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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 13, 2006

UI Lecturer To Discuss Asian Segregation In Jim Crow South Oct. 20

The University of Iowa lecture series exploring the impact of ethnic identity on American culture and arts will continue Friday, Oct. 20, with a presentation by Leslie Bow, director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Bow will speak on, "Anomalies of Segregation: Racial Interstitiality in the Jim Crow Era" at 3 p.m. in room 704 Jefferson Building.

This free, public lecture explores the place of Asians, Indians, and mestizos in the Jim Crow era in the American South, examining the ways Asians and other minorities fit into a cultural and legal system that designated just two races-- "colored" and white. Bow believes that the Asian American experience may be a productive site for understanding the meanings that underlie the black-white binary and what it means to be "partly colored."

An associate professor of English and Asian American studies, Bow is a third generation Chinese American. She specializes in Asian American literature, ethnic American literature, and literature by women of color. The author of "Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women's Literature" (Princeton 2001), she is currently writing a book on the position of Asians in the segregated South and the processes of racial categorization. Bow earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has taught at Brown University and the University of Miami.

The series, "Thinking Outside the Box: Ethnic Identities and the Arts" is sponsored by the UI Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts. It will continue in November with presentations by two UI professors. Bluford Adams, associate professor of English and American studies, will speak on "Peasants or Progressive Farmers?:  Immigrants on the Land in Gilded Age New England," on Nov. 3, and Bridget Harris Tsemo, assistant professor of rhetoric and African-American studies will discuss "Corporeality and Capitalism in Spike Lee's She Hate Me.," on Nov. 10.

Drawing on the UI's distinctive strengths in the arts, the UI Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts was established in 2006 as the first research center to focus solely on creative expression as a specific important cultural component of ethnic communities and their heritage. The center is housed in the American studies department in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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: Karen Smith,