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"Academia and Society" conference planned April 30-May 1

STANFORD -- An interdisciplinary conference, "Academia and Society," organized by graduate students at Stanford, will be held Thursday, April 30, and Friday, May 1, on campus.

The event, open to the public without charge, is intended to bring together students, faculty and community members to discuss the nature of research, scholarship and teaching in the modern university.

The conference will begin at 7:30 p.m. April 30 in Cubberley Auditorium with a presentation by historian Page Smith, followed by a panel discussion of his 1990 book Killing the Spirit: Higher Education in America. Smith, a founding provost of the University of California-Santa Cruz, will present his analysis of, and vision for, American higher education.

Panelists will be Prof. Stanley Aronowitz, sociologist at City University of New York and author, with Henry Giroux, of Postmodern Education; Prof. Russell Berman of Stanford's German Studies Department; and Jean Fetter, former dean of undergraduate admissions and now lecturer in the Stanford School of Education. Robert Gregg, dean of the chapel at Stanford, will serve as moderator.

Aronowitz will give a keynote address on "The University as a Knowledge Factory" at 9 a.m. May 1 in Bishop Auditorium, Graduate School of Business. Afterward, Smith will offer comments and there will be time for questions. Conference participants then will break into small group discussions, which will be held during the morning and afternoon.

The sessions, led by graduate students, will deal with such topics as academic labor and its exploitation; the academy and public service; the challenges of interdisciplinary scholarship; intellectuals and popular culture; minorities in the academy; politics and the university; religious belief in the academy; science, technology and the humanities; and women in the academy.

The second keynote address, at 1:15 p.m. May 1 in Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building, will be given by Jim Merod, dean of humanities at National University, San Diego, and author of The Political Responsibility of the Critic. His topic will be "Reinventing Amnesia: The Politics of Intellectual Contestation."

Pre-registration forms for the discussion groups are available at the Center for Teaching and Learning, 110 Sweet Hall, and at the Campus Ministries office on the third floor of the Old Union Clubhouse. Participants also may register the day of the conference.

The conference is sponsored by Stanford Graduate Students, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Mellon Foundation, departments in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Associated Students of Stanford University, the Graduate Students Association, the Haas Center and Campus Ministries.



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