CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-00011; fax (319) 384-0024
Ethics Seminar: UI professor to examine Indians' language use
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Amazonian Indians use their native language as more
than a means of communicating words. When interacting with foreign populations,
language becomes a cultural resource -- a means of sharing their heritage
University of Iowa anthropology professor Laura Graham will explore
this use of language as part of this fall's series of Ethics Seminars,
sponsored by the UI College of Business Administration, the Project on
Rhetoric of Inquiry, and UI International Programs.
Graham's lecture, "Amazonian Indians in International Fora: Some
Linguistic Dilemmas," is Friday, Oct. 3, from noon-1:15 p.m. in Room
S401 of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building.
Graham has carried out anthropological research among Amazonian Indians
since 1981 and has served as a consultant for UNICEF and World Wildlife
Fund in programs dealing with the Xavante Indians of Central Brazil.
Amazonian Indians have captured international attention since the mid-1980s
and have especially intrigued environmentalists in developed nations because
the Indians are perceived as "natural guardians" of the environment.
Some Indians have played to these First World ideals about Indians and
"Indian-ness" and used their symbolic appeal to achieve concrete
political beliefs. For example, when appearing in international public
spheres, many Indians have attempted to maximize their "symbolic value"
by wearing ornate bodily adornments. By exploring dilemmas of Indian leaders'
language use, Graham's presentation considers a further dimension of Indians'
symbolic politics in international arenas.
For further information about the seminar, contact the Project for Rhetoric
of Inquiry at (319) 335-2753.