A two-day conference on ethnicity in literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago will open with a panel discussion on the politics of multiethnic writing, feminist literary theory, and issues raised by migration and immigration, Inventing and Reinventing Ethnicity in Literature. The free presentation is at 2:30 PM at the A-1 Lecture Center, 821 S. Morgan. For a full schedule and other conference information call 996-6352.
Mozambique–with its mulligan stew of Arabs, Europeans, Asians, and Africans–has historically been caught between its own economic and political self-interest and that of its powerful neighbor South Africa. The Mozambique Support Network’s Spring National Conference offers a review of the current civil war there. A campaign to help traumatized Mozambican children and a boycott of Citibank, which recently rescheduled outstanding loans to South Africa, will also be launched. The conference starts at 7 PM at the Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th St. Valeriano Ferrao, Mozambique’s ambassador to the U.S., will be the keynote speaker. Admission to tonight’s talk is free; the conference is $25. For more information call 922-3286.
A guided bird walk at 8 AM starts off today’s Earth Day activities at the North Park Village Nature Center. Joining the center’s staff in a daylong hands-on nature celebration will be members of the American Indian Business Association. From 10 to 4 today, they’ll share stories, lead games, and supervise craft projects. It’s all free at 5801 N. Pulaski. Call 583-8970.
The big difference between the Saint Pascal School and the Temple Beth-El Las Vegas Nites fund-raisers is that the Christians are offering a nonsmoking room for poker. Other than that, it’s the same blackjack, roulette, and gambling fever. Saint Pascal’s kicks off at 6 PM at 6143 W. Irving Park Road. Admission is $3. Call 736-8806. Temple Beth-El starts at 7 at 3050 W. Touhy. Admission is $5 and includes refreshments. Call 274-0341.
Ten years ago Evanston residents called the cops about a suspicious-looking van whose passengers seemed out of place in the neighborhood. As it turned out, the people in the van were sympathizers with the FALN, the Puerto Rican independence group. They were later indicted and convicted of a host of charges, including seditious conspiracy. Dora Garcia, one of the passengers, served ten years for alleged terrorist activities. She’ll make her first public appearance since her recent release at 6:30 tonight at a rally at the First Congregational Church, 1305 N. Hamlin. She’ll be joined by nationalist heroine Lolita Lebron, who served more than 30 years in jail for the attempted assassination of President Truman. Admission is $3. Call 342-8023.
Why didn’t the Sandinistas win the election last month? What does their loss mean for Cuba? For El Salvador? For South Africa? Is the third world struggling for democracy or socialism or both or neither? What Is This World Coming To? is a forum on the upheaval in world socialism. Irwin Silber, an activist with the Frontline Political Organization who toured the Soviet Union for five weeks last fall, will be joined by Prexy Nesbitt, an antiapartheid activist, for a discussion about the leftie world’s future. It starts at 2 PM at the Church of the Epiphany, 201 S. Ashland. Admission is $3 and includes child care. There will also be a cash bar and other refreshments. Call 348-3370.
Frank Melcori and Jim Baker are emphatic when they say that what they’re doing with Allen Ginsberg’s Howl isn’t just a reading-with-music thing. “I see it as a situation in which Jim and I accompany each other,” says Melcori, who will read from Ginsberg’s classic poem while pianist Baker contributes something in the way of sound. They don’t call it a performance or an interpretation; they call it a production of the Italian American Theatre, the same folks who brought us Silent Othello and Letters From Prison. Show time is 8:30 tonight and next Sunday at Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport. Tickets are $4. Call 248-5238.
After a two-year, $3.9-million renovation, the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Kovler lion house–with its collection of lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, and other big cats–has just reopened. Originally built in 1912 by Prairie School architect Dwight Perkins, the lion house reflected the thinking of the times: tile walls and concrete floors that were easy to clean. Now the cats will have larger, more natural habitats, with more vertical and horizontal spaces for them to climb, stretch, and relax. Yet the building, a classic zoo structure, has been left relatively intact on the outside. A zoo shop and year-round information center have also been added. You can visit from 9 to 5 seven days a week; the zoo is at 2200 N. Cannon Dr. It’s free. Call 294-4660.
Chicago authors Jeffrey Zaslow, Leah Averick, and Charlotte Herman will be on hand for today’s Book and Author Panel to benefit Hadassah Israel Education Services. A box lunch will be served. It’s at 10:45 AM at Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan. The suggested donation is $36. Call 263-7473.
It’s an encore performance for Dr. Susan Lee, a psychologist who’s also the chairperson of Northwestern’s theater department; her last appearance before Women in Film was so enormously successful that the group asked her back. She’ll speak on Women, Creativity and Aging at today’s 7 AM breakfast at the Holiday Inn City Centre, 300 E. Ohio. Tickets are $17, $12 for WIF members. Reservations are recommended, so call 372-2376.
Having failed twice running for Congress and once running for county office, 29th Ward Alderman Danny Davis can’t seem to get out of City Council. First elected in 1979, he has seen the council go from rubber stamp to belligerent obstacle to rubber stamp. He’ll talk about the Future of the City Council today at 1:30 PM as part of the free “Future of Chicago” lecture series at the University of Illinois at Chicago, coordinated and moderated by associate professor and former alderman Dick Simpson. It’s in the John Paul II Catholic Student Center, 700 S. Morgan. Call 996-8282.
The Poet’s Circle features readings, discussions, feedback on works in progress, information about journals, and other poet patter. The group meets at 7:30 PM the first and third Tuesdays of the month in room A02 at Central Junior High, 17248 S. 67th St. in Tinley Park. It’s free. Call 708-423-9258.
The shoe soles will be thick, the lapels wide, and the hair very moussed and stylish at Berlin’s 70s Disco Obsession night. The only thing the DJs promise is that you won’t hear a single Bee Gees hit–too mainstream. It starts at 9 at 954 W. Belmont. There’s no cover. Call 348-4975.
Oliver Stone’s upcoming movie about Jim Morrison and the Doors will probably send the price of tickets to hear Ray Manzarek soaring. But you can hear the legendary Doors keyboardist accompany poet Michael McClure in a special concert tonight. According to the press release, McClure was Morrison’s role model. It starts at 10 at Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $10. Call 525-6620.
Indian music is known for its pure, improvised melodies that are centered around the human voice. Tanushree Sarkar, an Indian singer and dancer in the traditional Kathak style, performs with a full complement of Indian musicians at 12:15 PM at Harper College, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. It’s free. Call 708-397-3000, ext. 2568.
The state’s attorney’s office is sponsoring a memorial service for homicide victims at 4:30 today at Daley Plaza, on the corner of Washington and Dearborn streets. The commemoration is part of National Victim Rights Week. Information about assistance programs for survivors will be available. It’s free. Call 890-7200.