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October 2004

Release Date: October 29, 2004

Holland Symposium to Highlight Debate over Marriage, Family

Two nationally recognized scholars on the American family will examine the contentious issue of marriage in contemporary society during the 2004 E. James Holland University Symposium on American Values Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 1-2, at Angelo State University.

Dr. David Popenoe, a sociology professor at Rutgers University, and Dr. Stephanie Coontz, professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College, will offer their contrasting views as they explore the symposium's theme of "Marriage and Family in an Age of Shifting Values" during public and classroom presentations.

Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project and primary author of the Council of Families 1995 report Marriage in America: A Report to the Nation, will speak at 1:45 p.m. Monday on "The State of Our Unions." Coontz, author of The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, will speak at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday on "Ozzie and Harriet Don't Live Here Any More: America's Changing Families."

Both scholars will participate in a panel discussion on marriage and family issues at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Dr. Shirley Eoff of the ASU History Department will moderate the panel that will include Dr. Kenneth L. Stewart of the university's sociology faculty. The lectures and the panel discussion are open free to the public in the C.J. Davidson Center in the Houston Harte University Center at ASU.

The two-day symposium is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. In 2003, the board of the Texas State University System named the symposium in honor of Dr. E. James Holland, who established the symposium in 1984 and served 34 years as dean of ASU's College of Liberal and Fine Arts until his retirement last year.

Coontz is the national co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families. In addition to her landmark The Way We Never Were, she is also author of The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms With America's Changing Families and The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families. Popenoe is co-director of the National Marriage Project and a long-time specialist in the study of family and community life in modern societies. His publications include Life Without Father and Promises to Keep: Decline and Renewal of Marriage in America.

For additional information, call Dr. Laurence F. Jones at 942-2262 or visit the Holland Symposium Web site.