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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 17, 2003

UI Obermann Humanities Symposium To Examine Feminism, Film Nov. 6-8

A group of feminist scholars from the United States, Canada and Mexico will join University of Iowa scholars in film studies, history, theatre arts, rhetoric, women's studies and literary studies for the 2003-04 Obermann Humanities Symposium "Feminism and Film History" Thursday, Nov. 6 to Saturday, Nov. 8.

The sessions, which will be in Room 101, Becker Communication Studies Building, are free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested by Oct. 24. Online registration information and all symposium details can be found at:

Three decades ago feminist film theory dramatically changed the nature of interdisciplinary discussions about gender, art and vision, said Lauren Rabinovitz, the symposium director and a professor of cinema and American studies.

"Today, feminist scholarship that synthesizes history and critical theory stands poised to have an equally dramatic impact on the fields of literature, history and the visual arts," she said. "An interdisciplinary conference on feminism and film history promises to be both a timely forum and a much needed moment of reflection on historiography and theory.

Topics for discussion include the histories of women and performance, the ways that popular culture and consumer societies have addressed sexuality and gender, art as a political weapon, and, of course, the history of feminism itself. The conference will also include a screening of the new documentary, "In The Mirror Of Maya Deren," (2002) by Martina Kudlacek, with an introduction by Alison Latendresse, a UI doctoral candidate in cinema and comparative literature.

The symposium is sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, a place and program dedicated to intellectual interchange. The Center supports collaborative approaches in order to explore broad fields of knowledge and to investigate complex problems.

In addition to the Obermann Center, the UI department of cinema and comparative literature, the Arts and Humanities Initiative, International Programs, the Institute for Cinema and Culture, and department of women's studies are co-sponsoring this event.

UI participants include: Paula Amad (cinema and comparative literature), Barbara Biesecker (communication studies), Corey Creekmur (cinema and comparative literature, English), Jane Desmond (American studies), Natasa Durovicova (International Writing Program), Claire Fox (English), Rosalind Galt (cinema and comparative literature), Laura Gutierrez (Spanish and Portuguese), Cheryl Herr (English, cinema and comparative literature), Teresa Mangum (English, International Programs), Kim Marra (theater arts, American studies), Paula A. Michaels (history), Kathleen Newman (symposium co-director, cinema and comparative literature, Spanish and Portuguese), Rosemarie Scullion (Women's studies, French and Italian), Steven Ungar (cinema and comparative literature, French and Italian), and Sasha Waters (cinema and comparative literature).

Off-campus participants are: Claire Andrade-Watkins, Emerson College; Constance Balides, Tulane University; Jennifer Bean, University of Washington; Kelley Conway, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Angela Dalle Vacche, Georgia Technical University; Beti Ellerson, Howard University; Jane Gaines, Duke University; Amelie Hastie, University of California at Santa Cruz; Lea Jacobs, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Antonia Lant, New York University; Ana Lopez, Tulane University; Neepa Majumdar, University of Pittsburgh; Rosanna Maule, Concordia University; Judith Mayne, Ohio State University; Leslie Midkiff-DeBauche, University of Wisconsin, Stephens Point; Sarah Projansky, University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana; Patrice Petro, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Vanessa Schwartz, University of Southern California; Janet Staiger, University of Texas at Austin; Shelley Stamp, University of California at Santa Cruz; Jacqueline Stewart, University of Chicago; Patricia Torres San-Martin, University of Guadalajara; Maureen Turim, University of Florida; Jyotika Virdi, University of Windsor; Haidee Wasson, University of Minnesota; Virginia Wright Wexman, University of Illinois-Chicago; Esther C.M. Yau, Occidental College.

For further information or questions, contact symposium co-director Kathleen Newman, at; or call 319-335-0330.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa- sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the symposium organizers in advance at 335-0330.

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: Kathleen Newman,