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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 19, 2003
Updated: March 25, 2003--new information in bold

Iowa Project On Place Studies To Hold Symposium March 28

The Iowa Project on Place Studies will hold an inaugural "Symposium on Place" on Friday, March 28 from noon to 5 p.m. to introduce the University of Iowa campus and the greater community and region to the concepts of "place" and "place studies." The symposium will take place in the State Room of the Iowa Memorial Union and is free with no registration required. The symposium is sponsored by the UI Office of Corporate Partnerships and the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Spring Chautauqua.

The Iowa Project on Place Studies (IPPS) is a new initiative organized in the past year. "An interdisciplinary idea, 'place' describes the interconnections of the natural, built, social, and cultural environments and communities in which humanity defines itself," said Thomas Dean, special assistant to the president and coordinator of IPPS. "This integrated understanding of our environments plays an important role in many areas of study today-environmental studies, geography, literary studies, history, social sciences-in fact, almost all disciplines."

Dean points out that place is becoming increasingly important in areas outside of academia as well, such as in civic organization, cultural activities and understanding, and economic development.

The symposium will feature presentations by faculty, staff, and students from a variety of disciplines and areas. Plenty of discussion time is built into the symposium, and the schedule allows for attendees to hear selected presentations if they are unable to make the entire program. Dean suggests that taking in the whole program will provide an excellent sense of the spectrum of what place and place studies are all about.

The Symposium will also feature an exhibit of photographs by Denis Rousel, a graduate student in photography at the UI. The exhibit is part of his M.A. thesis entitled "The place I live in/the place that lives in me." It is a visual study on the notion of "home" and the appropriation of a place by an individual. The series features diptychs and triptychs of photos of Rousel’s hometown in France, and of the farmhouse where he currently resides in Coralville. Rousel will be available for conversation about his work during the Symposium break from 1:55-2:10.

The Iowa Project on Place Studies is planning a number of future activities. The group's primary goals are to encourage and support collaborations among faculty, staff, and students in place studies; to provide programming for the campus and general public; and to provide service and outreach that help develop a sense of place and strong communities. A website is currently in development.

Anyone interested in learning more about the March 28 symposium or about IPPS itself should contact Thomas Dean at,, 319-335-1995.

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

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Thomas Dean, 319-335-1995,

OTHER INFORMATION: Iowa Project on Place Studies "Symposium on Place" Schedule:

noon-12:15 p.m.: Welcome and Introduction-"Why Place Studies?" Thomas Dean, Coordinator, Iowa Project on Place Studies Special Assistant to the President

12:15-12:45 p.m.: "Place and Benjamin Shambaugh's Vision of Public History," David McMahon, Ph.D. candidate, History; Instructor, Kirkwood Community College

12:50-1:20 p.m.: "Place, Space, and the Landscape Debates in Archaeology," Beth Pauls, State Archaeologist

1:25-1:55 p.m.: "The University of Iowa Press and Place and Regional Studies," Megan Scott, Marketing Manager, UI Press (Introduction of Patrick Irelan)
" Thirteen Men," a reading from Central Standard, Patrick Irelan, Center for Credit Programs

1:55-2:10 p.m.: Convivium

2:10-2:40 p.m.: "Scale, Pattern, and Process in the Study of Place," R. Rajagopal, Professor, Geography, with Chetan Tiwari, Ph.D. candidate, Geography

2:45-3:15 p.m.: "Planning for Place in a Context of Transnational Urbanism," James Throgmorton, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning

3:20-3:50 p.m.: "Composing Bycycle Eminent Icelandic Saga and Tremendous Earth," Steve Thunder-McGuire, Associate Professor, Art Education

3:55-4:25 p.m.: "Volunteerism and the Importance of Fostering a Service Ethic," Dan Rossi, UI Student, Volunteer for Iowa

4:30-5:00 p.m.: "Going Home: Our Most Popular Vacation Destination," Benjamin Hunnicutt, Professor, Leisure Studies