Identity Politics without the Politics

Romeo famously asked, “What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose /By any other name would smell as sweet.”  But scientific experiments, historical examples, literature through the ages, and our own personal feelings and experiences challenge what seems to be a truism.  What we call ourselves and how others name us influence our self-perception as well as how others perceive us.  Context can also alter meaning just as “Aloha” can be used for goodbye or hello in the Hawaiian culture.  What is identity and can we really define ourselves accurately?

Our guest speaker is Marilyn Kurata. A third-generation Japanese-American born in California, Marilyn Kurata is retired from UAB, where she served as a faculty member and chair of the Department of English, as well as Director of Core Curriculum Enhancement and Interim Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs.  She and her husband Bob Bradley have two sons, a beloved daughter-in-law, and an adorable seven-month old granddaughter.