CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 31, 2001
Hunnicutt to discuss work-obsessed Americans' fear of leisure Sept. 8
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In the early part of the 20th century, historians and
others who had observed the shortening of the work day over time predicted
that by the 1980s Americans would be working an average of two hours per day.
Instead, at the end of the century, Americans were putting in some of the
longest work hours in history. What happened?
Benjamin Hunnicutt, a University of Iowa professor of health, leisure, and
sport studies, will attempt to answer that question during his presentation,
"Work, More Work, Work Everlasting!" on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10
a.m. in Room 40, Schaeffer Hall. The discussion is the first in the Saturday
Scholars series, presented by the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
"Americans have seen no increase in leisure time since the Great Depression,"
Hunnicutt says. "I think many people are afraid of unstructured leisure
time because they have allowed themselves to become defined by their work.
Work is where people find meaning and identity nowit's like a new religion."
Hunnicutt will offer his theories on how this phenomenon developed and then
invite questions and discussion about the possibilities for reversing the
In a preview of his Sept. 8 presentation, Hunnicutt will be a guest on "Iowa
Talks," WSUI AM- 910, on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m.
Upcoming lectures in the Saturday Scholars series include:
Sept. 22 -- "Iowa Physicians in the Depression," Susan
Lawrence, associate professor of history
Oct. 6 -- "Do Infant Rats Cry? And Why Should We Care?"
Mark Blumberg, professor of psychology
Oct. 20 -- "The Civility Trap: America's Nostalgia for a More
Civil Time," Melissa Deem, assistant professor of rhetoric and women's
Nov. 3 -- A reading from the novel "Carry Me Across the Water,"
Ethan Canin, professor of English
Nov. 17 -- "Lessons on Empowerment: Listening to the Voices
of Entrepreneurial Women," Salome Raheim, director of the UI School of
All presentations will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 40, Schaeffer Hall, the
southeast building on the UI Pentacrest. Each session will last about an hour,
including a 20-30 minute presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Refreshments will be served.
Additional information is available at http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/alumni/saturday_scholars/
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 College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences in advance at 335-2610.