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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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3/23/2004 Romanian village topic of faculty lecture

McMINNVILLE ? Joel Marrant, Linfield College professor of anthropology, will speak on "Clumps, Chumps, Slots ?n Strings: Playing Our Way to Who We Are" Wednesday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Marrant will share his views on social identity, based on more than three decades of intense study of a rural Romanian village. Since 1973, Marrant has tracked the social and cultural transformation of Poienile Izei, a small village in the Maramures region of Romania. The recipient of three Fulbright Fellowships, Marrant has made 10 trips to Romania and will return again in August looking specifically at the impact of post-communist political and economic forces on the formation of social identities. He has assisted the people of Poienile Izei as they adapt to and benefit from the changes taking place in the "new Europe," involving a number of Linfield students in his research along the way.

Marrant will discuss a model of social identity formation he has developed, which he hopes to incorporate into an effective program for tension reduction and positive community development in volatile regions.

"The problem I was grappling with three decades ago is the same problem I am grappling with now," said Marrant, a member of the Linfield faculty since 1978. "What are the social identities of these people and what is the glue that holds the community together?"

"What I have learned over the 30 years has been pretty humbling, but also very exciting," he added. "The first and most important step was unlearning a lot of what I thought I knew. The second step was coming to understand that walking the path to understanding ?who we are? requires that we be playful -? and unafraid of what we might discover."

Marrant holds a bachelor?s from the University of California, and a master?s and doctorate from the University of Oregon.

The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.