CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 23, 2000
UI professor wins grant to develop online community
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa professor
has won a $5,000 grant from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
to create a virtual gathering place where K-12 students and teachers, college
students and community researchers can share projects and ideas about ethnographic
Directed by Bonnie Sunstein, an Obermann Fellow and
associate professor of English and education, the project, "FieldWorking Online:
A Web-Community Archive for Cultural Conservation," was one of only two to
be funded under the foundation's national Public Scholarship Grant competition,
"Imagining America," in 2000.
Sunstein will develop the Web site and launch the
project at the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies during the 2000-01
academic year. She will be working in partnership with the National Task Force
for Folk Arts in Education.
Sunstein has taught courses and workshops in ethnographic
fieldwork across the country and at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington,
D.C., and has written several books and articles about documenting community
"Ethnographic fieldwork details the behaviors, traditions,
languages, arts and practical histories as people act out their everyday lives,"
she said. "This project will provide an electronic community where people
can share local traditions and histories from around America. It will help
local communities document their diverse traditions, thereby conserving culture
all over America."
Sunstein said this type of collaboration will allow
those involved in community fieldwork to gain a deeper understanding of their
own projects based on the experiences and observations of others who do similar