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Release: Feb. 27, 2002

10 international American studies scholars to visit UI this spring

Distinguished scholars from around the world will visit the University of Iowa this spring through the International Forum for U.S. Studies (IFUSS). During their visits, which range from one week to two months, the 10 scholars will conduct research, participate in the Ford Foundation's Crossing Borders Convocation March 7-9, and give lectures on their areas of study.

The first scholar, Sonia Torres, arrived earlier this month and will speak on Friday, March 1 about "Remembering the Alamo, Dismembering the Cowboy." Her presentation is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Room 704, Jefferson Building. Torres is associate professor at the Institute of Letters, Universidade Federal Fluminense, where she teaches English language literatures and Hispanic literatures. She is also former president of the Brazilian Association of American Studies and is currently vice president of the International American Studies Association.

While on campus as an IFUSS Fellow through March 21, Torres is teaching a six-week course entitled "America: Crossed Gazes, Close Encounters." This course focuses on different national identity discourses as they are defined through representations of space, such as the domestic sphere, "contact zones," metropolitan spaces, and the open road. Her March 1 lecture is co-sponsored by IFUSS and the American studies department.

Other IFUSS fellows include:

-- Kousar Azam, professor of political science at Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. Her teaching and research interests include international relations, defense and strategic studies, and American studies. From 1995-2000, she served as Senior Academic Fellow at the Indo-American Center for International Studies. Azam was an IFUSS Fellow in 1999 and is returning to Iowa March 3-12 to participate in the Crossing Borders Convocation.

-- Sabine Broeck, professor of English and American studies and vice president for international relations at the University of Bremen. She will visit the UI March 26-April 13 to discuss possibilities for establishing transnational collaborative research projects with IFUSS.

-- Nila Das, a reader of English at the University of Kalyani in India. Her areas of study specialization include Indian literature in English and 20th century women's literature. Das came to the UI in spring 2000 under a Crossing Borders research residency and returns March 3-11 to participate in the Crossing Borders Convocation.

-- Eva Federmayer, professor of American Studies at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary. A Keller Foundation grant recipient and IFUSS affiliate scholar, she will conduct research on her specialty area of African American literature and culture while in Iowa April 3-July 11.

During her visit to the UI, Federmayer will present a lecture titled "A 'New Negro Woman': Race, Gender, and Class in Jessie Fauset's Plum Bun (1929)," Friday, April 12, at 4 p.m. in Room 704, Jefferson Building. This event is sponsored by IFUSS and the African-American world studies department.

-- Lesley Marx, a professor of English at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research and teaching interests include American and South African culture, with a particular focus in literature, film, and history. Marx is coming to the UI March 4-16 to participate in the Crossing Borders Convocation.

-- Makarand Paranjape, professor of English in the Centre for Linguistics and English, School of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. Paranjape will be in Iowa for a month starting April 15. During this time, he will conduct research on American literature and give a public lecture entitled "Re-Presenting India: Indian English and its Con/texts." The event will be Thursday, April 25 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., 315 Phillips Hall, and is co-sponsored by IFUSS and the South Asian Studies Program (SASP).

-- Lilea Rilea, dean of languages at Moldova State University. As a Fulbright grant recipient and IFUSS affiliate scholar, Rilea is on campus through April. During her fellowship, she is developing an American studies curriculum for a new M.A. program in American Studies at Moldova State University.

-- Christopher Saunders teaches in the history department at the University of Cape Town. He first visited the UI in the spring of 2000 with the Crossing Borders "Reciprocal American Studies" program and will return March 21 for two weeks. Saunders' current research involves comparative racial politics of the United States and South Africa. He plans to conduct a seminar on this topic during his return to the university.

-- R.S. Sharma, professor emeritus, department of English, and dean faculty of arts, from Osmania University. One of the pioneers of American studies in India, he has contributed to American studies curriculum development in Indian universities. He is returning to the UI March 3-12 to participate in the Crossing Borders Convocation.

IFUSS is funded by a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, with support from The Ford Foundation and The University of Iowa. The program was founded by Virginia Dominguez, a UI professor of anthropology, and Jane Desmond, a UI professor of American studies. The forum works to internationalize the practice of "American Studies" in the U.S. by placing foreign and domestic scholars in dialogue, and to yield a more complex understanding of U.S. culture by bringing scholars from all parts of the globe together for shared research residences and conferences.

For more information on any these scholars, IFUSS or for special accommodations to attend any of the lectures, call (319) 335-2476, or send e-mail to