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Friday 3/21 - Thursday 3/27

MARCH

By Cara Jepsen

21 FRIDAY Women in the Zapatista movement and those across Mexico who are affiliated with leftist and feminist causes are redefining what it is to be women, says U. of C. grad student Raj Balasubramanian. She'll discuss their struggle today in a free workshop called The Crisis in Chiapas: Women Waging War on (Neo)Colonialism. It's at 4 in Room 319 at Pick Hall, at the University of Chicago, 5828 S. University. Call 773-702-8420.

Long before The X-Files, people read books to ponder alternate realities and other otherworldly occurrences. The new anthology Spec-Lit, compiled by Columbia College science fiction instructor Phyllis Eisenstein, contains work from 13 of her students, as well as work by Chicago writers Algis Budrys (Rogue Moon) and Gene Wolfe. Wolfe, author of The Book of the New Sun, and other featured writers will read at tonight's publication party. It's at 7:30 at Columbia College's Hokin Center Gallery, 623 S. Wabash. It's free. Call 312-666-1600, extension 5611.

Rebecca Rossen and Anthony Gongora of the Loop Troop dance ensemble and independent choreographer Sheldon B. Smith will perform with bassist Tatsu Aoki and drummer David Pavkovic tonight in "Foot + Sound: A Concert of Improvisational Dance and Music." It's part of the Cook County Theatre Department's 34/97 Festival, a four-week event that sets out to juxtapose art forms, ideas, and people. It continues next weekend with "Brain + Presentation." "Foot + Sound" is tonight and tomorrow at 8 at the Cook County Theatre Department, 2255 S. Michigan (enter on 23rd Street). Tickets are $9. Call 312-842-8234.

22 SATURDAY The white-throated sparrow sounds like it says, "Oh Sam Peabody Peabody Peabody" when it warbles. But if you're Canadian you'll probably hear "Sweet sweet Canada Canada Canada." Other birds seem to say their own names, such as the killdeer, whippoorwill, and chickadee. There are 1,800 species of fowl worldwide--between 350 and 400 of them fly through Chicago--and they all have different songs for mating, maintaining a bond or territory, teaching their young how to live, gathering the tribe, and warning of danger. Today Paul Baker will demonstrate how to identify birds by their voices in a three-hour class called "An Introduction to Bird Sounds." It's from 9 to noon at the Field Museum, Roosevelt Road and Lake Shore Drive, and it's $28. Call 312-322-8854.

One in three people will develop cancer in their lifetime and one in four will die from the disease, according to the Cancer Prevention Coalition. But it doesn't have to be that way: improving prevention methods and decreasing exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in food, water, air, and consumer products can reduce the risk. Tonight at 8 the College of Complexes presents Samuel Epstein, a professor of occupational and environmental medicine at UIC, who will discuss The Politics of Cancer: Why We Have an Epidemic. It's at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Tuition is $3 plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120.

23 SUNDAY The Museum of Contemporary Art invites neophytes, dilettantes, and culture vultures to visit four established local artists in their studios today. The group will visit the loft of wood sculptors Gregg and George Coffey and the studio of small-scale installation artist Matthew Girson (who also teaches at the School of the Art Institute). The final stop is in Maywood, at the Frank Lloyd Wright home of Jesse Howard, who says his watercolors and ink-and-charcoal drawings depict "black men in crisis." Buses leave at 9:30 from the south side of the MCA, 220 E. Chicago, and return by 4. Tickets are $55 and include transportation and lunch at Club Lucky. Call 847-433-1590 for reservations.

Anything goes in a Chicago Street Fight--hair pulling, eye gouging, kicking, biting, aisle brawling, low blows, you name it. Tonight Ahmed Johnson will fight dirty with Nation of Domination leader Faarooq in just one of the many matches in Wrestlemania 13, where you'll also see reigning champ Sycho Sid take on the Undertaker for the World Wrestling Federation championship title. The brawling begins at 5:30 at the Rosemont Horizon, 6920 N. Mannheim, in Rosemont. Tickets range from $20 to $300. Call 847-635-6601.

24 MONDAY Jane Mendelsohn's I Was Amelia Earhart moved up the best-seller list last year after radio host Don Imus talked up the fanciful story to his listeners. The book intertwines historical fact with a fictional first-person account of what would have happened if Earhart and her alcoholic navigator (and, in Mendelsohn's book, lover) Fred Noonan had landed on a South Pacific island after her plane disappeared in July 1937. Mendelsohn will read from the book tonight at 7:15 at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark. It's free. Call 773-769-9299.

25 TUESDAY The second phase of testing an HIV/AIDS vaccine begins in April, and researchers in Chicago are looking for 30 brave volunteers to participate in the nationwide clinical trials (there are three phases of testing before FDA approval). The panel discussion Plain Talk About HIV/AIDS Vaccines: An Open Community Forum on Preventive Vaccine Research in Chicago will explain how the vaccine works and what the participants can expect. Panelists include Jose Chavez, who participated in the first phase of the vaccine trial, Robert Fogel, a local attorney and member of President Clinton's advisory council on HIV/AIDS, and Patricia Fast, associate director of the vaccine research program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Quentin Young, president-elect of the American Public Health Association, will moderate. It's free, and takes place tonight from 6:30 to 9 in the auditorium of the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. Call 773-871-5777, extension 332, for more information.

26 WEDNESDAY Landlord-tenant disputes hit home like no other conflict. But most problems can be resolved before they escalate to fisticuffs. Ed Sacks, author of the Renters' Survival Kit and Chicago Tenants' Handbook, will discuss Mediation: Help for Tenants, Landlords, Neighbors, and Communities tonight at 7 at the Conrad Sulzer Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. It's free. Call 312-744-7616.

27 THURSDAY The title of Mary-Arrchie Theatre's Cut, Poison, and Burn refers to today's accepted cancer treatments--surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In this new play, Dr. Lucien DeVito goes from embracing those traditional therapies to learning about alternate treatments that emphasize diet, naturopathy, and herbology. He begins administering those therapies, gets labeled a quack, and faces legal problems. Tonight's opening performance is at 7 at Angel Island, 731 W. Sheridan. Tickets are $10. Call 773-871-0442.

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