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University of Iowa News Release

April 19, 2004

UI Professors Win Obermann Research Semester Awards

Photo left to right: Judith Pascoe, Corey Creekmur, Katherine Eberle, John D. Peters, Kembrew McLeod

Five professors from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have won major awards to participate in the Obermann Center Interdisciplinary Research Semester this spring. The competitively selected participants are pursuing their own research and meeting with each other to exchange ideas on the research semester theme, "Sounding the Voice."

The Obermann grants support each faculty member's semester residence at the Obermann Center, provide a research allowance to all participants and fund a series of voice-related symposia and performances.

John Peters, F.W. Miller Professor of Communication Studies, submitted the winning proposal for the topic and is serving as the convenor. Other participants are Katherine Eberle, professor of music, Corey Creekmur, professor of English and cinema and comparative literature, Kembrew McLeod, assistant professor of communication studies, and Judith Pascoe, associate professor of English.

The voice is a topic of study in many fields, and Peters said the group is discovering both how rich a metaphor the voice is for thinking about such things as race, technology, performance and history, and how delicate and unique the voice is as a means of self-expression in speech and song.

Jay Semel, director of the UI's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, said, "Bringing together this group of people who have similar interests, but might not otherwise have known about each other's work is at the very heart of what the Obermann Center is all about. Each scholar's work will be strengthened as a result of spending this time together considering one of the most central aspects of being human, the voice."

The program is funded through the C. Esco and Avalon L. Obermann Endowment and the Office of the Vice President for Research and External Relations and the Office of the Provost.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies is a place and a program dedicated to scholarship. Accommodating up to 30 scholars each semester, the Obermann Center provides an environment where scholars working individually or in collaboration can reflect, write, and meet in easy interchange. The Obermann Center encourages scholarly interaction to explore broad frontiers of knowledge and investigate complex ideas and problems.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Jay Semel, 319-335-4034.