CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 15, 2001
Deem to discuss perceived epidemic of 'rude and crude' at Oct. 20 Saturday
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A wide variety of events and issues including harassment
of Arab- Americans and Arabs in America in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks,
the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, sexual harassment, road rage, and school shootings
have raised the specter of a loss of civility in American culture and public
Melissa Deem, an assistant professor of rhetoric and women's studies at
the University of Iowa, will examine this perceived "crisis of civility"
during her presentation, "The Civility Trap: America's Nostalgia for
a More Civil Time," on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m. in Room 40, Schaeffer
Hall. The discussion is part of the Saturday Scholars series, presented by
the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
"We need to try to understand this civility crisis in the context of
more general anti-60's rhetoric that laments the cultural and political changes
that resulted from civil rights and feminist movements," Deem said. In
examining some key moments of "incivility," she will ask the question
that has been almost impossible within this contextDoes civility have
a politics? And if it does, what are the politics of civility?
Deem's research is concerned with an understanding of the connections between
rhetoric, the body, and political space and the possibilities for transformations
of oppressive cultural/political/discursive practices. Her interests extend
into traditional rhetorical concepts such as decorum and civility. In May
2000, she held an interdisciplinary civility symposium that drew speakers
from across the country. Deem has published essays in Public Culture and Critical
Studies in Mass Communication and Blackwell's Companion to Cultural Studies.
She is currently completing a manuscript titled, "Riding the Waves to
Their Own Demise: Feminism and the Transformation of the U.S. Public,"
which is a history of feminist rhetorical practices in the United States.
In a preview of her Oct. 20 presentation, Deem will be a guest on "Iowa
Talks," WSUI AM- 910, on Friday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m.
Upcoming lectures in the Saturday Scholars series include:
Nov. 3 A reading from the novel "Carry Me Across the Water," Ethan
Canin, professor of English
Nov. 17 "Lessons on Empowerment: Listening to the Voices of Entrepreneurial
Women," Salome Raheim, director of the UI School of Social Work.
All presentations will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 40, Schaeffer Hall, the
southeast building on the UI Pentacrest. Each session will last about an hour,
including a 20-30 minute presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Refreshments will be served.
Additional information is available at http://www.clas.uiowa.edu/alumni/saturday_scholars/
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of
Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires
an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences in advance at 335-2610.