April 02, 2014

‘Community rights’ discussion is this weekend

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Martha Nandorfy, a professor of English at the University of Guelph, will discuss community rights during a presentation Friday, April 4, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

The event is at 5 p.m. in the SIU School of Law Hiram H. Lesar Building Auditorium.  Nandorfy’s appearance is part of the ongoing “Imagining Geographies” initiative.  The multi-year effort, “Linking Land, Lives and Arts of Southern Illinois,” runs through May 2. The initiative includes a series of interactive exhibits and panel discussions that provide a range of perspectives on past, present and future interaction between our environment and life in Southern Illinois. 

Nandorfy and Daniel Fischlin are co-authors of the 2012 book, “The Communities of Rights, The Rights of Communities.” The book explores “what it might mean to think about rights through a prism in which neither the individual nor the community has meaning, one without the other, where neither term is privileged.”  

Residents in more than 140 towns across the United States are holding discussions on citizen-initiated referendums proposing adoption of locally designed community bill of rights.  

The initiative is holding a workshop on Saturday, April 5, that will explore the roles that telling stories can have in advancing community change. Nandorfy and Angela Aguayo, an assistant professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography, will present the workshop at Cristaudo’s Cafe and Bakery, 209 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale.  The event starts at 4 p.m. and is a collaboration of “Imagining Geographies” and Nonviolent Carbondale, a coalition of more than 20 community organizations. 

Aguayo and her students will also lead a hands-on workshop that explains how to gather and record stories of community life at 5 p.m., April 10, at the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale, 250 N. Springer St.  A similar community-wide workshop is April 12 in the Communications Building Studio A at SIU. 

All of these events are free and open to the public. Additional information is available on the initiative’s website or by entering Imagining Geographies on Facebook.