CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Jan. 14, 2000
UI names American studies professor 2000 Global Scholar
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowa has named Jane Desmond, an
associate professor of American studies, the 2000 UI Global Scholar. Recipients
of the Global Scholar award are released from half their usual teaching, advising,
administrative and service obligations for two consecutive years. The award
takes the form of a developmental assignment for one semester each year, part
of which will be spent in one or more foreign countries.
Desmond is the sixth UI scholar to receive the award. The Global Scholars
Program, which was initiated in 1995, is a faculty development program that
grew out of the universitys strategic planning process. The strategic
plan, Achieving Distinction 2000, recognizes that as a state university with
national and international obligations, it is committed to understanding and
contributing to global issues and trends. Up to two Global Scholar awards
may be made annually for a total of four scholars in any given year.
As a Global Scholar, Desmond will analyze the intellectual practices of
"American Studies" in a number of foreign countries including Germany,
Poland, Japan and Vietnam, to develop a model of comparative American Studies.
"This research project grows directly out of my administrative experience
as co-founder and co-director, with Virginia Dominguez of the International
Forum for U.S. Studies. Working with foreign colleagues from around the world,
I've become aware of the tremendous variety of scholarly work being done on
the U.S. abroad, and of the need for U.S. scholars to understand that work
and incorporate it into our own research for a richer, more global view of
the United States," Desmond said. "I'm thrilled that the award will
allow me time to pursue this research in a concentrated way and then to expand
the teaching I currently do on comparative American studies."
Desmond's scholarly interests focus on issues of bodily display and social
categorization, particularly in the areas of performance studies, feminist
theory and cultural studies. She publishes on tourism, popular culture, the
arts, and visual display.
Desmond has recently completed a book on tourism and live performance, "Staging
Tourism: Bodies on Display from Waikiki to Sea World" (Chicago: 1999).
Her focus is on the centrality of bodily display to the ideological structures
of these industries. Drawing on past professional work in dance and film,
she writes about related issues of performativity, embodiment, and visual
representation across a wide range of venues, including theatrical dance,
television, film, popular culture, and museums. She also serves as co-director
of the International Forum for U.S. Studies and is active nationally and internationally
in developing increased scholarly contact among American Studies scholars
around the world.
She publishes in a wide range of fields across the humanities, including
articles in journals such as "Signs," "Women and Performance,"
"American Quarterly," "Cultural Critique," "TDR:
A Journal of Performance Studies," and many others. She is the editor
of "Meaning in Motion: New Cultural Studies of Dance" (Duke University
Press, 1997), and is currently editing a second book on dance called "Dancing
Desires." She is also developing a new book project related to an international
faculty seminar at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, which she co-directed
with Virginia Dominguez, called "1898: Sovereignty and Colonialism in
Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawai'i, Guam and the Philippines, and their Impact on