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University of Iowa News Release


March 2, 2007

Lectures Explore Impact Of Ethnic Identity On American Culture, Arts

A series of free, public lectures this spring will explore the impact of ethnic identity on American culture and arts. The series, "Thinking Outside the Box: Ethnic Studies and the Arts," is sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts.

The spring series begins with readings by E. Patrick Johnson, chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. At 4 p.m. Friday, March 23 in 101 Becker Communication Studies Building, Johnson will perform "Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales," readings based on his oral history research. The performance is co-sponsored by the UI College of Liberal Arts and Science's Theatre Arts Department and Sexuality Studies Program.

The second spring event will feature Noliwe Rooks, associate director at the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University and 2007 Albert E. Stone Distinguished Alumnae Speaker of American Studies. Her lecture, titled "Black is not A Primary Color: African American Studies and Higher Education," is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, April 13 in 704 Jefferson Building. Rooks' talk extends the discussion of her controversial new book, "White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race in Higher Education."

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. Additional support is provided by the Graduate College, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of the Provost.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Nicole Riehl, 319-384-0070,; Program: Karen Smith, 319-384-3490;