CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 22, 2001
Friends of late UI professor James to celebrate posthumous publications
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Friends, colleagues, and former students of the late
Sydney V. James, a professor in the University of Iowa history department
for nearly 30 years, will gather Friday Oct. 26, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 302
of Schaeffer Hall to celebrate the posthumous publication of two books he
was writing at the time of his death. The celebration, which was originally
scheduled for Sept. 14 but was postponed because of the Sept. 11 U.S. attacks,
will be part of the department's 2001 Book Party honoring faculty and alumni
who have recently published scholarly books.
Of the numerous publications by UI history faculty and alumni in the past
three years, none carries more emotional weight than James' two completed
works, which were undertaken by a friend and a former student, said Linda
Kerber, a history professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
"As we celebrate the life and career of Sydney James, we are also recognizing
the enormous contribution of energy and time from Dwight Bozeman and Sheila
Skemp, who undertook these extraordinary labors of love," Kerber said.
"They have unselfishly carried out a very moving academic tradition of
shepherding a colleague and mentor's unfinished manuscripts to publication."
Bozeman, a UI professor of history and religion, completed James' manuscript
on John Clarke, the founder of the Baptist Church in America. "John Clarke
and his legacies: Religion and Law in Colonial Rhode Island, 1638-1750,"
was published by Pennsylvania State University Press in 1999.
Skemp, a former student of James' who is now a professor of history at the
University of Mississippi, edited James' colonial history of Rhode Island,
which was published as, "The Colonial Metamorphoses in Rhode Island:
A Study of Institutions in Change" by the University Press of New England
in 2000. Skemp received her Ph.D. in history from the UI in 1974.
In addition to his distinguished scholarship, James helped to shape the
College of Liberal Arts and the University through many years of leadership
and service on departmental, collegiate, and university committees. He served
as department chair from 1970-74 and was serving his second term as chair
when he died in May 1993. He was a member of the presidential search committees
that recommended hiring former UI Presidents James Freedman and Hunter Rawlings.
He served on the Faculty Council and Faculty Senate.
In conjunction with the book celebration, the history department has scheduled
a brown bag lunch on Oct. 26 with Skemp discussing "Life After Schaeffer
Hall: Reflections from an Alumna," from noon-1 p.m. in room 302 Schaeffer
Hall. The presentation is open to all who are interested.