Margaret Randall

SOCORRO, N.M., February 25, 2003 - For the first time in its 30-year history, the annual New Mexico Women's Studies Conference will be hosted by New Mexico Tech, this coming Friday and Saturday, February 28-March 1, at various locations on the research university's campus.

The conference, Transforming Tradition, features faculty from New Mexico Tech and other New Mexico universities who will be presenting a variety of topics, ranging from "Women Transforming Religion" to "Gender, Science, and Engineering."
The name of the conference was inspired by a quote from the founder of Radcliffe College -- a women's college -- when it joined with Harvard, which had never admitted women. The founder stated that the joining of the universities was not eroding Radcliffe and Harvard's traditions, but was instead "transforming their traditions."

Margaret Randall, the keynote speaker of the two-day conference, has authored over 100 books of poetry, essays, and oral history, and has had success in photography.

Randall told Dr. Susan Field, assistant professor of humanities at New Mexico Tech and director of the Tech Women's Resource Center, that she plans to "talk a bit about transforming power vis a vis an analysis of power." Randall says she also plans on presenting her own "journey of transformation" by drawing on experience in her own personal history and reading related poems.

The New Mexico Women's Conference will also feature a forum theatre piece directed by Dr. Leslie Bentley, assistant professor of humanities at New Mexico Tech. The piece, titled "Theatre for Action," will be an interactive exploration of women's issues.

Audience members will be encouraged to participate in the presentation. Dr. Bentley promises that it will be "a great opportunity for students, professors, and community members to discuss issues of gender and have a lot of fun."

The Women's Studies Conference will begin on Friday, February 28, with tours of the nearby Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Very Large Array (VLA), and New Mexico Tech research laboratories. The first session will begin that afternoon at 3:35 in the Jones Hall annex; and, a welcome reception at 5:15 p.m. will be followed by a concert by the all-woman woodwind quartet Calico Winds at Macey Center.

Margaret Randall will then speak at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 1, followed by a morning session. A vegetarian luncheon for conference participants will then be held in Socorro's historic Garcia Opera House, with entertainment provided by Dr. Bentley's "Theatre of the Oppressed." Conference sessions will resume at 2:00 p.m.; and the closing gathering will be held at Martha's Black Dog, a Socorro cafe.

The conference registration costs are $40 for regular participants, $20 for community members with no college or university affiliations, and $15 for students. The cost of attending the Bosque del Apache tour will be $4, and discounted tickets to the Calico Winds concert will be $10 each. For more information on attending the New Mexico Women's Conference, or on the New Mexico Tech Women's Resource Center, visit http://www.nmt.edu/~women/.