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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 21, 2006

Pascoe Wins ACLS Fellowship

Judith Pascoe, professor of English in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for her project, "Siddons Speaks! Theatre Voices, Acoustic Change, and Recorded Memory." The one-year fellowship was one of only 60 awarded to scholars nationwide.

Pascoe's study is a cultural history of the voice in the Romantic period, examining the ways in which the voice of the renowned actress Sarah Siddons was celebrated, documented, and memorialized. It argues that romantic theater-goers lived through a moment of acoustic transformation, which focused attention on the fragility of actors' voices and inspired efforts to preserve the voice in advance of sound recording technology. Pascoe believes "attention to actors' voices serves to animate once-popular plays, helping us to understand theatrical works that lie dead on the page, and illuminating the pre-history of sound recording technology."

A UI faculty member since 1993, Pascoe currently teaches classes on romantic literature, collecting history and theory, and 18th- and 19th-century drama. She is the author of two books, "Romantic Theatricality: Gender, Poetry, and Spectatorship," which examines the ways in which theatrical modes of self-representation came to permeate literary life in the 1790s, and "The Hummingbird Cabinet: A Rare and Curious History of Romantic Collectors," a work that explores the connections between the romantic ethos of transcendence and the popularization of collecting.

The American Council of Learned Societies is a private, non-profit federation of 68 national scholarly organizations. The mission of the ACLS, as set forth in its Constitution, is "the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and the social sciences and the maintenance and strengthening of relations among the national societies devoted to such studies."

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

CONTACTS: Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Writer: Colin Burke