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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 24, 2005

IFUSS Symposium Examines America Through The Eyes Of The World March 4-5

Scholars from around the world will gather at the University of Iowa for a two-day symposium to explore America through a variety of lenses. Sponsored by the UI International Forum for U.S. Studies (IFUSS), the symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, in Room S401, John Pappajohn Business Building.

"'America' in the World: Discourses on Americanization and Anti-Americanization," looks at the global perceptions of the United States," said Jane Desmond, IFUSS co-director, associate dean of UI International Programs, and associate professor of American studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"This symposium will provide a forum for scholars to explore the concept of 'America' as an idea, a political entity and a cultural imaginary, a timely topic in light of how the United States' actions in the world and nations' responses to them now make the headlines daily," Desmond said.

International scholars from Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Hungary and Japan, who research the United States in a variety of fields, will present research on the image of America in the world. The experts, using various objects of study including film, music, policy-making and international security, will explore the relationship between the weight of America as an actual and symbolic site, and other regions of the world. Topics range from the production of cultural meaning across borders, to the perceived and actual influence of American practices and ideas across the globe.

The symposium will focus on the "lure and rejection" of the United States in a variety of locales including East Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, South America and the Central Asian Republics, she said. "This will be useful in putting the headlines from Iraq into a much larger framework both geographically and over time."

The symposium is free and open to the public. A complete schedule of events is available at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. To arrange for accommodations to attend this event, contact Danielle Rich at 319-335-2476 or For more information, visit

IFUSS works to internationalize the practice of American studies in the United States by placing foreign and domestic scholars in dialogue. Simultaneously, it fosters scholarly relations across multiple national boundaries and regions outside the United States by bringing scholars from all parts of the globe together for shared research residencies and conferences.

The symposium has been made possible with funding from UI International Programs, which 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 of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Jane Desmond, 319-335-2476,; Writer: Po Li Loo