The University Record, October 9, 2000

Women’s studies, IRWG celebrate anniversaries, Lane Hall dedication

By Rebecca A. Doyle

Lane Hall, renovated and brought into the 21st century, is now home to the Women’s Studies Program and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services
Renovated and updated to suit the needs of the 21st century, a 90-year-old building has evolved from being home to men who were members of the 1914 Student Christian Association to a home for two programs focusing on women.

Lane Hall, now expanded to include classrooms, media and information/technology labs, interview and meeting rooms, a reading room and offices, will celebrate its new tenants Oct. 20. The Women’s Studies Program and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) have scheduled a day-long celebration at Lane Hall commemorating not only Lane Hall and its history, but their own history and accomplishments. This year marks IRWG’s 5th anniversary and is the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Studies Program. Both groups also are sponsors, with other units across campus, of film festivals, panel discussions, performances, activities and displays throughout October.

On Oct. 20, an appropriately titled keynote address by Johnnetta Cole, the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, professor of women’s studies and of African American studies at Emory University, will be one of the program highlights. Her 4 p.m. talk is titled “A Space of Our Own: Scholarship and Activism About Women.” Cole became the first African American president of Spelman College in 1987 and, under her leadership, the school became the first historically Black college to receive a first place rating in U.S. News & World Report’s annual issue of “Best College Buys.”

Cole was awarded an honorary degree from the U-M in 1996, and has received honorary degrees from 44 other colleges and universities. She is the author of several books, the most recent of which is Dream the Boldest Dreams: And Other Lessons of Life. In it, she outlines her philosophy of education as the “single most consistent and powerful instrument for the advancement of an individual or people.”

Dedication day for Lane Hall begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 20 with a discussion by doctoral students in women’s studies. “New Issues in Interdisciplinarity: A Roundtable by Doctoral Students in Women’s Studies” will be chaired by Domna Stanton, professor of Romance languages and of women’s studies and the Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professor.

At 10:30 a.m., “Enlarging the Circle: The Power of Feminist Education,” another panel discussion, will be chaired by Beth Reed, associate professor of social work and of women’s studies.

A framed copy of this letter, written by women in the junior class of 1876 to the ‘junior girls of 1976,’ will hang on the wall in Lane Hall. Left behind as a time capsule, the letter expresses hope that ‘before the year nineteen hundred and seventy-six, the world will know of some great or noble work done by a woman of the University of Michigan.’ Photo courtesy Bentley Historical Library
At noon, President Lee C. Bollinger and Provost Nancy Cantor will join members of the Board of Regents to hear remarks by LS&A Dean Shirley Neuman and Vice President for Research Fawwaz Ulaby and to participate in the formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Beginning at 10 a.m., State Street will be closed for a street fair that begins at noon and lasts until 4 p.m. State Street merchants join in the fun to display art works, community and campus information materials, music, videos and graduate student poster presentations. The streets will be closed until 6 p.m. to allow cleanup time.

At 12:30, Lane Hall will be open for visitors to come tour the new space and browse through an exhibition of photographs of women at the U-M since 1870, courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Cole’s keynote address at 4 p.m. will be followed by awards presentations to three women. M. Theresa Pool, a graduate student in American culture, will receive the Boyd/Williams Sisters Fund Dissertation Grant for Research on Women and Work 2000 for her ethnographic study of hairdressers and their clients. Freelance writer Betty Rogers and Chicago Tribune reporter Judy Peres will receive Michigan Media Awards for outstanding coverage of issues related to women and gender.

The world premiere of “Mail” from Daphne and Apollo Remade is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. University Musical Society is a co-sponsor with IRWG of this performance, which was composed by Enid Sutherland as the setting for the poem “Mail,” written by Alice Fulton.

Activities celebrating Lane Hall and the Women’s Studies Program and IRWG anniversaries are listed in the Record calendar. Activities continue through early November.

The Sisters Fund

The Boyd/Williams Sisters Fund Dissertation Grant for Research on Women and Work 2000, awarded to M. Theresa Pool for her ethnographic study of hairdressers and their clients, was established in 1999 by Carol Boyd, associate professor of nursing and associate research scientist in the Substance Abuse Center. Boyd set up the fund in honor of her grandmother, Ruth Rodman Boyd, and her great aunt, Shirley Rodman. The two sisters engaged in philanthropy, volunteer activities, community involvement, domestic work and political activity, all of which are aspects of the award criteria.

In addition to the award to Pooley, six other graduate students were named Boyd/Williams Sisters Roundtable Scholars 2000. They are M. Bianet Castellanos (anthropology), Catherine E. Daligga (American culture), David Karganen (anthropology), Laura M. Morgan (psychology), Mary Noonan (Sociology) and Nirmala Singh (comparative literature).