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University of Iowa News Release

April 21, 2005

Marvin Named Second Stanley International Programs-Obermann Fellow

Roberta M. Marvin, director of University of Iowa International Programs Office of Research and Development and an associate professor in international studies, has been named the second recipient of the Stanley International Programs-Obermann Center Research Fellowship.

These semester-long awards are given to select Obermann Center Scholars whose research focuses on international issues. In addition to receiving an award of $3,000 for travel and research support, fellows present their research at a public lecture and reception to be co-hosted by International Programs and the Obermann Center. Marvin's will be scheduled in the fall with the tentative title, "Music, Political Propaganda, and National Identity: Verdi's Inno delle nazioni, a 'Weapon of Art'."

Marvin's fellowship research focuses on Giuseppe Verdi's Inno delle nazioni (Hymn of the Nations), a cantata written on commission by London in 1862. In a scandalous decision, the work was rejected by those who commissioned it. Inno delle nazioni was performed only a few times and disappeared until famed orchestral conductor Arturo Toscanini used the piece in 1943 and 1944 as political propaganda, in a tribute to the people of Italy.

During her fellowship, Marvin plans to explore the history of the work and its revival, as a "weapon of art" used by Toscanini and the U.S. government. She plans to produce the first critical edition of the complete score. Marvin will also combine knowledge of politics and music to demonstrate greater socio-political issues.

"The study's contribution to the humanities and to international scholarship lies in what it promises to reveal about the role of music as political propaganda and as a tool for defining nation," said Marvin.

Marvin's Verdi scholarship is extensive, including two forthcoming books, "Verdi the Student - Verdi the Teacher" and "Verdi and the Victorians: The Voice of Italian Opera in Nineteenth-Century London."

These fellowships are supported by the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization, International Programs and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. Marvin has also received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers to support this project.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with International Programs to advance important international scholarship such as Dr. Marvin's," said Jay Semel, UI Obermann Center director.

The first recipient of this fellowship was Michael Chibnik, UI professor and chair of anthropology.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies is dedicated to scholarship and intellectual exchange. Some Obermann Scholars work independently, stimulated by uninterrupted blocks of time and by informal conversation. Others work in close collaboration. Obermann Scholars have published numerous scholarly books and articles and have been awarded many external research grants and fellowships for projects begun at the center.

For more information on this award, contact Jenna Burns at 319-335-0368 or

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

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Jenna Burns, 319-335-0368,; Writer: Diana Brace