CONTACT: SHAWN PRESLEY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Seminar presents ethical issues of development in India
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two scholars who recently visited Central-Western India
to study a controversial dam project will present their findings and perspectives
Friday, March 7 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Room W401 of the Pappajohn Business
"Development by Displacement: The Narmada Dam Controversy" will
be presented by Judy Polumbaum, associate professor of journalism and mass
communication, and Jael Silliman, assistant professor of women's studies.
The Narmada River dam controversy concerns a dam being built for the largest
westward flowing river in India. The project was conceived in the late 1950s
and construction began in 1987. A group of 12 faculty and students from Grinnell
College and the UI visited the region to speak with anti-dam activists, villagers
who would be displaced by the dam and government officials and dam experts.
According to Polumbaum, the dam will cause many problems, but the most apparent
is the displacement of families. It's estimated that the Narmada dam will
leave 66,000 families without homes.
"The story of this dam is the story of the need for changing development
strategies and learning to take human factors into account," Polumbaum
The India trip was part of the Bridging Project in International Studies,
a program designed to expand faculty knowledge and strengthen international
studies. The project was initiated in 1991-92 and is funded by Grinnell, the
UI and the Ford Foundation.
Each year, two study groups are funded by the project with faculty members,
graduate students and undergraduate students in each group. The faculty and
students represent diverse disciplines and opinions.
The ethics seminar is sponsored by the Center for Comparative and International
Studies, the College of Business Administration and the Project on Rhetoric
of Inquiry. It is free and open to the public.