Ana Merino, September 2, 2014

Photo Credit: Daniel Mordzinski

“Graphic Novels and Comics in Spain & Latin America”

A nation’s culture is often characterized by the history, politics and literature it creates.  Within literature, many overlook comic books and graphic novels as a key ingredient to cultural development.  When their presence is noted, comics are still often seen as a uniquely American phenomenon.  However, comics are have become an integral part of cultures around the globe.  In this presentation, Ana Merino reflects on the importance of comics in the Hispanic World and the ways comics represent culture and ideology.

Ana Merino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Iowa, specializing in Creative Writing. She also works on Comics and Graphic Novels Criticism, Testimonial Representations and theories of Childhood Poverty and Marginality. She has published seven books of poetry, a youth novel, a scholarly book on comics and numerous articles and essays. Her poetry has been translated to several languages and it’s included in more than twenty collections.

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Judy Polumbaum, August 28, 2014

Polumbaum pic“Coming to America: The Chinese Student Experience in the United States”

Since 2007, the University of Iowa has actively recruited international students and the results are reflected most dramatically in the growth of the undergraduate population from the People’s Republic of China. Of more than 4,000 international students at Iowa in the fall of 2013, mainland Chinese accounting for 2,266, including 1,430 undergraduates; and the university expects more than 500 Chinese students will arrive as freshmen this fall. This growing international presence on campus is heralded as promoting values of diversity, tolerance and global understanding, but as with all change, its opportunities are welcomed and built upon in some quarters and missed or misunderstood in others. Judy Polumbaum will attempt to place these developments in historical context and examine Iowa’s experience in terms of current national and international trends. 

Judy Polumbaum did her undergraduate work in East Asian studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and has a Master’s from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Doctorate in Communication from Stanford University. She joined the Iowa faculty in 1989. She is an affiliated faculty member in a number of international and interdisciplinary programs, including the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies and International Studies. Her most recent publications include the book China Ink: The Changing Face of Chinese Journalism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), based on interviews with twenty young Chinese journalists.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Education

Robin Hemley, July 22, 2014

Hemely pic 2“Exporting American Universities, MOOC’s and Yale in Singapore”

Exporting American universities—including the University of Iowa and others through MOOC’s—holds considerable fascination today. Robin Hemley will talk about his newest employer, Yale—NUS, Singapore’s first liberal arts college. He will share his thoughts and experiences with this new and exciting venture.

Robin Hemley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in 1980, and subsequently earned a MFA in fiction in 1982.   Hemley is the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship and others from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Ohioana Library Association, and the Washington State Arts Council. Beginning in 2004, Hemley served as the director of the Non-fiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Many of Hemley’s works have been published domestically and overseas, and has been included in publications including The New York Times, Orion, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and New York Magazine. Most recently, Hemley lives in Singapore and serves as the Director of the Writer’s Centre at Yale University Singapore.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, China & East Asia, Education

Barry Butler, July 9, 2014

“Wind Energy: A Global View as Seen from Iowa”

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Wind is an increasing source of renewable energy, both domestically and internationally. In recent years, 30-40% of all new electric generating capacity constructed in the U.S. has involved wind energy. Texas, Iowa and California lead the U.S. in wind energy production, but China leads on the global stage. While the U.S. currently produces only 4% of its electric power from wind, a study by the Department of Energy concludes that a goal of 20% could be achieved by 2030. Barry Butler’s goal is to provide the audience with an understanding of wind energy as a global renewable energy source. Butler will give a brief history of the industry as well as illustrate its societal impacts and possible growth in the coming years.

Barry Butler is the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Iowa. Prior to those appointments, Butler was dean of the UI College of Engineering, where he holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979 and 1981, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1984, also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1984. He currently serves as co-chair of the American Wind Energy Association’s research and Development Committee.

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Nicholas Colangelo, June 24, 2014

Merrill pic“International is the Benchmark of a College Education”

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The mark of a major college of education is the vibrancy of its international aspect. This includes international students, international faculty, international partnerships, and international program offerings. Nicholas Colangelo will discuss what the UI College of Education is doing in terms of international education and share future directions. As Colangelo will assert, the idea of being a “global society” is not simply a catch phrase, but a foundation of college education.

Nicholas Colangelo is the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Iowa. He is also the Myron & Jacqueline Blank Professor of Gifted Education and Director Emeritus of The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. He has authored or edited numerous articles on counseling gifted students and the affective development of gifted and acceleration including Handbook of Gifted Education and co-authored “A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students.” Among numerous awards, he has been awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Association for Gifted Children, and the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion for Faculty from The University of Iowa In 2013.

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Christopher Merrill, May 7, 2014

Merrill pic

“Reading Walt Whitman in Tehran”

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Christopher Merrill will discuss the University of Iowa’s first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), which he co-developed with Whitman scholar and Roy J. Carver Professor of English Ed Folsom. The course covered Walt Whitman’s famous poem, Song of Myself, and ran for six weeks. In addition, Christopher is an ambitious world traveler, and has conducted cultural diplomacy missions in over 40 countries. He enjoys spreading and sharing the wisdom of Walt Whitman. Christopher Merrill is the Director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He is the author of multiple works of nonfiction, several edited volumes, and six collections of poetry. He led the initiative which resulted in Iowa City becoming a UNESCO City of Literature. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Merrill to the National Council on the Humanities.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, The Middle East

Harilaos Stecopoulos, May 1, 2014

“Origins of US Cultural Diplomacy in the 1940s”

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Some foundations of current day US diplomacy lie in the cultural internationalism of the 1940’s.  By way of diplomats, authors and thinkers, some obscure, but equally influential figures became its respected architects including William Fulbright, Archibald MacLeish,  and Sumner Welles.  Harilaos Stecopoulos examines these figures and lays a foundation for understanding diplomacy of the period.

Harilaos Stecopoulos is Associate Professor of English at the University of Iowa, and the Editor of the prestigious The Iowa Review. Stecopoulos earned a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in English Literature.  He has authored several books, articles and book chapters, and is currently completing “Telling America’s Story to the World: The Literature of U.S. Diplomacy.”

 

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