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SMC hosts conference

Rachael Schermitzler | Thursday, October 14, 2004

Starting today, Saint Mary’s College will host The Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender (OSCLG) for its 27th annual conference.

Saint Mary’s assistant professor of communication studies and 2004 OSCLG conference director Linda Berdayes said the conference would explore three main themes.

“The three ideas focus on the shifting gender identities within families and between cultures, women and political resistance and meeting ‘the other’ through creative practices – dance, music and poetry as embodied communication.”

Saint Mary’s own Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) along with the communication studies, dance and theatre departments offered to sponsor the conference.

Sister Marianne Farina said they decided to sponsor the event because the department felt they had a great similarity of educating women leaders. Farina said it is not only about women’s leadership, but women’s understanding of the intercultural paradigm.

Berdayes said there are various purposes for holding the conference.

“The purpose of the conference is for scholars from around the country who are interested in the study of communication, language and gender come together to present new research, share questions and in general be with other scholars interested in similar issues,” Berdayes said.

The three-day conference will provide opportunities to engage in roundtable discussions. Activities include panels and workshops.

Saturday night’s event, which is open to the public, is called ‘Passage of Oracles’ with music by famed composer Fred Ho.

“Oracles combines dance, martial arts and jazz in an unforgettable tribute to those who made the arduous journey to America and whose labors built the landscape,” Berdayes said.

The performance melds African and Asian myth and dance with stories from the U.S. history choreographed by Peggy Myo-Young Choy from Madison, Wis.

“We need to experience and approach it in both practical and intellectual levels,” Farina said.

The tally of participants from Saint Mary’s community is 107 people, mainly faculty and a few students.

As a kickoff to the conference, Maxine Hong Kingston will receive an award from the organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender today. Each year the conference acknowledges a teacher, scholar or someone whose work has dovetailed communications, language and gender.

The conference will run through Sunday.