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LECTURE ON SOCIAL HISTORY OF RELIGION APRIL 1 -- Jeffrey Cox, professor of history at the University of Iowa, will give a lecture on the social history of religion in 19th-century England at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1 in the UI Museum of Art.

The lecture, which will be presented as part of the museum's "Perspectives" series in conjunction with the current exhibition "Victorian Fairy Painting," will be free and open to the public.

A specialist in 19th- and early 20th-century British history, Cox was chair of the UI history department 1993-96. He is the author of "English Churches in a Secular Society," published by Oxford University Press, and scholarly articles for publications including the Journal of British History and Women's History Review. A scholar with an interest in social history, Cox has written about religion in the Victorian era, English women in Imperial India and the 19th-century missionary movement. He is currently doing research on British and American missionaries in the Punjab during the period 1880-1930.

Cox holds master's and doctoral degrees in history from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree from Rice University. He has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship. He was chosen a UI faculty scholar for 1985-88.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1997-98 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art through the University of Iowa Foundation.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of Cox's talk. Admission is free.

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LORRIE MOORE FICTION READING APRIL 1 -- In what may be an appropriately chosen date for a writer known for balancing what is funny and what is serious, fiction writer Lorrie Moore will mark April Fool's Day with a reading from her most recent work at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 1 in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. The reading, sponsored by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Moore has emerged as one of the finest and most-loved writers in America. She is the author of three collections of stories -- "Self Help," "Anagrams" and "Like Life," and the novel "Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?"

Caryn James, writing in the New York Times Book Review, says that Moore "is the most astute and lasting (writer) of her generation." Newsday, in its review of "Like Life" concluded: "Moore's work continues to astound: a fiercely unsentimental style vivid with imagery; pungent, funny dialogue; a sense of the absurd balanced by compassion for her characters."

The Philadelphia Inquirer called "Like Life" "A brilliant collection . . . the funny and the tragic dovetail with precision and poetry," and the Chicago Tribune describes Moore's work as "Exquisite . . . balanced adriotly on the fine line between laughter and tears."

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CHAMBER ORCHESTRA APRIL 2 -- The Chamber Orchestra from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 2 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The Chamber Orchestra is a small ensemble of students at the UI School of Music. Serving as a training ground for student conductors and soloists, the Chamber Orchestra presents a series of free concerts at their usual rehearsal time -- 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. These concerts give the student conductors and soloists an opportunity to appear before an audience.

The April 2 concert will be conducted by graduate student Beverly Everett and feature graduate student Dennis R. Pedde as soloist in Giuseppi Torelli's Concerto in D major for trumpet.

Other works on the program will be Three Film Scores for string orchestra by Toru Takemitsu and, optimistically, Symphony No. 1, known as the "Spring" Symphony, by Robert Schumann.

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PALMER POETRY READING APRIL 3 -- Michael Palmer will read from his most recent poetry at 8 p.m., Friday, April 3 in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. The reading, which is sponsored by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Palmer, born in 1943, is one of the major poets of his generation. He is the author of the highly acclaimed collections "Blake's Newton," "First Figure," "Notes for Echo Lake" and "At Passages," "Without Music" and "Sun," all of which define him as a poet capable of breaking our mechanical habits of perception and experience.

The New York Times Book Review described Palmer as "one of our finest poets . . . (in his poetry) we seem to move among parts of an argument as large as the mind itself." Poet Robert Creeley wrote of Palmer's work: "The confident brilliance of the writer makes possible a place where words initially engage their meanings -- as if the edge of all 'creations' of all 'worlds.'"

Poet and critic John Ashbery wrote: "Michael Palmer's poems in 'At Passages' are as exemplary radical as ever, but tinged with a new dense lyricism and undercurrents of humor that make this his most exciting collection to date."

Palmer has been the recipient of Guggenheim and Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest fellowships as well as the PEN Center U.S.A./West award. His work is anthologized in collections that include several editions of "Best American Poetry," "Pushcart Prize 12" and "New Directions."

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DANCE THESIS CONCERT APRIL 3 & 4 -- University of Iowa graduate dance students Sara

Jane Duax, Kirsten Kaschock and Tammy Goesch will present a joint Thesis Concert at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4 in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

Duax has created her interpretation in dance of the French children's story, "The Little Prince," by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The work reflects her interpretation of the moral of the story -- the responsibility and importance of friendship -- and her movement representation of the individual characterizations. Much of the work will consist of duets between the Little Prince and the individuals he meets as he travels through the universe, as well as a few large group numbers.

Kaschock's choreography is an abstract modern work about love letters. The piece works with the concept of "bodies without voice and voices without bodies" and stresses the coexistence of text and dance on stage. She includes a collage of readings from love letters, blues songs with lyrics and piano pieces with no lyrics.

Gotesch, whose thesis is in performance rather than choreography, is performing in both works. She represents the Little Prince in Duax's thesis and is a soloist in Kaschock's work.

Admission will be $5 ($4 for UI students, senior citizens and children) at the door.