Eckstein, Barbara 1952-

views updated

Eckstein, Barbara 1952-

PERSONAL:

Surname is pronounced "x-tine"; born May 4, 1952, in Canton, OH; daughter of Robert Evans (a still mill foreman) and Betty Jo (a primary schoolteacher) Eckstein; children: Zoë. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Ohio Northern University, B.A., 1974; University of Cincinnati, M.A., 1976, Ph.D., 1980.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Iowa City, IA. Office—308 EPB, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, lecturer in English, 1980-85; Tulane University, New Orleans, visiting assistant professor of English, 1985-89; University of Iowa, Iowa City, assistant professor, 1990-93, associate professor of English, 1993—. New Orleans Educators for Social Responsibility, president, 1980s; New Orleans Progressive Alliance, cochair, 1986-90; Coalition on the Homeless of Iowa City, member, 2005; volunteer at local crisis center, 2005.

MEMBER:

Iowa Civil Liberties Union (past president and member of board of directors of Hawkeye chapter).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Getty fellowship; Taft fellowship; Humanities Iowa fellowship.

WRITINGS:

The Language of Fiction in a World of Pain, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1990.

(Editor, with James A. Throgmorton, and coauthor of introduction) Story and Sustainability: Planning, Practice, and Possibility for American Cities, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Sustaining New Orleans: Literature, Local Memory, and the Fate of a City, Routledge (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Barbara Eckstein told CA: "I write in order to find answers to the question, What social work does literature do? I most specifically want to know how it participates in the production of particular local places. Despite its broad circulation, on the local scene how is it a story among local stories? Does it contribute to or inhibit efforts to create a sustainable place, I wonder.

"Such work arises in and functions within a community. Activist nuns in New Orleans have sparked my scholarly agenda. Henri Lefebvre's theories of how spaces get produced have enabled my thinking about story and place. Many others' books, essays, and conversations about place, the environment, social justice, folkways, history, and regional planning have grounded my projects in local knowledge.

"My most recent book, Sustaining New Orleans: Literature, Local Memory, and the Fate of a City, will itself be put to a test of usefulness I could not have imagined before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Planning, March, 2004, Harold Henderson, review of Story and Sustainability: Planning, Practice, and Possibility for American Cities, p. 39.