Women & Religion Spring 2009
Short Paper #2 – Community Based Learning Project
Due Saturday, April 4 by Midnight – Word or RTF Document Attachment
We’ve read our text and had discussions (in person or on-line), all of which is classroom learning. For this assignment, we need to get out of the classroom and back into the world. The topic is Looking for Women’s Spirituality in the Twin Cities. You are being asked to go explore, analyze, and send in your report to share what you find.
Please choose a religious path that is different from your own background. In looking for resources, think more broadly than “church.” You may have to find women’s religious expression at a bookstore, art gallery, or ritual in someone’s home.
One approach to finding a resource is to talk to your friends or co-workers to see whether you could attend a service or event with them – or use the list below and the Web/e-mail updates that I’ll start putting out for you as a starting point. If you aren’t comfortable doing this kind of research alone, pair up with a classmate, or take a friend when you go to visit a new place.
Steps and stages:
A. Pick a topic / place to visit,
B. Find out when you can visit,
C. Commit to a time and show up,
D. PARTICIPATORY / OBSERVATION RESEARCH (record impressions right away)
Attend the service/event and participate in whatever is going on. This must be an event that communicates something about women’s experiences in religion/spirituality.
Notice the order of business, ritual, symbols, prayers, body language, gender roles, and audience participation. Notice where you are comfortable and the places where you are uncomfortable, how you are challenged, what you enjoyed. Record your observations in notes shortly after your observation. Ask your friend for their impressions. Does something stand out that reminds you of a point or experience discussed in our reading?
E. WRITING UP THE RESULTS. Your 3 page essay should include:
1. Describe the place that you visited – the physical space and who else was there,
2. Describe the religious aspects of what you observed (language, symbols, rituals, etc.),
3. Analyze your comfort level, how you were challenged, and
compare the experience with what your are familiar with,
4. Analyze in terms of what you have learned about women’s experience in religion and spirituality in through course readings and class discussion – does something stand out that reminds you of a point or experience discussed in our reading? How well does this setting / event support women’s leadership, involvement, full participation? What do you learn about women’s lives through this setting / event?
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Some events/opportunities that might work for you – though unfortunately quite a few are on Thursday evenings! I’ll keep looking for options.
Ongoing – former Amazon Bookstore, now True Colors Bookstsore – a feminist bookstore in south Minneapolis. 4755 Chicago Av S, Mpls, MN 55407 – 612-821-9630. Call to find a time when the owner Ruta Skujins is there and can talk to you about the history of the store.
Ongoing through March 27
NightLight / City Minneapolis / Place HCMC / Address 8th and Chicago Details / Inspire Arts of HCMC presents Artwork by Stephanie M Jones. Blue Building Lower Level Lobby / Start Date Friday, February 27, 2009 / End Date Friday, March 27, 2009 / Additional Information Blue Building Lower Level Lobby / Phone 612.873.2208.
Ongoing through May 24 : Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam. This art exhibit “is the first major touring exhibition to feature Vietnamese women artists in the U.S. The exhibition explores the roles of women in Vietnamese society and challenges the stereotypes they face. By tracing the trajectories and life stories of ten artists working in a variety of media - painting, ink drawing, video performance, photography, and multimedia installations - Changing Identity reveals these women in their historical and social contexts as artists, as Vietnamese, and as individuals.” Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday ,10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 A.M. to 5:00. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Exhibit is free; parking (below the museum at 333 E. River Road, Mpls) is $3/hour. Info: http://www.weisman.umn.edu/.
3/12 – Thursday, at 4:00 p.m. Author and poet, Elizabeth Haukaas, will discuss her book, Leap: Poems, at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union. “These poems focus on the hard subjects: a child’s life-threatening illness, a mother’s struggle with the serious illnesses of all her children, the ends of marriages, the deaths of lovers—but the poems are not grim. Leap resonates with life and survival, with richness of rhythm and language. At once narrative and lyric, they express the voice and experience of a poet who has lived fully—and is now fully engaging the tools of her craft. Haukaas will sign copies of her book following the discussion.”
3/14 Saturday - International Women's Day
The 14th Annual International Women's Day Celebration is presented by The Advocates for Human Rights and the Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota. Keynote speakers are Fahima Vorgetts (right), a women's rights leader in Afghanistan, and Fionnuala Ni Aolain, a professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Ulster in Belfast, Ireland. The day includes workshops, films and numerous information tables. Free. University of Minnesota Coffman Memorial Union, Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival Presents: "The Secrets (Hasodot)" CityHopkins PlaceHopkins Mann Theater Address1118 Mainstreet Hopkins, MN 55343 DetailsNominated for eight Israeli Academy Awards, Hasodot is the story of a devout daughter of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi and her rebellious quest for individuality. Wary of marriage in an insular community, Naomi (Ania Bokstein) convinces her father to send her to an all-female Jewish seminary in the Israeli city of Safed, a center of Kabbalistic study. There she befriends a fellow free-spirited student, Michelle (Michal Shtamler). The girls encounter a mysterious, ailing foreigner with a disturbing past (Fanny Ardant). Attempting to purge the woman’s sins through mystical rituals, Naomi and Michelle begin a risky journey into forbidden realms. A complex examination of feminism and sexuality in a repressive religious culture, Hasodot is directed by the multi-award winning Avi Nesher (Turn Left at the End of the World). (Summary courtesy of Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, 2009) Director: Avi Nesher Israel, 2007 127 minutes Hebrew and French with Eng. subtitles Minnesota Premier Start DateSaturday, March 14, 2009 Start Time8:30 PM End Time11:00 PM FFI: http://www.mplsjff.org .
March 17-20 – Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Color Purple (Ordway theater, St. Paul – descriptions from Web site): “From Alice Walker's classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the landmark film by Steven Spielberg comes a soul-stirring new musical. The Color Purple is an inspiring and unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. With a moving book and a score featuring gospel, jazz, ragtime, and the blues, The Color Purple is ultimately a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love, and a celebration of life.” – This is a touring production – a bit pricey (except for standing room only seats) but sounds exciting. Info: www.ordway.org. Tickets: http://www.ordway.org/performances/ . Box office: 651-224-4222.
Thursday March 19 - The Green M&M Project – 6:00-8:00 p.m. / City Minneapolis / Place Hope Community, Inc. / Address 611 E. Franklin Ave. / Details A reality-based examination of myths and messages about sex, power, and growing up male and female. / Discussion/workshop with The Aurora Center. / Phone 612-435-5045 / Email email@example.com / Web Address http://www.hope-community.org/.
Thursday March 26 Celebrating Our Voices – m 6:00-8:00 p.m. / City Minneapolis / Place Hope Community, Inc. / Address 611 E. Franklin Ave. / Details Performance by: Articulating Our Voices Now. Join us as we celebrate women’s history month with a performance by the young women of our community through dance, poetry, spoken word and song! / 612-435-5045 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org / Web Address http://www.hope-community.org/.
March 28 – Saturday – 7:00-9:00 p.m / Vernalia celebration, hosted by the Lodge of Our Lady of Celestial Fire / City Minneapolis / Place Eye of Horus Metaphysical Store / Address 2717 Lyndale Ave S., Mpls., MN 55408 / Details The Lodge of Our Lady of Celestial Fire will host an open Vernalia celebration. Please feel free join in this celebration of Spring. Donations to help cover costs are cheerfully accepted. / Email email@example.com / Web Address http://eyeofhorus.biz/calendar.
April 2 – Thursday – 7:00-9:00 p.m. – Book Release Party and Reading - Apprenticed to Hope: with Julie Neraas / City Saint Paul / Place Carondelet Center / Address 1890 Randoph Ave / Details Join Julie Neraas, author of Apprenticed to Hope: A Sourcebook for Challenging Times, who will read from her new book. A baffling illness inspired Julie to investigate psychology, theology, and poetry for a new definition of hope. She will talk about the nature of hope and how it differs from optimism, faith and wishing. / Phone 651-696-2788 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org / Web Address www.wisdomwayscenter.org.
Metro Women's History Month - March Events
Violence Against Women: An Overview
Forty‐one percent of Metropolitan State’s female students have experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse—about double the national average. It’s time to do something about it. The dialogue begins with speakers who are victims’ advocates, police, staff from batterers’ programs and victims/ survivors.
11:30 AM to 1 PM
Men’s Responsibility in Ending Domestic Violence against Women
Twenty‐three percent of male students at Metropolitan State report that they have attacked a partner physically or verbally. What is the responsibility of men to end violence against women? The program is a dialogue among former male perpetrators, treatment professionals, change agents and others.
11:30 AM to 1 PM
• Sandra Benitez – The Saving Grace of Stories (Noon ‐ 2 PM, Great Hall)
• Fashion Show (2 – 3 PM , Auditorium)
• Women Entrepreneur Expo (3 ‐ 4 PM, Founders Hall Reception Area)
Noon to 4 PM
Images of Beauty: Perceptions and Portrayal of Asian Women in the Media
Dr. Mai Moua, founder of Leadership Paradigms, will facilitate an interactive lecture on perceptions of beauty from a cultural perspective, discuss how perceptions and images of Asian women serve as barriers to their success, and explore different strategies of thinking about Asian women.
4 – 6 PM
RSVP to EOD to email@example.com or at 651‐793‐1270.
Persons with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event must call Disability Services at 651.793.1549 (voice) or 651.772.7687 (TTY) two weeks prior to event.