2- The Michan Daily - Monday, October 4, 1993
Conference explores concept.-
of culture despite criticism
By MICHELLE FRICKE
and SOMA GUPTA
DAILY STAFF REPORTERS
Culture is definitely not an object.
This weekend one of more than
200 students and faculty members
came to this conclusion at the "Cul-
ture Conference" held in the Michi-
The event was sponsored by the
Program in the Comparative Study of
Social Transformations (CSST) and
featured speakers from across the
"The conference is supposed to
tell us whether the concept of culture
exists," said Nicholas Dirks, one of
the conference's organizers and a pro-
fessor of history and anthropology.
Organizers were pleased with the
outcome of the event as audience
members eagerly questioned and re-
sponded to the new information that
"I think this conference was very
'The conference Is supposed to tell us whether
the concept of culture exists.'
- Nicholas Dirks
professor of history and anthropology
Nicholas Dirks, one of the conference's organizers and a professor of history and anthropology, and Guar
Viswanathan participate in the "Culture Conference" over the weekend in the Michigan Union. The event drew more
than 200 students and faculty members.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Office of International Academic Affairs
invites you to attend a public lecture
HIS EXCELLENCY JUAN CASSIERS,
AMBASSADOR OF BELGIUM
TO THE UNITED STATES
"THE FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY:
THE BELGIAN AGENDA"
Monday, October 4, 1993
People with Disabilities
Forging a New Civil Rights Movement
Is speaking at the Michigan Union Ballroom
Tuesday, October 5, at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is free.
Mr. Shapiro will also sign copies of his book, which is on sale at the event.
An Investing in Ability Week Event.
Michigan Union Programming presents
Monday, Oct. 4 - Friday, Oct. 8
ground floor Michigan Union
Fatory baseball caps Special
Close-Ots car decals Orders
in Stock pencils Available
No Waiteng pens
Visa, M terdard iscoer, Amrpted
stimulating to the people involved,"
said Michael Kennedy, director of
CSST. "It went beyond normal con-
ferences because it made us question
for whom the conference was for and
makes us think further about how
conferences live beyond their formal
However, the CSST office re-
ceived criticism for publicizing the
event with aposter ofa Black woman
breast-feeding a white child. Embla-
zoned across the bottom was the ques-
tion, "What's wrong with this pic-
Audience members expressed
feelings of pain mixed with under-
standing on this sensitive issue.
"Anytime that we try to transgress
we're going to produce pain, so we've
got to learn to deal with the pain if we
are going to learn," said Tim
McDonough, a graduate student in
history. "I think the poster brought
these very issues right to the surface
so that people who came already knew
what needed to be dealt with."
Various scholars converged to
present their views on the many angles
of life, such as sex, race, class and
fetishism that pervades culture. One
presentation focused on the difficulty
of writing intelligibly across cultural
LANSING (AP)-A total of 597
Michigan minors asked probatejudges
for permission to have abortions lastj
year, instead of going to a parent, a
report obtained by The Associated
The 597 requests listed in the an-
nual report of state courts is slightlyj
less than the 617 reported in 1991.
But the law was only in effect for;
seven months last year, compared with
nine months in 1991, so conclusions
were hard to draw.
"It's hard to say (what it means)
unless we've got something more to;
compare it to than one year," said EdJ
Rivet, a lobbyist for Right to Life of
But he said fears of courts being
flooded with the requests proved to
Continued from page 1
But some students feel it is their
responsibility to collect funds and do
something about the tragedy. Shah
has volunteered to coordinate a
fundraising drive through the Indian
American Students' Association.
Another organization, the Indian
Students' Association (ISA), began aJ
drive to collect funds last Friday, but
the group asks that funds be directly
"Everything we write now goes to
multiple cultures," said Michael
Fischer, a professor of anthropology
at the Massachusetts Institute of Tech-
nology. He added that barriers to com-
munication should be in the forefront
of this discussion.
Dialogue at the conference ad-
dressed the ever-changing dynamics
in the field of ethnology and cultural
"The mass of critical people is not
present, but theories (in cultuial stud-
ies) are rapidly being produced and
changed," expressed Ben Lee, a fea-
tured speaker at the event.
While the conference ended Sun-
day, organizers predicted that debate
on these issues will certainly con-
tinue in the classroom and on the
"We now see better than before
that the University is not just about
the pursuit of academia and truth be-.
tween students and teachers, but re-
ally on the dialogue of staff, students
and faculty to push the question of
how you get a relationship between
culture and oppression," Kennedy
"So even though the conference
has ended, the dialogue should not."
"There were people who were pre-
dicting we were going to have 3,000
requests and going to be clogging the
courts. Obviously, that hasn't devel- *
oped," Rivet said.
A supporter of abortion rights said
the requirement is superfluous since
most girls confide in a parent anyway.
"This causes anotherdelay.Itisan
additional stress factor on the young
woman and it is an unnecessary law,"
said Carol King, director of theMichi-
gan Abortion Rights Action League.
Right to Life, the state's largest
anti-abortion organization, spear-
headed a petition drive that resulted
in passage of the measure.
The law requires teens 17 and un-
der to have a parent's consent for an
abortion or seek a waiver from a pro-
sent to the American Red Cross in
Washington, D.C. to make sure aid
gets to India quickly.
"We didn't have that much time.
Wejustbroadcastamailing list," ISA
President Ashish Mehra, a graduate
student in computer science, said.
Although Mehra'srelatives in the state
of Gujarat in northern India were un-
affected, he feels a responsibility to
He said, "Thirty-thousand people 0
dying doesn't happen every day."
" End Runs
Including Many Current
Titles In All Categories
- Childrens - Medical
- Business -"Art
WILL SELL AT
How to Write an
Effective Funding Proposal
Monday, October 4,1993
Tuesday, October 5, 1993
7:00 - 9:00 PM, Michigan Union
The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives offers
seminars to assist students and student organizations in
preparing proposals for funding through Student Academic
Multicultural Initiatives, an incentive program offered by the
Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. At each session,
the program coordinator from the office will:
" provide detailed explanations on the funding process;
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