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International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026

Release: Immediate

International scholars of U.S. history and culture to present lectures at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Five distinguished international scholars who are visiting the University of Iowa as participants in the International Forum for U.S. Studies (IFUSS) will give a series of lectures in February and March on a variety of topics.

The scholars, who have come from England, New Zealand, Nigeria, India and Russia, will be in residence for three months extending studies of social and cultural topics affecting the United States that they began in their home countries.

The IFUSS program seeks to promote humanities scholarship by non-U.S. scholars whose research focuses on social and cultural issues shaping or affecting the United States. The forum recognizes the growth of U.S. studies around the world and attempts to advance discussions of cultural diversity by promoting scholarship on the United States done by scholars working out of different national histories, intellectual institutions and scholarly traditions.

IFUSS is a Rockefeller Humanities Residency Site for Fellowships during 1997-1999. The forum was jointly conceptualized by Virginia Dominguez, a UI professor of anthropology, and Jane Desmond, a UI professor of American studies and women's studies under the umbrella of the former Center for International and Comparative Studies (CICS). IFUSS is affiliated with International Programs at the University of Iowa.

As part of their fellowship, IFUSS scholars participate in public forums in which they discuss their research. All lectures are free and open to the public. They will all take place at 4 p.m. Thursdays in Room 204 Jefferson Building.

To reach one of the scholars while they are at the UI or to obtain more information about these lectures or about the IFUSS program, contact Anne Guldin at (319) 335-2476 or Lois Gray at (319) 335-2026.

Following is a schedule of the upcoming lectures along with information about the scholars:

Feb. 18: "Whiteness and Politeness: Race and Gender, Etiquette and Civilization in the U.S. at the Turn of the Century," will be presented by Maureen Montgomery, the chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is also a member of the Editorial Board of American Studies International. She is the author of "Gilded Prostitution: Status, Money, and Transatlantic Marriages, 1870-1914" (1989) and "Displaying Women: Spectacles of Leisure in Edith Wharton's New York" (1998). Her IFUSS project is titled, "Whiteness and Politeness: An Investigation of the Racialization of Civilization in the United States at the Turn of the Century."

March 4: "African Crisis, American Leadership and Globalization: Toward a Philosophy of Cultural Integration," will be presented by Kolawole Owolabi, a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He is the author of "Because of our Future: The Imperative of Environmental Ethics in Africa," and of two forthcoming books: "Issues and Problems in Philosophy," and "Avoiding Anarchy: Social Order and Social Justice in Africa." Owolabi has also published numerous articles on African philosophy, the philosophy of culture, and the philosophy of literature in a variety of academic journals and books. His IFUSS project is titled, "Cultural Identity, National Integration," and the "Globalization Project: American Experience and the African Prospect."

March 11: "Internationalizing American Studies: Evolving Paradigms In Indian Perspective," will be presented by Kousar Azam, a senior academic fellow in social sciences at the American Studies Research Center in Hyderabad; co-editor of The Indian Journal of American Studies; and professor of political science at Osmania University. She recently completed a term as president of the Indian National Congress for Defense Studies, and for several years she served as director of the Center for Policy Research at Osmania University. She is author of "Tribal Separatism in India," (1966) and "Political Aspects of National Integration in India" (1980). She is the editor of "India's Defense Policy for the 1990s," (1990); "Economic Liberalization in India: Implications for Indo-U.S. Relations," (1997); and "Federalism and Good Governance: Issues Across Cultures" (1998). Her IFUSS project is titled, "Internationalizing American Studies: The Search for a New Paradigm."

March 25: "The American Way of Speech as a Fictional Model: A View of the American Literary Tradition," will be presented by Tatiana Venediktova, who is currently professor in the World Literature Department of Moscow University and a member of the Board of the Russian Association of American Studies. A specialist in American poetry and literature, she is the author of four books: "The Poetry of Walt Whitman," (1982); "The Poetry in America: Modern Phase," (1989); "Self-Made Man: The Experience of American Culture," (1993); and "Finding the Voice: National Poetic Tradition in America," (1994). Her IFUSS project is titled, "Conversation in America: Literary Tradition as a Communication Pact."

April 8: "Reading the American City: Chicago as Space, Place and Representation," presented by Liam Kennedy, who is currently lecturer and postgraduate director in the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham, England. He is the author of "Susan Sontag: Minds as Passion" (1995) and of the forthcoming book "Race and Urban Space in American Culture." Kennedy is also the co-editor of "Urban Space and Representation" (1998) and of the forthcoming volume "American Cultural Studies." He has written numerous articles related to his interests in American film, literature, and urban studies. His IFUSS project is titled, "Mapping Chicago: Urban Space and Representation."