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Release: Dec. 2, 2002

Scholar to address balance between academic, social feminism

Feminist scholar Robyn Wiegman will visit the University of Iowa Thursday, Dec. 5 to meet with faculty and students and give a free, public lecture. Wiegman, director of women's studies and associate professor of literature at Duke University, will present "Academic Feminism and Other Swear Words," at 4 p.m. in Lecture Room 2, Van Allen Hall. The women's studies department in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is sponsoring her visit.

Her talk will address the relationship between women's studies in academics and feminist social movements. Wiegman says many feminist scholars have felt despair over the lack of connection between women's studies and social movement, and she wants to counter this despair with an optimistic perspective. She argues that there is a distinction between academic knowledge production and social movement, but she disagrees that the women's studies field is in a bad place because it has lost its political edge.

In addition to her lecture, Wiegman will participate in a roundtable discussion on the institutionalization of feminism during a brown bag lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Also on Dec. 6 she will conduct a workshop, "The Futures of American Studies," at 4 p.m. Both the discussion and the workshop will be held in 704 Jefferson Building.

Wiegman earned a doctorate in English from the University of Washington. She has directed Duke University's women's studies department for two years. Among her many research interests are cultural studies, American studies, critical race theory, visual studies, queer studies and critical theory. She has written and edited many scholarly articles and books, including the textbook "Literature and Gender."

This event is co-sponsored by the UI's Office of the Provost, Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry, School of Social Work, and departments of African American world studies, American studies, cinema and comparative literature, communication studies, English, history, sexuality studies, and political science.