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Release: March 6, 2002

Crossing Borders Convocation March 7-9 focuses on globalization, spaces of hope

The University of Iowa Crossing Borders Project invites the public to the third Crossing Borders Convocation on the UI campus Thursday, March 7 through Saturday, March 9. The focus of the convocation is on panels, lectures and films that explore the topic of "Globalization and/or Spaces of Hope." All events are scheduled to take place in the International Center Lounge on the UI campus except for the film screenings, which will take place in the UI Becker Communications Studies Building (BCSB) 101.

The convocation, which is open to the public, represents much of the work by UI students and faculty during the third year of a three-year Ford Foundation grant of $350,000 given in 1999 to revitalize area and international studies during a time of accelerating globalization. The convocation is supported by University of Iowa International Programs and The Ford Foundation.

Mixed panels of younger and established scholars, many returning from recent research in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, will explore new demands being made on local life and individual coherence in a time of intensified globalization, according to Paul Greenough, Crossing Borders Project director and UI history professor.

"The phrase 'spaces of hope' comes from David Harvey's book (2000) of the same title, in which he examines the possibilities for social and economic justice under conditions of 'late modernity,'" says Greenough. "Our aim is to initiate a thoughtful discussion of the difficulties that individual actors, communities and whole nations face in creating conditions of general welfare. There are many possible ways to approach this theme, and every discipline will have its own methods and tactics. For those presenters whose work lies in an earlier historical era, they will include examples of 'hope' that emerged within antecedent widespread distress."

Claire Fox, UI English professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will give the keynote address Saturday, March 9, from 11 a.m.-noon in the International Center Lounge, discussing "The End of A Book and the Future of Border Studies." Fox joined the UI English department in 2001. Her teaching and research interests include inter-American cultural studies, Mexican and U.S.-Mexican border arts and culture, visual cultural studies, and cultural policy studies. She is the author of "The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexican Border (U of Minnesota Press 1999), and her essays have appeared in many different publications. She is currently working on a book about hemispheric cultural policy and art criticism during the Cold War period.

Also on Saturday, from 8:45-10:45 a.m., the International Forum for U.S. Studies (IFUSS) will host an IFUSS panel presentation, entitled, "American Studies Outside the United States: A Form of Globalization?"

The Crossing Borders Program is substantially supported by the UI Graduate College, International Programs and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information, a complete schedule of events or for those who need special accommodations to attend this convocation, contact Blythe Burkhardt at International Programs, (319) 335-1436. The Crossing Borders web site can be accessed at

Crossing Borders is affiliated with UI International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.