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Women in Indian Society: Oct. 20 URI Honors Colloquium talk

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 13, 2009 – A California author with Indian ethnic roots and an educator from India will discuss “Women in Indian Society: Literary and Empirical Evidence,” Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the University of Rhode Island.

Indira Parikh, president and founder of the Foundation for Liberal Management Education in Pune, India, and Minal Hajratwala, author of a critically acclaimed book about her family, will speak at 7:30 p.m. as part of the URI Honors Colloquium, Demystifying India. Their talk will be held in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center, 10 Chafee Road. All colloquium programs are free and open to the public.

As a public health precaution, the University asks those with influenza-like symptoms on the day of the event not to attend, but rather watch online at uri.edu/hc.

Parikh’s focus is on the transformation of organizations and corporate boards. She co-authored books on Profiles in Identity, Indian Women - An Inner Dialogue, Young Managers at Cross –Roads, and Corporate Culture in India, Cross Roads of Culture and numerous papers in national and international journals.

Prior to her current post, Parikh was the dean of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad from 2002 to 2005 and professor in the Organizational Behaviour Area at the Institute. She also taught at INSEAD, Europe’s leading business school in Fontainebleau, France and at Texas A&M University. She is on the board of Indian Oil Corporation Limited and several other organizational and academic boards.

Parikh has received many awards and honors, most recently the Visionary Leader Award by DNA & Stars of the Industry Group and The Achievers Award by the University of Pune.

Hajratwala authored Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents, which has been called “incomparable” by Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by The Washington Post. She spent seven years researching and writing the book, traveling the world to interview more than 75 members of her extended family. She is also a poet, performer, and queer activist based in San Francisco, where she was born before being whisked off to be raised in New Zealand and suburban Michigan. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and theater spaces, and has received recognition and support from the Sundance Institute, the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, the Serpent Source Foundation, and the Hedgebrook writing retreat for women, where she currently serves on the Alumnae Leadership Council.

Her one-woman show, “Avatars: Gods for a New Millennium,” was commissioned by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for World AIDS Day in 1999. As a journalist, she worked at the San Jose Mercury News for eight years, was a board member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, and was a National Arts Journalism Program fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2000-01. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

For further details about the colloquium, including an updated schedule and information on parking, go to www.uri.edu/hc or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or debg@uri.edu.

Major colloquium sponsors are: The Honors Program, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, College of Business Administration, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, Division of University Advancement, The Anthony J. Risica Lecture Series on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and The Village Inn - Narragansett.

Additional sponsors include: College of Human Science and Services, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Administration, Office of the Vice Provost for Information Technology Services, University College, URI Diversity Week-Multicultural Center, URI Women’s Studies Program, The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, Kabob N Curry - Providence, and Professor G.S. Verma and Mrs. R. Verma.