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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 27, 2004

Immigrants' America Is Subject Of Oct. 30 Lecture

How do the stories of America's immigrant past influence the way current citizens view the nation's newest immigrants?

That question and others will be addressed by Shelton Stromquist, professor of history in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), when he speaks on "Immigrants' America: Then and Now," at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 in Room 40 of Schaeffer Hall, the southeast building on the UI Pentacrest. The talk is free and open to the public.

The session, the final lecture in the CLAS 2004 Saturday Scholars lecture series, will also examine the significance, origin and historical veracity of the stories maintained by the descendants of immigrants. Stromquist will talk about these questions, examining our own assumptions in the light of what historians have to tell us, and comparing the experiences of America's newest immigrants with those of our more distant ancestors. He invites participants to bring their own stories, an open mind, and a curiosity about how we might reconstruct the world immigrants inhabited in the past and better understand the life circumstances that America's newest immigrants currently face.

In connection with his Saturday Scholars talk, Stromquist will be a guest on "Talk of Iowa" on WSUI AM-910 and WOI AM-640 at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27.

Stromquist joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty in 1982. He works primarily in the fields of U.S. labor and social history, though his research and teaching have taken a comparative and global turn in the last few years. His first book, "A Generation of Boomers: The Pattern of Railroad Labor Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America," examined railroad strikes and working-class community in the "era of Great Upheaval." That work also led him to an interest in the transformation of working-class political culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Recently, he has examined the comparative context of U.S. municipal labor politics in the period 1890-1920. As a UI Global Scholar, he has conducted intensive research on the municipal setting of labor and socialist politics in England, Sweden, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, research compiled in a book tentatively titled, "Social Democracy in the City: Labor Politics and the Limits of Reform in Comparative Perspective, 1890-1920."

His honors and awards include: Collegiate Fellow of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2003-2008), UI Global Scholar Award (2002-2004), UI Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant (2002-2003), American Council of Learned Societies Grant-in-aid (1986-1987), and National Endowment for the Humanities (summer 1985).

Saturday Scholars was developed by Linda Maxson, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to give members of the public a chance to hear about the latest teaching and research innovations by faculty members in the college. The sessions last about an hour, including a 20-30 minute presentation followed by time for questions. Refreshments are served. Additional information is available at

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 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in advance at 319-335-2610.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,