From the Director's Desk...
As the first year of IROW's transition to a new director and co-director draws to a close, we are excited about the prospects for continuing to support and publicize research activities on campus and for developing new ways to strengthen our concern with interdisciplinary perspectives on international women's issues.
IROW programs and activities on campus during the year have helped to sustain these goals. Janet Greenberg of the American Council of Learned Societies and Edith Couturier of the National Endowment for the Humanities presented a day-long workshop in March, attended by faculty from across the Capital District, on how to write successful grant applications for their respective agencies. Our new expanded brochure will help to publicize the strengths and accomplishments of IROW Associates, both an campus and among the national and international women's studies community.
In planning programs, we have focused on international issues with comparative implications. Our Spring Symposium on Gender, War and Revolution brought together scholars across several disciplines and areas to address a common issue. Featuring speakers from literature, art history, political science, and folklore, talks centered on Grenada, Sri Lanka, and Puerto Rico as well as on Britain and the United states. We also sponsored several other programs on international issues: a lecture on Women, Law and Politics in Ghana by Takyiwaa Manuh of the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana and, in conjunction with Women's Studies, a talk on Feminism in Iceland by Audur Styrkarsdottir, a graduate student at the University at Albany. In addition, Fei Juan Hong of Fudan University, visiting this year at Columbia, presented a talk on Rural Women in Contemporary China.
Our long-term projects center on similar issues. A grant proposal to the Social Science Research Council represented the initial stages in planning for a conference on "Women and Working-Class History Across Global Lines." In addition, we are working closely with the Center for Women and Government to plan an international internship program on Women and Public Policy. Following the model of the Center's highly successful legislative internship program, the proposal is entitled, "New Voices: International Women in Public Policy." As currently envisioned, the program's initial focus will build on the expertise and connections of both IROW and the Center in four countries: China, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, and South Africa.
With an eye to strengthening IROW connections within the Capital District, we are also in the early stages of working on a Women's Oral History Project. Under the direction of Lillian Williams of the Women's Studies Department and in cooperation with the Department of History, the project will begin with a concentration on African-American women and will branch out from there. Another related effort will be to develop a Women's History Archive as part of the University Archives.
We are especially pleased this year to welcome so many new members as IROW Associates and wish to thank Kathy Trent for assistance with this newsletter and Bob Frost for his continuing graphics work.