“The Golden Age of Russian Guitar”
Category Archives: Arts & Culture
“Creating Alternative Worlds in Animation”
Peter Chanthanakone is an award winning director and producer specializing in 3D animated short films. He has won numerous film festival awards and his works has been selected in major film festivals around the world such as Germany, France, Austria, Canada, China, Belgium, S. Korea, Pakistan, India, Australia, Italy as a retrospective at the 2013 VIEW Animation Video Festival and on a giant screen in Times Square in the NYC International Film Festival. Cumulatively, his work has been selected in over 65 international juried competitions. He is also a jury member for the prestigious Electronic Theatre for Siggraph Asia and director and producer at RiFF Animation Studio in Bangkok, Thailand.
Peter is a perennial international speaker with talks at Siggraph Asia, Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival, Asia Animation Forum, the International Symposium of Electronic Arts in Dubai and Hong Kong, Society of Animation Studies in Toronto, London, and Singapore, and visiting artist talks at the world’s top animation schools, Sheridan College, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, at the University of Sao Paulo and biennial workshops at the Vientianale Film Festival and National University of Laos.
“Reaching Out to the World Through Non-Fiction Film”
Kevin Kelley has been a documentary filmmaker for over three decades. His work has been honored with two regional EMMY Awards, two CINE Golden Eagle Awards and Three New York Festivals World Medal. His work has been screened at The International Documentary Film Festival in Los Angles, The Newport Beach Film Festival, The New Filmmakers Festival in New York and aired on HBO, PBS and qualified in 2001 for the Short Documentary Category for the Academy Awards. Kelley has mentored other young filmmakers for over three decades who have gone on to work professionally for Oprah Winfrey, Warner Brothers, Lions Gate and Saturday Night Live.
Kevin is currently the Artistic Director for New Mile Media Arts, a non-profit that ‘educates and inspires through the art of filmmaking, presenting unique stories of common people in uncommon situations.’ His current project, “Stout Hearted: George Stout, The Man Who Saved Art.” The documentary tells the story of the University of Iowa art student who became the leader of the Monuments Men, a military special forces unit assigned to retrieve art stolen art by the Nazis. It also explores Stout’s pioneering efforts in art conservation, which elevated the discipline into the world of modern science. Many of his discoveries are used globally to restore masterworks and protect them from deterioration.
“The Basque Country — Language, Culture, and Politics: A View from the Inside”
Roslyn Frank obtained her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Post studies, she has used her credentials to serve the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa, currently as a Professor Emeritus. Her research specializes in Basque Studies, Cognitive Linguistics, European ethnography, ethnomathematics, ethno- & archaeo- astronomy, informational technologies & orality, ecocriticism, Spanish civilization & Culture and Spanish Women Writers. Her knowledge of languages is extensive, being fluent in English, Spanish, Euskara, and having reading ability in French, German, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, and Russian.
Roslyn Frank will be sharing her experiences in the Basque Country (Euskal Herria) where for the past forty years she has carried out fieldwork and related investigations. The talk will begin with a brief overview of how the Basque Country is seen from the outside, for example, by visitors as well as how she originally saw it when she first went there and before she learned Euskara, the Basque language. The outside perspective often casts the Basque people, their language, culture and political beliefs—as if they represented the ultimate “outsiders” vis-à-vis the rest of Europe. Her research, facilitated by having learned Euskara, led to a truly remarkable discovery, namely, that the Basques used to believe they descended from bears, an indigenous belief system that appears to have been shared by other Europeans. In short, this revised perspective provides a lens through which an indigenous ecocentric worldview starts to come into focus.
Jonathan is one of the world’s outstanding choreographers, a man committed to international cultural exchange and social activism through dance. He is the Founder of Battery Dance and Dancing to Connect. Jonathan Hollander is the founder of Battery Dance, a group that teaches, performs, and advocates for the area of dance. Currently he serves as its President and Artistic Director.
In 1982, he created Downtown Dance Festival, New York City’s longest-running dance festival. Jonathan and his organization are very active in NYC’s public schools with the objective of reaching at risk youth and fostering a love of dance. His work has brought him to diverse locations such as Japan, France, Greece, India, Mongolia, Paraguay, Poland, Malaysia, Russia, and the Philippines. His work has been supported by the U.S. Department of State, the National endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation. Jonathan founded Battery Dance and Dancing to Connect to bridge divides, unite communities, empower youth, combat bullying and xenophobia. Jonathan will speak to how dance can ease conflict, breed trust and represent American values abroad.
“Exploring the World of 3D Design”
Monica Correia will discuss the art of designing and detail the many sources of inspiration for her work. Themes will include the intersection of art, technology, and nature. Monica will demonstrate the power that organic forms have to evoke emotions and express the ephemeral qualities of movement seen in dance, music, and nature. She will detail her creative process and how she uses computer technologies to generate her design. The artistic freedom available through design will be demonstrated through Monica’s choice not to limit her work to preconceived forms, scales, or trends.
Monica Correia received Bachelors of Architecture degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before Monica’s moving to the United States, she taught at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro School of Architecture. She also designed interiors for businesses in Brazil and Portugal. She received her MFA degree in 3D Design from the University of Iowa. She has had multiple exhibitions in London, Milan, New York City, and Ljubljana Slovenia. Her work has also been displayed at the “Salao Design Casa Brasil,” “Abiplast Design Award,” “Liceu de Design Award,” “The Skin of Corian,” the Krasl Art Center ArtLab, Chico Art Center, and the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, among others. Her work as Associate Professor and head of the 3D Design Program at the University of Iowa School of Art & Art History was awarded the “ICFF Editor’s Award for Best School” in New York City in 2015. With her students, she also received the “SOFA CNNECT” award for best design environment in Chicago for two consecutive years (2014/2015).
“Culinary Nationalism: Fighting with Food”
James Watson was one of the first students to study Chinese at the University of Iowa, earning a B.A. in 1965, and received his Ph.D. in 1972 at UC Berkeley. He was, until his retirement in 2011, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He also taught at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies and the Universities of Pittsburgh, Hawaii, and Houston. Together with Dr. Rubie Watson, he has conducted anthropological research in Hong Kong’s New Territories since the late 1960s. His publications include Emigration and the Chinese Lineage, Kinship Organization in China, Death Ritual in Chinese Society, The Cultural Economy of Food and Eating, and Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia. The Watsons’ current project is a jointly authored book entitled The Last Colony: Everyday Life in British Hong Kong, 1898-1997.
In an ever globalizing world, food still operates today as a way of expressing cultural distinction and nationalism. Through globalization, distinct culinary practices are being shared and exchanged in an international market, competing against one another. James Watson will discuss the idea of Culinary Nationalism including the impact of rice, the global anti-GMO food movement, as well as “American” fast foods and food conglomerates. He will also share his insight into the effect food globalization will have on countries like China. Will China “eat our lunch in respect to food globalization?”
“Bushido (Samurai Spirit) in Modern Japanese Culture, Sports, and Military”
Masamichi “Masa” Yamamoto is a lawyer qualified in New York, an Adjunct Lecturer of Keio University Law School in Japan, and a former Deputy Director of the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission of Japan. He is currently enrolled in the S.J.D. program of the University of Iowa College of Law, focusing on his dissertation about international securities enforcement. He has an extensive background in both law and business, working for a Japanese company, U.S. law firms, a French company, and the Japanese government. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and LL.B. and B.A. from Keio University.
Bushido is a code of moral principles that the knights (Samurai or Bushi) were required or instructed to observe. It is not a written code, but an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career. Although there are no more Samurai in Japan today, Bushido is deep-rooted in modern Japanese people in both positive and negative ways. Masa will describe how Bushido was born and developed and explain how Bushido has influenced modern Japan by illustrating recent issues in culture, sports, and military.
“Landscape in the Anthropocene: The High Arctic in the Time of Climate Change”
Tama will speak about the landscapes experienced though her work, which includes a book about wilderness civilizations, a collection of photographs of the far northern biome, as well as bodies of work on the absence of natural darkness and landscape as experienced at a high rate of speed. These photographed stories are derived from her experiences in the high arctic and the recent #NoDAPL movement. Her works have been exhibited in the Royal Photographic Society, the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and the Minneapolis Photo Center. In the fall of 2015 she was an artist-in-residence at the Carpenter Ranch on the Yampa River as part of a collaboration between the Nature Conservancy and the Colorado Arts Ranch. Last December she documented the Standing Rock protests.
Tama Baldwin is a photographer and writer with degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Salisbury State University, The State University of New York and Ohio University. She has received an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artists Fellowship, a Fulbright, as well as residencies at Yaddo, McDowell, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
“The Invisibility of Popular Indian Cinema in America”
Why is what is often identified as the “world’s largest cinema” virtually unknown in the United States? This presentation will consider some of the circumstances that have allowed popular Indian cinema (somewhat controversially labeled as “Bollywood”) to be neglected or invisible in America, despite its worldwide popularity. The presentation will raise questions about the forms that globalization may take and not take in the international circulation of popular cinema.
Corey Creekmur is an Associate Professor of Film Studies (with appointments in English and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies) at the University of Iowa. His research and teaching interests include American and Indian cinema, American popular culture (including crime fiction and comics), and representations of gender and sexuality in popular media. He serves on a number of local boards including Filmscene and he edits a book series on comics for Rutgers University Press.
“Sister Wives: Female Comrades in South Africa’s Anti-Apartheid Struggles”
South Africa’s long struggle to transcend Apartheid has been widely documented, both pre- and post-democracy (1994), with an enduring focus on figures such as the late Dr. Nelson Mandela and the late Dr. Walter Sisulu. Less well-known are the stories of the women comrades of the African National Congress, activists or loyal wives, or both, whose lives and losses have drawn too little notice. Such is the case with the personal story of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, “Mother of the Nation,” whose multiple arrests, extended time in solitary confinement, and torture at the hands of the governing National Party took an enormous toll. And there are many Winnies who built the history of modern South Africa. Author zp dala will explore their stories.
zp dala is a physical therapist, a psychologist, and a writer. Her first nove, What About Meera, won the 2015 South African Minara Debut Prize, was shortlisted for the Etisalat Literary Prize, and made the top 15 African Novels of 2015 list. A second novel, The Architecture of Love, is forthcoming in 2017. Her op-ed pieces have appeared in The Guardian and The New York Times.
“Celebrating the City of Literature”
Iowa City is the only “City of Literature” in the United States, and the Iowa City Book Festival will celebrate books and writing by leveraging the unique mix of local resources that helped earn that designation. The oldest creative writing program in the country, and is regarded as the best. With more than forty Pulitzer Prize winners from Iowa City, and featured program partners like the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop and International Writing Program, this years’ book festival celebrates the enigmatic academic culture found in Iowa City.
Anna Barker is an Assistant Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature. In addition to being involved with the book festival each year, Anna has taught courses in the English Department, in Cinema and Comparative Literature, in Asian and Slavic Languages, and in the Honors Program. This fall’s book festival public reading will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Crime and Punishment.
John Kenyon is the Executive director of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature organization. John spent 20 years in journalism in the Corridor, most recently as editor of the Corridor Business Journal. He is a Des Moines native, graduate of the University of Iowa and currently lives in Iowa City.
“Continuity and Change in the Political and Cultural Life of a Small West African Country”
The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council presents an expert in the field of African art, Professor Christopher Roy. In his myriad of adventures throughout the past 45 years in Burkina Faso, he has observed a multitude of changes in the cultural life of the Burkina. Professor Roy will lead a discussion on how the Burkina culture reacted to bloodshed, change of governance and development.
Christopher Roy has been teaching about art and life in Africa at the University of Iowa for 38 years. He also teaches about the art of ancient Mexico, Native American art and the art of the Pacific Islands. For many years he served as Curator of the African collection at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, and was deeply involved with Maxwell Stanley and Elizabeth M. Stanley in the creation of the Stanley collection. He is currently teaching an online course on African Art that has an enrollment of 300 undergraduates.
“Preserving the Magic and Poetry of Havana: A Delicate Dance”
Joan Kjaer directs the Communications and Relations unit of the International Programs at the University of Iowa. She exercises strategic oversight and daily management of all facets of internal and external communications for the International Programs, international alumni relations, event management, and media engagement. Kjaer is the creator and host of the monthly television/ radio / internet program World Canvas, which features interdisciplinary discussions of international topics. Before joining International Programs, Joan spent more than thirty years working in public radio as a classical music host, producer, program director and general manager of WSUI and KSUI, and was director of communications for the state network Iowa Public Radio.
Havana’s 500-year history lives in its mix of ancient and modern architecture: in the colonial fortress protruding into the bay, in the elegant urban design and architecture of El Prado, in the streets of El Vedado, a tree-lined district developed in the early 20th century to suit the tastes of Cuba’s economic elite.
Times are changing in Cuba, partly because of a new generation of Cubans pushing for greater engagement with the outside world and partly because of Obama administration’s historic re-calibration of the U.S. / Cuba relationship. Although Cubans have been allowed to open small businesses, guest housing, and paladars (private restaurants), the economic and social changes that are likely to come are both anticipated and feared. Uncertainty is the word of the day.
Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the desire to revitalize the city has been on the minds and hearts of Cuban architects and urban planners for decades. Kjaer’s recent experiences in Havana attending two international workshops based in the Master Plan for 21st Century Havana will be the focus of this talk.
Food literacy is a growing concern for industrialized nations such as Canada and the U.S. Today’s children are the first generation whose life expectancy is less than that of their parents. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, sugary drinks such as soda “are the top calorie source in teens’ diets,” followed by pizza. In Vancouver, a new citywide project is inviting writers of all stripes–new immigrants, students, and seniors—to focus their artistic attentions on their favorite local chefs, urban farmers, food bank workers, beer makers, bakers, café owners and beekeepers, by interviewing them, photographing them at work, and then writing poems about the experience, as well as poems about their own food legacies. Rachel Rose will discuss how what we write and teach about food has broader implications for social well-being, and how these lessons might be transported to Iowa
Canadian poet and nonfiction writer Rachel Rose is a recipient of the 2013 and 2016 Pushcart Prize, and of the Pat Lowther Poetry Award and the Andre Lorde Poetry Award for 2013. Her poetry books include Notes on Arrival and Departure and Song and Spectacle. Her creative nonfiction essays have appeared in a number of anthologies, including Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood. She regularly contributes to Malahat Review and Prism International. She is participating in the International Writing Program’s Fall Residency Program courtesy of the British Colombia Arts Council and Canada Council.
Rochelle Potkar is the author of The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories, and has three works in progress—a novel, a book of prose, and a book of poetry. Widely published online and in print, Rochelle is the co-editor of Neesah magazine, and an active member of Poetry Couture, which hosts poetry readings at cafes across India.
Her participation in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The International Writing Program is the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world. In 2015, the IWP has brought together 34 of the world’s emerging and established writers to participate in the Fall Residency’s unique intercultural experience. Over the course of 10 weeks, aside from working on their own projects, writers will give readings and lectures that share their work and cultures, collaborate with artists from other genres, and travel and interact with literary communities across the United States.
The talk will be an overview of child rights in India, through the prisms of child education, nutrition, health, development, and protection. What is it to be an underprivileged child in India? Readings of real-life stories will explore how the world of grownups shapes the children of India and what can be done before these children grow up, bereft of a childhood, into equally fissured adolescents.
“The International Magic of Chef Szathmary”
When describing his life in 1985, famed chef, entrepreneur, writer, entertainer, and bibliophile Louis Szathmary began by saying, “I can’t recall a time I did not have books around me. My family in Hungary was rich in books, not money.” Arriving in the U.S. in 1951 with less than two dollars in his pocket he spent the next 45 years developing frozen foods for the Armour company, running the prestigious Chicago restaurant “The Bakery”, appearing on radio and television programs, and advocating for the culinary professions, all the while compulsively amassing a book collection spanning 37 rooms above the restaurant. “The collection never rests,” the chef stated. Collen Theisen will join us to discuss the famed chef’s life spanning the intersection of cuisine and collecting and the restless life of the collection here at the University of Iowa as it grows and lives on inspiring culinary life on campus, informing research pursuits, activating community participation, and delighting book lovers across the Internet today.
Colleen Theisen is the Outreach and Instruction Librarian for the University of Iowa Special Collections. She coordinates the social media team including the UI Special Collections Tumblr, named “New & Notable” by Tumblr in 2013, and she directs and hosts the YouTube channel “Staxpeditions.” A 2015 Library Journal “Mover & Shaker,” Theisen holds an MS in Information from the University of Michigan, where she specialized in Archives and Records Management.
The January 2015 terrorist attacks against French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, exposed the the acute tension between freedom of expression and respect for religious sentiments. Newspapers around the world wrestled with the problem of whether to publish or not to publish the cartoons that ostensibly provoked the attacks. After Charlie Hebdo published its now famous cover with Mohammed holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign, newspapers in all continents were divided on whether to republish the newsworthy cover or not to republish it. Research shows that the decision to republish or not to republish the Charlie Hebdo cover depended on specific journalist cultures and contexts.
Before joining The University of Iowa, Leo Eko was an Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Media Law at the University of Maine. He has served as a journalist and producer at the African Broadcasting Union (URTNA) in Nairobi, Kenya, and at Cameroon Radio and Television Corporation. Professor Eko has produced several video documentaries on African topics. Three of them won honorable mention at festivals in Germany and Canada and are part of the holdings of several American and Canadian university libraries.
Some Middle Eastern nations are bringing the classic concept of ‘food fights’ to a new level—the Guinness World Records have inspired intense competition to craft the world’s largest dish of hummus, attempts have been made to trademark this Levantine delicacy which has captured hearts and stomachs around the world, and calls for boycotts of nationalized food-producing enterprises have politicized the consumption of this modest yet peerless dish. Dr. Ariel will join us for a meal of hummus, falafel, and other Middle Eastern favorites from Iowa City’s very own Oasis while he discusses these “hummus wars” and legacies of food as an arena for both international conflict and coexistence.
Ari Ariel, a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa, received a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University, an MA from Tel Aviv University, a BA from the City College of New York, and a Diploma in Classical Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York. He studies ethnic, national, and religious identities, migration, and ‘foodways’—the intersection of food in culture, tradition, and history—particularly in Middle Eastern Jewish communities.
“Indigenous Struggles: A Sámi Perspective”
The Finno-Ugric Sámi people of northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland are the only indigenous population to be recognized and protected in Scandinavia. Sámi people have inhabited Fenno-Scandinavia for over ten thousand years. But the combined forces of climate change, technology, increased industrial activity, and land-loss have led to a large shift in the traditional Sámi diet, lifestyle, and mental health status. Kelsey will discuss the impacts of these changes on the somatic and psychosocial health of reindeer-herding Sámi and ways in which these changes may shape their future.
Kelsey Frisk is a fourth-year undergraduate Honors student with the Interdepartmental Studies major. She studies global health with a strong interest in the health and human rights of indigenous populations. She recently received a Stanley Award for International Research to study perceptions of health among the Sámi people in northern Sweden from January—July 2014.