CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: March 7, 2001
UI Obermann Center awards $48,000 in research grants
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Obermann
Center for Advanced Studies has awarded a total of $48,000 in Interdisciplinary
Research Grants to eight researchers who will collaborate on four projects
The program provides summer stipends for interdisciplinary
scholarship undertaken at the Obermann Center by UI faculty and staff members
working in collaboration with one another or with researchers from other institutions.
Each collaborator must make a distinctive contribution to the project. The
program is supported by the Office of the Vice President for Research and
by the Graduate College.
"Interdisciplinary scholarship is an area of strategic
importance at the UI and the Obermann Center is a critical focus and facilitator
of such scholarship," said David Skorton, UI Vice-president for Research.
This year's projects and researchers include:
"Unmapped Territories: 'The Patient Wife' between
East and West," by Denise K. Filios, a UI assistant professor of Spanish and
Portuguese, and Monia Hajaiej, an associate professor of English at the University
of Tunis. The two researchers will study the international folk tale "The
Patient Wife," focusing on how different story-tellers narrate the tale in
different social, cultural, and historical contexts. Their work will result
in a book that includes several variants of the tale in English translation.
"Rediscovering Claude Vignon," by Wendelin Guentner,
a UI professor of French and Italian, and Dorothy Johnson, a UI professor
of art and art history. This project will focus on the art criticism written
by the prolific and yet forgotten French female sculptor, art critic, journalist,
and novelist, Claude Vignon, the pen name of Noeme Constant. The result will
be a scholarly article that contributes to the significant revision of the
history of artistic and critical expression in France.
"Toward a New Theology of Culture," by David Klemm,
professor and director of the UI School of Religion, and William Schweiker,
a professor in the University of Chicago Divinity School. The collaborators
plan to write a book outlining a new agenda for the field of study known as
theology of culture. Theology of culture is a humanistic discipline aimed
at identifying, analyzing, and interpreting religious meaning in such areas
as science, art, literature, politics, economics, education, and law, among
"Baroque Visual Culture: A Social History," by John
Beldon Scott, a UI professor of art and art history, and Frima Fox Hofrichter,
an associate professor of art history at the Pratt Institute in New York.
The two researchers are developing a co-authored book on the social history
of Baroque visual culture. The book will illuminate
how so many phenomena we think of as modern problems -- such as sexual identity,
social mobility, social welfare, entrepreneurship, and colonialism -- arose
first in the culture of the Baroque.
Jay Semel, director of the Obermann Center, said that
earlier projects funded by the center have resulted in numerous jointly-written
articles and books, as well as grants totaling more than $2-million from federal
and foundation sources including the National Endowment for the Humanities,
the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. Recent
publications have focused on mathematical problems, learning foreign languages,
and political scandals.