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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Elayne Zalis papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1992-2006
Creator: Zalis, Elayne (1953- )
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0566
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Writer and multimedia artist who received her doctorate from the University of Iowa.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 1030) were donated by Elayne Zalis in 2006.

Preferred Citation: Elayne Zalis papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Elayne Zalis, writer and multimedia artist, was born in Miami, Florida, in 1953. She received her BA in 1975 from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and studied library science at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1976. After receiving her MA in journalism and scriptwriting at the University of Florida in 1983, Zalis enrolled at the University of Iowa, where she worked with the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa Libraries on its Artists Television Project. In 1993, she completed her PhD at the University of Iowa in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on humanities and the media arts. She then completed two novels, the first of which developed from her doctoral dissertation, "Reconfiguring Autobiographical Scenes: Intermedia Convergences and Women´s Texts." Zalis moved to southern California, and in 2005 she earned a certificate from the Advanced Oral History Summer Institute at the University of California in Berkeley.

The Elayne Zalis papers date from 1992 to 2006 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The bulk of the collection consists of her written work and includes the manuscripts of both of her unpublished novels. "Vagabond Scribe (Leah's Backstory)," an extension of Zalis's doctoral dissertation, uses multimedia approaches to women's autobiographies and explores the roles played by personal and public archives. It draws upon material from Zalis's own personal archives and may be seen as a prequel to "Arella's Repertoire." Zalis describes the technical and creative processes through which she created "Vagabond Scribe" in her essay, "Video-Graphic Alchemy: Transforming 'Dear Diary.'" Summaries of her novels and two strips of color photographs of Zalis, taken in photo booths, complete the collection.

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