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Judy Polumbaum papers

Identifier: IWA0914

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Scope and Contents

The Judy Polumbaum papers date from 1987-1997 and are arranged in three series: UI School of Journalism; and World, Women, and Media, and Professional.

The UI School of Journalism series dates from 1987-1996 and reflects many areas of department life. Materials include event descriptions, correspondence with guest speakers, course materials (including handouts as well as student writing), fellowship nominations, Daily Iowan applications, and other departmental news and information. A sizeable portion of the series is dedicated to writing professionals in residence at the university, including schedules of their public speaking events and availability for student appointments.

The World, Women, and Media series dates from 1975-1997 and is named for two events held at The University of Iowa in preparation for the 1995 UN conference on women in Beijing. The first event, proposed by Polumbaum, took place in June 1994 and featured presentations and discussions under the auspices of the Center for Advanced Studies. The second, which took place in March 1995, solidified preparations for the UN conference, and included people who later attended the Beijing meetings, who planned and edited news coverage of the meetings, or who were involved with the meetings in some other capacity. Both University of Iowa events are captured in planning correspondence, programs, and presentation materials.  Also in this series is correspondence and other material that reflects Polumbaum's logistical role in helping other scholars and journalists attend the UN conference in Beijing. In addition to the conference-related material, this series includes articles and papers (many by University of Iowa graduate students) on topics relating to World Women and Media, as well as articles and research material on Chinese women and their relationship to government, society, and the academy.

The Professional series contains photocopies of field notes taken by Polumbaum while interviewing jounralists in China and one article "China's New Iron Girls" by Polumbaum.


  • Creation: 1987-1997


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Professor and journalist Professor Judy Polumbaum was raised in New England. Her father, Ted, was a photojournalist and her mother was an artist. In 1961, she spent nearly a year of her youth in India with her family while her father was on a photography assignment. Following her undergraduate work in East Asian studies at McGill University, Polumbaum earned an M.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Ph.D. in communication from Stanford University.

In addition to her work for English-language news organizations in China, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Vermont, California, and Oregon. In 1989 she joined the faculty of the University of Iowa School of Journalism, and later took on additional roles as affiliated faculty for international and interdisciplinary programs and centers at the University of Iowa, including the Center for Asian Pacific Studies and International Studies. Her book of interviews with twenty young Chinese journalists, China Ink: Changing the Face of Chinese Journalism, was published in 2008.


4.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Professor of journalism at The University of Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 680) were donated by Judy Polumbaum in 1999.

Jessica Lawson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)