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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu

Release: July 19, 2002

Media Advisory: 'Elvisologist' Will Speak About 25th Anniversary

Aug. 16 marks the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. Peter Nazareth, a University of Iowa professor responsible for giving Elvis some academic weight, is available to speak with reporters about the milestone. To arrange a phone interview, contact Nazareth by email at peter-nazareth@uiowa.edu. After July 27, he can be reached by phone directly at (319) 354-1344.

Nazareth, a professor of English and of African American World Studies, says Elvis' popularity is as strong as it ever has been and shows no signs of fading. With the remix of his 1968 "A Little Less Conversation" topping the charts around the world, Nazareth says young people worldwide will be drawn to the King as Nazareth was during his childhood in Uganda.

Nazareth is also continuing a personal effort to bring Elvis to succeeding generations through his University of Iowa course "Elvis as Anthology," which he initiated in 1992. Focusing on Elvis' influence and influences, he says the course is designed to show that "Elvis was not plastic but that he had plasticity, that he contained a series of doors that opened inward into America, breaking down racial barriers at a time when the struggle for racial equality was taking place. In doing so, the doors opened out into the whole wide world."

Nazareth says he is delighted to see Elvis being brought to even the youngest listeners through Disney's summer release "Lilo and Stitch," which he attended with his grandsons who were "entranced."