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University of Iowa News Release

May 9, 2005

Ungar, Andrew To Discuss New Book On Popular Front Paris May 14

Two professors who began their collaboration nearly 20 years ago at the University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, will read from and discuss their new book, "Popular Front Paris and the Poetics of Culture" at Prairie Lights Bookstore on May 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. Steve Ungar, professor of French and chair of cinema and comparative literature in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will join Dudley Andrew, former UI faculty member who is now a professor of film studies and comparative literature at Yale University, for the free, public event.

The book highlights the new symbolic forces put in play by technologies of the illustrated press and the sound film-technologies that converged with efforts among writers, artists and other intellectuals to respond to the crises of 1930s Paris.

Andrew and Ungar apply an evocative 'poetics of culture' to capture the complex atmospherics of the decade, an analysis that takes the reader to expositions and music halls, to upscale architecture and fashion sites, to traditional neighborhoods, and to overseas territories. Rather than a straight story of the Popular Front, they have produced something closer to the format of an illustrated newspaper whose multiple columns represent the breadth of urban life during this critical decade at the end of the third French Republic.

The project received early support from an Obermann Center Interdisciplinary Research Grant. This unique grant program is dedicated to encouraging collaborative research and scholarship in all fields and funds UI faculty working together with one another or with faculty from other universities. Recent Interdisciplinary Research Grants have paired oncologists with psychologists, literature professors with art designers, mathematicians with molecular biologists.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu