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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 6, 2003

Photo: Patricia Vertinsky, associate dean of research and graduate programs at the University of British Columbia

Feminist Scholar To Speak On Women, Sport, Aging

An internationally recognized scholar of women's sport history will visit the University of Iowa Feb. 12-14 as an Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor. Patricia Vertinsky, associate dean of research and graduate programs at the University of British Columbia, will give two public lectures and participate in informal meetings and conversations with students and faculty while she is on campus.

Vertinsky, an historian whose work focuses on women's health, aging, and the medicalization of the body, will speak about "Sporting Women in the Public Gaze: Shattering the Master Narratives of the Aging Female Body," at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 in Room 1505, Seamans Center. A reception will follow in the Jones Common Room, 3rd floor, Lindquist Center. On Friday Feb. 14, she will speak on "Embodying Normalcy: Dangerous Stories around Somatotyping," at 1:30 p.m. in Room 704, Jefferson Building. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Vertinsky's defining book, "The Eternally Wounded Woman: Women, Doctors, and Exercise in the Late Nineteenth Century" (1990), examines how medical discourses that constructed women as weak and frail kept women from active exercise and thus constrained their growth and health.

She is also co-author of "Physical Activity, Aging and Stereotypes" (1996) and has published widely in the fields of women's health, aging, and sport history in a variety of journals including Gerontologist, Women and Health, the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, Health Promotion, and the Journal of Sport History. Her current research focuses on the medicalization of the body and feminist perspectives on physical activity and aging. She received her undergraduate degree from Birmingham University and her graduate degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of British Columbia.

Vertinsky's visit is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the department of health and sport studies, the department of women's studies, and the aging studies program.

Her visit is supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, which brings outstanding scholars to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. A native of Vinton, Iowa, Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships program in her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists have visited the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media Contact: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program Contact: Susan Birrell, Health and Sport Studies, 319-335-9335,