New courses from Women's Academy


New courses from Women's Academy

SYDNEY — Second semester at the feminist "university" gets under way in July. The Women's Academy is offering a range of courses for the second half of the year, on subjects ranging from recent developments in feminist theory to psychology, publishing, goddess theories, literature, art and organic gardening.

Some classes are "one-offs", such as "The Dinner Party: An Exploration of Women's Heritage". The evening is a spin-off from artist Judy Chicago's Dinner Party Project, a symbolic history of women's achievement and struggles told through 39 painted china plates and elaborately embroidered runners which cover a triangular table. A video of the making of the Dinner Party will be followed by discussion.

Other courses run over weeks or a couple of months. For example, "Recent Developments in Feminist Theory", led by Mia Campioni, will meet on Tuesday evenings, July 21-September 8. What underlies the shift from the seemingly "hard and fast" issues of women's liberation in the 1970s to the more cultural and philosophical concerns of many feminists in the 1990s? Campioni's course looks at the influence of French psychoanalytic and poststructuralist schools through a series of selected readings.

Women who prefer something a little more down to earth might enjoy the trip to Kangaroo Valley in the south of NSW for Kaye Johnston's workshops on organic farming and permaculture. The two weekend residential courses involve "hands on" experience at permaculture and organic farming sites. Participants learn about the importance of earthworms, green manures and chooks, plant propagation, living with pests and predators, recycling, composting and companion planting.

The Academy, which aims to "provide opportunities for women to explore knowledge which reflects their interests and experiences within a feminist framework" was launched in December 1990. For more information, phone (02) 557 1955, fax 517 2400.