studies, Etudes francaises professor Paul Bandia takes a global view.

Bandia is working on the first book of a planned multi-volume series on the history of translation in the non-Western world. Volume 1 focuses on sub-Saharan Africa.

Until now, Bandia says, the histo- ry of translation has been largely concerned with translation in the West. “This is not an exclusionary project,” he explained. “I'm trying to complement what has been done on Western translators.” He hopes his work will help lead to “a more com- prehensive history and theory of translation.”

From translations of the Bible to administrative translation in multi- lingual countries, to the interchange between explorers and locals, the art of translation in southern Africa has had a long and varied history.

Bandia expects the ambitious book, which he is now in the early stages of writing, to cover the period from just before the first Arab inva- sions of sub-Saharan Africa (c. 800 AD) to the present. He has unearthed some fascinating stories of translators and translation.

There is Juan Latino, for instance. An African slave, Latino became a Spanish admiral’s translator who travelled to Europe and received a classical education. Latino eventually won his freedom and became a pro- fessor of Latin at the University of Granada. In his extensive transla- tions, Bandia said, “he would adapt the characteristics of African oral narratives while writing in classical Latin.”

Latino’s groundbreaking style cre- ated a whole new way of writing, and set a precedent that would later be followed by 20th-century African fiction writers like Chinua Achebe and Nobel Prize-winner Wole Soyinka.

Contact with Europeans has resulted in what Bandia called “hybrid languages” (like West African pidgin), spoken by people across vast stretches of the continent. He said they incorporate words from English, French, German and Por-


tuguese: “almost every European lan- guage that went through there. But they took on African syntax.” Missionaries soon realized that translating the Bible into these hybrid languages gave them access to an enormous number of people, a population that it would otherwise have taken them years to reach through translation into dozens and dozens of local languages. Translation raises all kinds of political issues, especially in multilin- gual societies. Bandia said the old South Africa, for instance, ignored the black majority by adopting only English and Afrikaans as official lan- guages. Today, the country has 11 official languages, into which gov- ernment documents should be translated. “Translation activity is booming in South Africa,” he said. When it comes to writing litera- ture, some African writers and intellectuals feel that African authors should shun the languages of the countries that colonized them. Ban- dia takes the opposite view. “We need to assume the authority of these languages which have become world languages and which are a part of African reality,” he said. Especially English. “English is now as African as it is Australian. English has become a native language in Africa.” Bandia, whose French and Eng- lish are equally flawless, grew up perfectly bilingual in Cameroon, a

Centraide participation was down in 1997

The final tally of $42,902 in Concordia’s 1997 Centraide campaign was delayed to take in pledges still dribbling in after January's ice storm interruption. The participation rate of

11.85 per cent fell short of the 20-per- cent goal and was down from last year's 15 per cent.

“This may be due, in part, to the extraordinary participation of faculty and staff in the Capital Campaign,” said Pina Greco, co-chair of Concordia’s campaign. The 1996 campaign raised $49,769.

country with more than 200 lan- guages.

Educated in England and France, he came to Canada in 1983 and earned a doctorate from the Univer- sité de Montréal. He taught several years at Concordia before heading to the Académie francaise des Antilles in Martinique, then returned here to take up a position in Etudes francaises in September 1997.



This column welcomes the submissions of all Concordia faculty and staff to promote and encourage individual and group activities in teaching and research, and to encourage work-related achievements.

Calvin Kalman (Physics) made a presentation at the 17th annual meeting of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Educa- tion, held at the University of Regina. It was titled “Developing Critical Thinking in a Student-Centred Classroom.” Judith Kalman (English) made a presentation at the same event, titled “Critical Writing and Critical Thinking in a Student-Centred Classroom.”

An article by Virginia Nixon (Liberal Arts College), “The Concept of Regionalism in Canadian Art History,” originally published in the Journal of Canadian Art History (x/1, 1987), will be included in a new book, Resources in Canadian Art History of the 20th Century (Toronto: Irwin), edited by Joan Murray, director of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, in Oshawa.

Last September, Lorna Roth (Communication Studies) presented a paper, “How Comfortably Does the Internet Sit on Canada’s Tun- dra?" at a conference in Antwerp called Beyond Infrastructure. In November, she was on a panel at the Women in the Media Confer- ence in Winnipeg, discussing the issues surrounding national codes of journalistic ethics. She also attended a meeting in Vancouver, where she represented Concordia at the Council for the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS).

Patrick Landsley, retired professor of Drawing and Painting, gave an illustrated lecture at the Creative Arts Centre on the archaeology of Greece in Ingersoll, Ont., where Landsley and his wife returned from an extended stay in Greece. Named by the mayor of Wood- stock, Ont., to chair the acquisition committee of the local art gallery, Landsley says he will encourage young people to get involved.

Congratulations to Maria Peluso (Political Science), who has been awarded the Prix Simonne Monet-Chartrand by the Montreal Women’s Centre. Peluso is president of the part-time faculty asso- ciation (CUPFA), and also teaches at Dawson College. The award was presented by Vera Danyluk, president of the MUC executive committee.

Dorothy Williams, a graduate student in History, is busy every February, and 1998 was no exception. The author of two books on Montreal's black community, most recently The Road to Now (V6hicule), she is in demand as a speaker during Black History Month. Last month she spoke to the CLSC Pointe Claire, Western Laval High School, and a francophone anti-racism group. She was also a consultant on a Heritage Canada exhibit in the Complexe Guy- Favreau.

Steven Appelbaum (Management) gave a session called “Dealing with Difficult People” in Dollard des Ormeaux recently. It was part of a series of talks on leadership skills organized by the Jewish Community Services. Stephanie Whittaker subsequently wrote an article about it in The Gazette.

Congratulations to Patsy Lightbown (TESL), who has been elected vice-president of the American Association for Applied Linguistics for 1998-99, and will be president in 1999-2000. The AAAL has nearly 1,400 members, and is the premier organization for applied linguists in North America.

S.K. Goyal (Decision Sciences/MIS) recently published a paper, “A Conceptual Framework for the Implementation of Zero Inventory and Just-in-Time Manufacturing Concepts,” in Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing.

Ted Stathopoulos Professor and Associate Dean, Faculty of Engi- neering and Computer Science, has received the award for the best paper published in the ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering in 1996. The paper is titled “Wind-Tunnel Studies of Buildings and Structures.”

Marcu 19, 1998

Valérie Gagnon to head Human Resources

ee Gagnon has been appointed Executive Director of

Human Resources, and took up her duties on Tuesday.

She brings to Concordia 15 years’ experience in the field of human resources management, most recent- ly as Director of Human Resources at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, where she developed new programs and policies despite a climate of financial constraint.

She started working at the Chil- dren’s in 1988, spending the first three years there as Manager of Labour Relations. She worked with 17 bargaining units, as well as sup- porting 100 managers with training, performance management and recruitment.

From 1981 to 1988, Gagnon worked in human resources and labour relations at the Royal Victoria Hospital. She has a Bachelor’s degree in industrial relations from the Uni-

versité de Montréal.

She was elected to the executive committee of the Hospital Directors of Human Resources of the Montreal, Laval and Lanaudiére regions.


W. David Feist 1909-1998

David Feist, who during a varied artistic career was a professor in Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts, has died in his 89th year.

He was born in Augsburg, Germany, and studied at the Bauhaus,

Holocaust film receives Montreal premiere

Critically acclaimed Israeli filmmaker Nitzan Aviram will present the Montreal premiere of his documentary on the Holocaust, Healing by Killing, at Concordia next Tuesday. A lecture by the filmmaker will follow the screening.

Through a wide range of interviews and original footage, Aviram provides us with insight into the pseudo-medical Nazi “medical” practice as it developed from small-scale euthanasia to system- atic mass murder. The film depicts the lives of two doctors whose medical careers ran the gamut from docile public service to brutal implementation of the Nazi cause.

The sponsors of the event are the Consulate General of Israel, the Philoso- phy, Religion, Theology and History Departments of Concordia University, and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.

Healing by Killing will be screened on Tuesday, March 24, at 8:30 p.m. in Room H-407, Henry F. Hall Building, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Association with CCA comes to an end

Provost and Vice-Rector Jack Light- stone announced yesterday that the University’s 30-year association with Serge Losique’s Conservatory of Cine- matographic Arts (CCA) will come to an

end on June 20.

“The CCA has been a valuable asset and enhanced Concordia’s reputation among devotees of repertory film,” Lightstone said, “but budget restric- tions make it impossible to continue to support this type of activity.”

This change will affect two staff positions. CCA Director Serge Losique continues to serve as a member of the faculty of the Department of Etudes frangaises.

The University will continue to main- tain the CCA's extensive film archives through an archivist from Instructional and Information Technology Services.

Ciné Gael shows 40 Irish films

The best in modern Irish cinema will be on view at Concordia’s J.A. DeSéve Cinema from March 26 to April 18, thanks to the Irish film society Ciné Gael.

Seats for the gala opening, which features Neil Jordan’s new film Butch- er Boy, are limited, but there are other Jordan films on the menu during the film festival, including The Crying Game.

In fact, offerings range from well- known films that have already had wide distribution, such as In the Name of the Father and The Dead to less frequently shown works.

For specific films and times, call 848- 3878. Tickets are available at Hurley's Pub, McKibbin’s Pub, and Ciné Gael, 487-5303.

where he developed a lifelong passion for art and design. He immigrat- ed to Montreal in 1951 with his family, and worked in commercial art and as a teacher. A fine painter and a gracious raconteur, he was a member of the Humanist Fellowship of Montreal.

Our sympathies are extended to his family. Donations in his memory can be made to the Royal Victoria Hospital Oncology Clinic or Amnesty International.


Robin Burns, 1944-1998

A memorial service was held on February 13 in St. Mark’s Chapel, Lennoxville, for Robin Burns, who died on Febru- ary 11.

Over 30 years, Professor Burns taught history at Sir George Williams, Concordia and Bishop’s Universities.

The Sherbrooke Record, in a full-length article, noted his “infectious appreciation” for his students’ work, and his commitment to the world beyond the ivory tower. The St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal also paid him grateful tribute.

“He was a tireless supporter of many local historical organizations throughout Quebec, and was always ready to share his intimate knowl- edge of local events and history through public speeches,” The Record said. “He was an active promoter of links among teachers, and throughout his long career was involved in the development of the sec- ondary school history curriculum in this province.”

Burns received his PhD at McGill under the tutelage of Laurier Lapierre, and his dissertation was on the life of the Irish-Canadian statesman Thomas D’Arcy McGee.

: : ion : c istopher Alleyne, Marcello Rodi _ Marketing Communications ___ World Wide Web Site him!




Correction _ in the last CTR, we incorrectly named Bruce MacKenz ie’s new appointment. It is Acting Assistant Registrar, Special Projects, not Acting Registrar, Special Projects. The editor regrets the error.

P called La magie des lumieéres, was for the beauty of the holiday-season lights on Concordia‘ 's Loyola Campus. The award, which features one of our own photographs of the campus at night, will be presented to Maintenance staff at a reception.

e Bourque. The p


$114,737 in pledges raised at Alumni Phonathon

Sc" look on it as a competition, some as a personal challenge, and others just go to have fun, but nearly 200 volunteers alumni, faculty, staff and friends turned out at Bell Canada’s downtown office tower over two nights, March 8 and 9, to raise money for Concordia in

the annual Alumni Phonathon.


And they were effective. The aver- age caller raised $582 in pledges, for a total over the two nights of $114,737. The money will go towards academic development, research and creative projects, acqui- sition of library materials, fellowships and scholarships, and athletics.

Robert Valdmanis (BA 89) secured a pledge for $1,000.

The Phonathon is a mammoth undertaking on the part of Universi- ty Advancement, and every effort is made to guide the volunteers in their fundraising and keep them happy. There were sandwiches to start, and door prizes to finish, culminating in a free trip anywhere in North Amer- ica, which was won by Charles Grenier (BComm 84).

Annual Giving Interim Director Laura Wells, Phonathon Coordina- tor Colleen Weddell and the rest of the team want to thank the 18 peo- ple on the Leadership Volunteers Recruitment Committee and the 50 sponsors, particularly Bell Canada, Hemisphere Travel, Icon of Canada, Le Piment Rouge, Sherlock’s, Mol- son O’Keefe, ID _ Foods, Fiducie-Desjardins, Marguerite Florists and TotalNet.

Charles Grenier {BComm 84) won the raffle for a trip.

Appelbaum wins national award

ongratulations to Management

Professor Steven Appelbaum, one of only four Canadian business academics to receive a Leaders in Management Education Award.

Appelbaum, a former Dean of Commerce and Administration, was nominated by his Faculty, and will be featured in an advertisement this week in the national-circulation Financial Post.

The award is sponsored by the Financial Post and Bell Canada, and is given to one academic in each of four regions, Atlantic Canada, Que- bec, Ontario and Western Canada.

Appelbaum joined the Manage- ment Department in 1979, and is

now a full professor. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes, and his teaching evaluations rank consistently in the 90th percentile for the Faculty, which gave him an Out- standing Teaching Award in 1994.

In the 1993 Guide to MBA Schools in Canada, he was ranked as the graduate professor with the strongest teaching skills.

When he was dean, from 1983 to 1990, a number of innovative pro- grams were introduced in the Faculty of Commerce and Administration which are still flourishing, including the Executive MBA program, the Awards of Distinction and the Inter- national MBA Case Competition.


He was the chief architect for


A regular meeting of University Senate, held March 13, 1998.

Rector’s remarks: Rector Frederick Lowy reported that the CUPFA collective agreement had been ratified, and the CUFA agreement was expected to be ratified soon. A detailed inventory of space require- ments is being submitted by the Faculties, and submissions are being prepared to contribute to Quebec's five-year plan. The final report of the Loyola revitalization task force is expected at the Board of Gover- nors meeting, March 18. The offices of the senior administration are being consolidated in Bishop Court. The Rector said he is heartened by the response of alumni to the Capital Campaign, here and in New York, Hong Kong and Toronto, and a “friend-raising” trip is being planned to Calgary, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Producing a small hockey stick, he proposed a vote of congratulations to Athletics Direc- tor Harry Zarins and the coaches and members of the Concordia Stingers, the first CIAU champion women’s hockey team, which was unanimously passed.

Graduate studies: During question period, Catherine MacKenzie (Fine Arts) asked for financial help to deal with the “overwhelming increase” in graduate studies applications. Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Claude Bédard said that Concordia now has a record number of graduate students, more than 3,700. Provost Jack Light- stone remarked that the University lacks the capacity to track graduate studies applications.

Code of Ethics: The new code requires a hearing pool to be named to deal with infractions by senior administrators and Board members: four members chosen by Senate and four by the Board of Governors. Four members were duly named.

Curriculum changes: Catherine MacKenzie, on behalf of the acade- mic programs committee, proposed revisions to the approval process for major and minor curriculum changes, which were approved.

Université devant l'avenir: An hour was set aside for preliminary dis- cussion of this document, prepared by a government-appointed task force that met last year to formulate a policy toward universities. (Written responses are to be sent, after which the minister will visit each university to hold hearings.) Provost Lightstone had analyzed the document, and identified issues which Concordia has already resolved through the academic planning process, and others which could be more closely examined. These include improving student- centredness among professors; greater involvement of undergraduate students in faculty members’ research projects; greater harmonization of CEGEP-level and undergraduate studies; and “giving priority in some manner to the strategic priorities of Quebec.”

Some senators admitted that CEGEP and undergraduate studies over- lap; Registrar Lynne Prendergast said that university policy permits CEGEP credits to be transferred in some cases, though the trend is away from doing so. Lowy said that in general, the framers of the document felt that senior professors were uninterested in undergrad- uates. However, the document itself was criticized as being biased toward conventional degrees, as opposed to innovative certificate and self-financing programs. Lowy characterized it as “not a forward-look- ing document.” He, Lightstone and Dean of Commerce and Administration Mohsen Anvari noted entrepreneurial trends outside Quebec that are beginning to exert competitive pressure, but are not acknowledged in this paper. Unless the government makes it easier to respond to the needs of prospective students, Anvari said, “this train is going to go right by us.”

Next meeting: April 3.

Concordia in a CIDA-sponsored China-Canada university exchange that lasted from 1983 to 1991, and started the Centre for Management Studies, a for-profit unit that pro- vides on-site executive education.

Appelbaum’s expertise is frequent- ly sought by companies and institutions, and his insights often appear in the press. He has received a number of professional honours, and is on the board of trustees of the U.S. Public Broadcasting System. He has published more than 95 refereed papers, as well as articles in journals and professional publications.


Anna Marie Smith, Cornell University,

will speak on


Particularism and Multiculturalism: A Critique of Laclau

Tuesday, March 31, 4 p.m. J.A. DeSéve cinema 1400 de Maisonneuve W.

Marcu 19, 1998

Still studying and celebrating women

Simone de Beauvoir Institute celebrates two decades


Fhe atmosphere of a family din-

L ner prevailed at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute’s 20th birthday party, held on March 4 at the Sir George Williams Faculty and Staff Dining Room.

Principal Chantal Maillé recalled the exciting early days, when two Concordia professors, Mair Verthuy and Greta Hofmann Nemiroff, launched the women’s studies unit and got permission to name it after the world’s most distinguished feminist.

Jeanne Maranda also remembered those days. A widow and mother of four, working on her BA, she was startled when her friend Mair sug- gested she join the new unit. “She said, ‘I need seven more people please come and join us!’ I didn’t even know what a feminist was!”

Verthuy’s persuasive powers even- tually created a career for Maranda, who became a broadcaster at Radio- Canada and Radio-Québec and started a magazine, Cahier des Femmes. She is still active with the group MediaWatch and is president of the Montreal Council of Women.

“Now I’m disappointed to hear young women say, ‘I’m not a femi- nist,” Maranda said. “They’re ignorant, like I was.”

In a brief speech at the dinner, Maillé said that women’s studies has progressed from being an interdisci- plinary field of interest to an


academic discipline in its own right. “Women are increasingly finding out about feminism through women’s studies rather than through activism,” she said.

Etudes francaises Professor Ver- thuy, who was the first principal, sent congratulations from France, where she is on sabbatical. Former principal Marianne Ainley came all the way from the new University of Northern British Columbia, in Prince George, where she has established a women’s studies program.

University Archivist Nancy Mar- relli made an appeal for material from the early days to add to the store of records and memorabilia, some of which was displayed near the dining room.

Students taking majors, minors, certificates or specializations in women’s studies are automatically members of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, which publishes a scholarly journal and holds lectures and events. While most students and faculty are

women, men are encouraged to join.

Women’s writing takes scholars to Cuba


J ‘wo young women were intro- . duced to international literary

6 Marcu 19,


scholarship recently when their pro- fessor, Lady Rojas-Trempe, took them to Havana for the International Colloquium on the Latinoamerican

Woman and her Culture on the Threshold of the Next Millennium: Theory, History and Criticism.

La Casa de las Américas, a Cuban publishing house, brings writers, edi- tors and scholars to Havana for academic conferences. They are eager- ly anticipated not only by Hispanic scholars, but also by impoverished Cubans, who welcome the outside contact and foreign currency.

At the colloquium, which attracted more than 50 specialists, Professor Rojas-Trempe presented an essay called “Rasgarse la vestiduras en Mor- tal in puribus de la peruana Marita Troiano,” an analysis literally, an “undressing” of a work by a Peru- vian writer.

For students Nancy Cloutier and Elena Ribarova, it was their first visit to Cuba, and a thrill to be with estab- lished literary scholars. Cloutier read a paper on the post-revolutionary poetry

See Rojas, p. 8



First Helen Prize awarded here

t the Simone de Beauvoir din-

~ Aner, the first Helen Prize was

awarded to 20 women from around the world.

The honour was conceived by Montreal poet Akhtar Naraghi, who spoke with emotion of her work over the past decade to organize the prize. She had been inspired by the case of Helen Caldicott, the Australian physician and anti-nuclear activist, who was passed over in favour of two male colleagues for the Nobel Peace Prize.

About half of the Helen Prize nominees were able to attend the dinner. Five hundred dollars in prize money was given to one of the recip- ients, chosen by lot. The new prize attracted considerable media atten- tion, including The Globe and Mail and the CBC-TV national news.

Judith Berlyn (Westmount, Que.), co-founder of Westmount Initiatives for Peace, and active over the years with Social Justice Com- mittee of Montreal, Non-Violence Resource Centre, Canadian Coali- tion for Nuclear Responsibility and the Canadian Voice of Women.

Mary Bill (Squamish, B.C.), Squamish Centre, and organizer of the Amazing Greys, an annual event on Vancouver Island. Since the 1989 Polytechnique massacre, she has kept a “femicide” list of more than 1,100 victims of violence by men.

Amira Elias (Montreal), activist on behalf of the women and children of Iraq

Beverly Britton (Alexandria, Va.), founder of the Lifeline Network for Peace, who has used her savings to help women in Bosnia

Vivian Labrie (Quebec City), community worker through the Car- refour de pastorale en monde ouvrier

Joanne Maisonneuve (Carmacks, Yukon), community volunteer and recipient of the Helen Prize cash award

Joan Matthews (Sutton, Que.), creator of the Sutton Yoga Centre

Elizabeth Mazanec (Acworth,

N.H.), midwife, and founder of the North East College of Healing Arts

and Science

Alice Mead (Cumberland, Me.), author of two books for young peo- ple about ethnic violence, Journey to Kosova and Adem’s Cross

Rita McComber (Kahnawake,

Que.), community volunteer

Kawennanoron Dorris Diabo Montour (Kahnawake, Que.), teacher, singer, and promoter of the

Mohawk language

Shree Mulay (Montreal), physi- cian active with the McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women, founding member of the South Asian Women’s Community Centre, executive member of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women

Martha Orozco Ossio, a Quechuan, holder of a postgraduate degree, who has been on an around- the-world walk to raise support for the indigenous people of Bolivia

Barbara Seifred (Hampton, Que.), early member of West Islanders for Nuclear Disarmament, local organizer of the Raging Grannies

Emily Shihadeh (San Francisco), performer in the cause of peace, of Palestinian Quaker background

Ann Silverstone (Montreal), an inspiration to other women in her community

Halimatou Traore (Mali), com- munity worker, particularly in women’s health issues in West Africa

Barbra Weiner (Minneapolis, Minn.), founder of a cancer resource centre

Women of Words (WOW, Mon- treal), feminist writers, who meet at Concordia’s Women’s Centre

Leyla Zana (Turkey), the first Kurdish woman to be elected to the Turkish parliament, now serving a 15-year prison sentence for her activism


Hagar, the faithful servant, was subject of famous sculpture

Grad lectures on black woman sculptor

War for acceptance may be won at home, but not in the global boardroom

( Nharmaine Nelson, who earned Xvher BFA and MFA at Concordia, will give the next lecture in the Art History Speakers Series.

Her topic is a neo-classical sculp- ture called Hagar, by the early African-American artist Edmonia Lewis. For Nelson, who is currently working at a museum in Harlem, Hagar says volumes about slavery and the treatment of black women.

Hagar was the servant of Sarah, the wife of the biblical patriarch Abraham. Because Abraham and Sarah were too old to have children, Abraham used Hagar to conceive an heir. God intervened, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, and Sarah jealously threw poor Hagar out, along with her son Ishmael.

Edmonia Lewis was born in the 1840s of mixed Chippeway and African descent, and was active in abolitionist circles during the Recon- struction period that followed the Civil War. After much difficulty, she obtained an education, notably at Oberlin College, and became the first black American sculptor, male or female, to achieve an international reputation. She eventually settled in the expatriate American community

in Rome.

Nelson has had her own difficul- ties. When she graduated from Concordia in 1995, she worked for a year at the War Museum in Ottawa, then started a doctoral program at Queen’s University. However, she found the academic atmosphere con- servative and the Queen’s art history department unprepared for her and her field of interest, the artistic rep- resentation of the black female body.

After a year of conflict at Queen’s, she went to New York. She worked last summer at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, in SoHo, and is now at the Studio Museum in Harlem, putting together the first catalogue of its permanent collec- tion.

In the fall, she'll head to the Uni- versity of Manchester, in northern England, to finish her PhD under Marcia Pointon, who spoke here recently in the Art History Speakers Series.

Charmaine Nelson will speak on “Edmonia Lewis's Hagar: An Intimate Statement Contemporary Black Wom- anhood” on Wednesday, March 25, at 10:30 a.m., in Room 323, 1395 René- Lévesque Blud. W. -BB


Phenomenal Women

“Phenomenal Women” is the lively title of a celebration of International Women’s Day through performance art scheduled to take place on March 27 at a local gallery.

Organizer and Concordia student Karen Stewart says that the celebration is designed to “inspire, encourage, empower and entertain.” The evening, to be held at Isart, 263 St. Antoine St., will showcase the talents of women through music, skits and the spoken word, with many contributions by Con- cordians.

Tickets are $4 and the fun begins at 7 p.m. Proceeds will go to Auberge Shalom, a shelter for women and chil- dren from domestic violence.

Habs host Stingers

The Montreal Canadiens invited Concordia’s winning women’s hockey team to be their guests at the Molson Centre last week.

The first CIAU championship team enjoyed a meal in the press centre and then watched the Habs defeat the New Jersey Devils, 4-2. At the end of the first period, the Stinger Bee was flashed on the area scoreboard and highlights of their victory game were shown. Then the women were