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Release: Sept. 1, 2000

UI continues year-long seminar series on Cold War America

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A year-long lecture and seminar series examining the events of 1950 continues at the University of Iowa this fall with four programs in September. 1950 was a pivotal turning point in U.S. history, with foreign and domestic events combining to set the stage for the second half of the 20th century in the United States. In honor of the 50th anniversary of that momentous year, the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies is sponsoring the series, "The Point of No Return: 1950, the Cold War and the Twentieth Century."

Lectures and seminars in the series focus on American actions, the reasons given for those actions, the consequences, and possible alternatives. The series, organized by Robert Newman, an Obermann Scholar and adjunct professor of communication studies, and coordinated by the Obermann Center, involves the participation of numerous UI departments and centers.

"Before 1950," Newman explained, "it was possible to conceive of a return to an acceptable working relationship with the Soviet Union, even if not to the wartime cooperation. It was also conceivable that the challenges to civil liberties arising from The House Un-American Activities Committee and Hoover's FBI would be blunted. Both of these possibilities disappeared in
1950 -- it was the Point of No Return."

The following presentations are free and open to the public:

Sept. 7 -- "The Globalization of the Cold War in East Asia," presented by Norman Graebner, University of Virginia emeritus professor of history and public affairs, 7:30 p.m. at Brewery Square, corner of Linn and Market Streets; sponsored by the UI Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry

Sept. 16 -- "The Domino Theory in the Cold War," presented by Frank Ninkovich, St. John's University history professor, and William Stueck, University of Georgia history professor, 9 a.m. 101 Becker Communication Studies Building; sponsored by the UI Center for Recent U.S. History

Sept. 29 -- "Truman's Commitment to the French in Vietnam," presented by George Herring, University of Kentucky history professor, 3 p.m. Minnesota Room, Iowa Memorial Union; sponsored by the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies

Sept. 30 -- "The Culture of Conspiracy," presented by three history professors -- Richard M. Fried of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Justus D. Doenecke of the New College of the University of South Florida, and Michael J. Birkner of Gettysburg College -- 1 p.m. Herbert Hoover Library, West Branch; sponsored by the Hoover Library

UI faculty members convening these upcoming programs in the series include Sam Becker, emeritus professor of communication studies; Lawrence Gelfand, emeritus professor of history; and Stephen Vlastos, professor of history.

For more information contact the Obermann Center at (319) 335-4034 or visit the series Web site at