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Release: Immediate

UI South Asian Studies Program celebrates Karnataka culture

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The culture of the Indian state Karnataka will be celebrated in May when the South Asian Studies Program at the University of Iowa presents an academic workshop and Spring Cultural Festival.

According to organizer Amita Mathur, the UI is a natural place for the celebration since it's one of the few universities in the United States that focuses on the culture of Karnataka.

The workshop on Karnataka cinema, literature, history, science, politics and culture is May 19-22. It is designed for college-level students, non-Indians and Indians of Karnataka heritage and will try to foster friendships that will help sustain the Karnataka community in North America for future generations.

Taught by faculty members from the UI, the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Chicago, the workshop fee is $350 and includes rooming arrangements and one semester-hour of college credit. It is open to public enrollment.

During the May 23-24 Spring Cultural Festival, Karnataka writers, filmmakers, musicians and cultural experts will share their work and their political and social views. U.R. Ananthamurthy, a well-known writer in Karnataka, will read several passages from his stories, poetry and novels. Girish Karnad, Karnataka director, actor and playwright, will screen and discuss several of his most important films. In addition, dancers Rajeshvari and Vijay Verma of Davenport will sing Kannada songs and perform South Indian dances.

The festival is free and open to the public. Contributions will be accepted to the University of Iowa's fund to support an endowed chair in Kannada language and culture. For more information, contact Amita Mathur at 319-335-1356 or visit the website at