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Release: Sept. 28, 1999

Chinese basketball is focus of Polumbaum's 'Saturday Scholars' program Oct. 2

IOWA CITY, Iowa — International athletic competitions turn us all into sports fans, rooting for our nation's "home team." But how do athletic games become recognized and accepted as competitive international sports? Judy Polumbaum, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, will explore the roots of basketball in China during Saturday Scholars program, "From YMCA to NBA: The Western stamp on Chinese sports" Oct. 2 at 10 a.m., Rm. 40 Schaeffer Hall.

"China has a long tradition of indigenous sports as well as a long history of adapting Western games and athletic activities. YMCA emissaries introduced basketball to China as part of their Christian brotherhood mission in the late 19th century. Now, 100 years later, the National Basketball Association is making great promotional and commercial inroads," Polumbaum said.

This presentation will discuss some of the longstanding ties between the U.S. and Chinese societies and their bearing on Sino-US relations, global competition and cooperation, and cross-cultural understanding.

Polumbaum has taught at UI's School of Journalism and Mass Communication for 10 years and does research on mass media in mainland China. She has a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada; a master's from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in New York City; and a doctorate in communication from Stanford University.

"Saturday Scholars: Tailgating for the Mind" is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and is free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the College of Liberal Arts in advance at 335-2611.

Future programs include:

Oct. 9 -- "Eve Drewelowe: An Iowa Collection," Joni Kinsey, associate professor of art and art history

Oct. 16 -- "The Return of Little Big Man", Brooks Landon, professor of English

Oct. 23 -- "Behind the Scenes: Contemporary Lighting Design," Bryon Winn, assistant professor of theatre arts (presented at E.C. Mabie Theatre)