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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 19, 2006

Photo: Shirley Brice Heath, Ph.D., an internationally known linguistic anthropologist whose interests include oral and written language, youth development, race relations and organizational learning. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image.

Linguistic Anthropologist Heath Is Ida Beam Professor Feb. 8-11

Shirley Brice Heath, Ph.D., an internationally known linguistic anthropologist whose interests include oral and written language, youth development, race relations and organizational learning, will visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Cordelia Beam Visiting Distinguished Professor Feb. 8-11. Heath, the Margery Bailey Professor of English and Dramatic Literature at Stanford University, will meet with faculty, staff and students, visit local public schools, take part in a radio interview and give several talks. The public events include:

Wednesday, Feb. 8

--Lecture, "Sustaining Learning and Language: Forgotten in Education?" 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Jones Common, UI College of Education's E.F. Lindquist Center. While geared toward faculty, students and staff in the College of Education, the talk is open to all. Heath's focus will be on language and learning, specifically linguistic components of apprenticeship models of learning. A reception follows.

Thursday, Feb. 9

--Film screening and public lecture, "Art and Science: Companions in Learning for Society," 4:30 p.m., UI Art Museum. "ARTSHOW," a prize-winning, 40-minute film that tells four stories about youth learning, entrepreneurship and community-building through the arts, will be shown. After the screening, Heath will discuss critical arts programs in sites around the world that center on altering life and advancing learning in rural areas. A reception will follow the lecture.

Saturday, Feb. 11

--Final debriefing, 10 a.m., Jones Commons, Lindquist Center. Heath will engage the audience in an interactive discussion about her impressions of the strengths of university/community learning collaborations in the Iowa City area, as well as possible areas for further developments.

Heath is the author of the prize-winning book "Ways with Words: Language, Life, and Work in Communities and Classrooms" (1983). She is also co-editor of "Identity and Inner-City Youth: Beyond Ethnicity and Gender" (1993), as well as several other books and more than 100 articles and book chapters. She is widely known for her work with young people as co-researchers in the townships of Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as economically disadvantaged communities of the United States. Her primary research since 1987 has been with young people in under-resourced neighborhoods who learn entrepreneurial and community-building skills as they help create and sustain positive learning environments that contribute to local cultural and economic resources.

Heath's visit is being made possible by the Ida Beam visiting scholar program. Ida Beam, a native of Vinton, willed her farm to the UI Foundation in 1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With proceeds from the sale of the farm, the UI established a fund to bring top scholars in a variety of disciplines to the university for lectures and discussions.

Heath's visit is also being sponsored by the UI College of Education's Language, Literacy and Culture program, Department of Teaching and Learning, Foreign Language and ESL Education and Art Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry, Department of Rhetoric, Department of Anthropology and Department of Communications Studies, the Foreign Language Acquisition and Research in Education program in International Programs, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

More information about Heath is available at

For more information about Heath's visit, contact Gail Boldt, Ph.D., at

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

CONTACTS: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,; Program: Gail Boldt, 319- 335-5565,