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Annual Asanbe Symposium to feature Olga Connor

2/26/2008
Austin Peay State University's 13th Annual Asanbe Symposium on Thursday, Feb. 28, will feature two talks by Dr. Olga Connor, author of “Parabras De Mujer/Parables of Women.”

Held each year in memory of Dr. Joseph Asanbe, a faculty member in the APSU Department of Languages and Literature who died more than 10 years ago, the Asanbe Symposium always fosters diversity and a desire to understand the cultures of the world.

Born in Cuba, Connor has worked as a Spanish language journalist for the Miami Herald and a lecturer and language instructor at the University of Miami. Her work has appeared in many publications, such as Cosmopolitan. In her long journalistic career, she has interviewed such notables as President Bill Clinton, Octavio Paz, Ellen Goodman and John Huston.

Connor's book of parables about women came out of her own struggles as a woman in the U.S. in the 1970s as the feminist movement called attention to the inequalities in American life, both in academia and elsewhere.

Speaking of her book, Connor wrote: “‘Parables of Women' aspires to be a clamor from within about our place on this planet. They are non-religious and very physical in nature but spiritual in my aspirations.

“I hope to contribute to the writings of women for women, but also for men to better understand women.”

Professor of English Barry Kitterman said, “This book is truly bilingual, with text written in Spanish and in English. The cover of her book is incredibly sexy, and she is open about how her stories are much concerned with human and especially female sexuality.”

Connor said, “It will surprise many that, after all this political disquisition about women, I would have written parables that are totally involved with sexuality. But ‘Sexual Politics' was a very good title that Kate Miller thought up for her book … to great advantage, because that is exactly what happens with women. It is their sex, and not gender, that gets in the middle. Sex is very involved in politics and vice versa.”

The Asanbe Symposium is sponsored by the APSU Department of Languages and Literature, Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, Office of Academic Affairs, Office of International Education, Hispanic Cultural Center, College of Arts and Letters, Women's Studies Program, APSU Department of Communication and the Honors Program.

The 2008 Asanbe Symposium includes a lecture by Connor at 1 p.m. in the Morgan University Center, Room 303. She will discuss “Parables of Women or the Only Successful Revolution of the 20th Century.”

At 4 p.m. in the Morgan University Center, Room 303, there will be a panel discussion, featuring Connor and faculty members of the department of languages and literature as well as faculty from other disciplines.

Both talks are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Karen Sorenson, professor of languages and literature, by telephone at (931) 221-6246 or e-mail sorensonk@apsu.edu. -- Dennie B. Burke