Voices from the Gaps holds forum

Justin Horwath

Around 50 students and professors gathered in Room 125 of the Science Classroom Building on Thursday morning for a panel discussion on Voices From the Gaps, a collaborative College of Liberal Arts Web site dedicated to women writers and artists of color.

on the web

For more information, go to: voices.cla.umn.edu/VG/

The college opened the forum, which discussed how the Web site is used, to the public and involved classes from a variety of disciplines.

Started in 1996 by the American studies and English departments, Voices From the Gaps has become the seventh most visited University-based site, said Kathy Allen of University Relations Services.

The site serves as a teaching and research tool, along with being a network for artists, scholars, professors and students from across the nation and globe.

Voices From the Gaps director and associate English professor Maria Damon said artists’ biographies are the “heart of the Web site,” and noted its popularity was spreading across the globe.

“Globalization is afoot,” she said.

Along with featuring many unknown and budding writers and poets, the site also displays numerous artist biographies, including Pulitzer Prize winners Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.

Additionally, CLA offers Voices From the Gaps, a class requiring students to work together in small groups to submit a biography and critique of an artist not yet featured on the Web site.

Physiology sophomore Nesebu Boru and biology senior Ganesh Babulal submitted a biography of poet Alice Callahan for the class. Both said it was a good opportunity to get published.

“It’s a great way to market yourself,” Boru said. “I would recommend it to anyone out there.”

Jen Faris, a first-year advertising student, said she attended the panel to get more information about the Web site for her women’s studies paper on Toni Morrison. She said her professor invited the class to the panel, and Faris visited the site before the panel, but failed to find much information about Morrison.

“I found better Web sites (featuring Morrison),” she said. “But that’s why I’m here.”