“Guarding Against Forgetting – Breaking the Silence: A Story of Political Awakening and Activist Archives in South Africa”
Debora Matthews worked for seven years as Archival Coordinator in the Struggles for Justice Programme at the South African History Archive (SAHA), an independent activist and human rights archive in Johannesburg. SAHA is an independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and current struggles for justice through archival practices and outreach, and the access to information laws. Established by anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s, SAHA was closely connected in its formative years to the United Democratic Front, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the African National Congress. Matthews archived the Constitution Hill Collection at SAHA. Debra is now an Archives Consult working for the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), developing and implementing a records and research data management system. She will also be working as a Contract Archivist at GALA, the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action Archives at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Debora will discuss the many roads she has traveled as a middleclass Afrikaans woman. In this quest she continues to better understand her Afrikaner roots, as well as better understand the decades of racial segregation under Nationalist government rule. She has come to terms with these two things through her work with activist archives as she continues to better comprehend the injustices done to millions of South Africans during apartheid. Her talk will be a glimpse into some of the most exciting and prolific activist archives in South Africa.
“RESISTANCE: Reclaiming an American Tradition ”
Jeff Biggers is the American Book Award–winning author of several works of history, memoir, journalism, and theater, including The United States of Appalachia, praised by the Citizen Times as a “masterpiece of popular history”; State Out of the Union, selected by Publishers Weekly as a Top Ten Social Science book in 2012; and Reckoning at Eagle Creek, winner of the Delta Prize for Literature and David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting.
Biggers is the founder of the Climate Narrative Project, an arts and advocacy project for schools, universities and organizations. From 2014-2017, he served as the Sustainability Writer-in-Residence at the University of Iowa. He also served as the Campbell-Stripling Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Wesleyan College in Georgia. Over the past decade, Biggers has given lectures, readings and performances at over 100 universities and colleges across the country, from the University of California in Berkeley to the University of Mississippi to Yale University. He has delivered keynote addresses at numerous literary, educational, urban planning and environmental conferences and serves as a contributing editor to The Bloomsbury Review, and is a member of the PEN American Center.
“In a riveting and inspiring narrative history, Jeff Biggers’ Resistance reframes today’s battles as a continuum of a vibrant American tradition, chronicling the courageous and often squabbling resistance movements that insured the benchmarks of our democracy—and served on the front lines of the American Revolution, the defense of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the defeat of fascism during World War II, and various civil rights movements. Resistance is a provocative reconsideration of the American Revolution and its unfolding promises. It brings to life early Native American, African American and immigrant struggles, women’s rights, and the pioneering environmental justice movements and their presence today. Biggers shows how a republic of resistance has served as a de facto “Truth and Reconciliation” commission for our history, especially in times when our nation—and its leaders—need to be held accountable.”
“Good Governance? Prison Gangs and Informal Order in the Former Soviet Union ”
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Gavin Slade is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow, who works on questions of criminal justice reform in the former Soviet Union. He has worked at Ilia State University, Tbilisi and the University of Toronto. Directly prior to coming to Glasgow, Slade was a Research Fellow at the Freie Universitat, Berlin. Slade’s work as a criminologist is underpinned by an interest in the social organization of violence in the former Soviet Republics and has focused particularly on organized crime, policing, prison reform and the politics of crime. His first book was published with Oxford University Press in 2013 entitled ‘Reorganizing Crime: Mafia and Anti-Mafia in Post-Soviet Georgia.’
The concept of ‘governance’ has become salient in the study of organized crime. Recent US literature on prison gangs suggest that gangs emerge to meet demands for governance of social and economic interactions where the state cannot or will not do this. As such, prison gangs, far from being a symptom of dysfunction in fact are highly complex organizations that produce public goods, including the control of violence. Gavin’s research analyses data from a research project that analyses penal reform efforts that target prison gang structures in former Soviet prisons, specifically in Georgia, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova. His research utilizes a survey and interview data of prisoners in Moldova to analyze the problem of prison subculture and its links to prison violence in this case. Gavin’s research finds that, contrary to some claims in the US literature, where prison gangs are present in Moldova this correlates with a poorer prison environment and greater insecurity among prisoners and staff.
“Stranger in a Strange Land: Personal and Philosophical Reflections of an EU National in Brexit-Referendum Britain”
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Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz (1978) was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She spent the majority of her childhood in southern Spain. After completing her high school education, she moved back to the Netherlands where she obtained her M.Sc. (Master of Science) in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of non-Western Societies from the University of Amsterdam. Furthering her Jewish education, she studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel and was an E. Levinas Fellow at Paideia, the European Institute of Jewish Studies in Stockholm, Sweden.
Esther completed the first two years of her rabbinical training at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, a seminary affiliated with the Conservative/Masorti movement of Judaism and interned as a Rabbinic Fellow at the American Jewish University. She completed the remaining three years of her rabbinical training at Leo Baeck College in London, UK and was ordained a rabbi with this seminary in 2013.
Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz has served as the Associate Rabbi at Sinai Synagogue in Leeds and is very excited to be the new Rabbi for Congregation Agudas Achim, Iowa City, Iowa. She is married to Dave Middleton and the proud mother of preschooler Jonathan and toddler Noa.
In her free time, she enjoys composing liturgical music, songwriting, writing, travelling, photography and cooking. She takes an interest in issues of multiculturalism and social justice and firmly believes in representing a socially-relevant and spiritually-compelling Judaism for today’s world.
“Sixty Years of Space Research at Iowa: The Legacy of James A. Van Allen ”
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This presentation is given in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the launch of Explorer 1, the first U.S. spacecraft, and the discovery of Earth’s radiation belts by James A. Van Allen of the University of Iowa. The talk will describe the events leading up to the discovery of Earth’s radiation belts and will describe the tremendous expansion of space research at Iowa over the next 60 years, including the construction of seven successful Earth-orbiting spacecraft and instrumentation on some seventy spacecraft, including such famous planetary missions as the Voyagers 1 and 2 flights to the outer planets, the Galileo orbiter of Jupiter, and the Cassini orbiter of Saturn. Future missions include a flight closer to the Sun than ever previously achieved, and radars on two spacecraft designed to explore the icy moons of Jupiter.
Don Gurnett started his science career by working on spacecraft electronics design as a student employee in The University of Iowa Physics Department in 1959. After completing his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Iowa, he transferred to physics, where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1963 and 1965. He spent one year, from 1964 to 1965, as a NASA Trainee at Stanford University, and was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa in 1965 with subsequent promotions to Associate Professor and to Professor in 1968 and 1972.
Don specializes in the study of space plasma physics and has participated in over 40 spacecraft projects, most notably the Voyager 1 and 2 flights to the outer planets, the Galileo mission to Jupiter, and the Cassini mission to Saturn. He is the author/co-author of over 650 scientific publications, primarily in the area of magnetospheric radio and plasma wave research. Now in his 53rd year on the faculty at Iowa, he has received many awards for his teaching and research, including the M. L. Huit Faculty Award, the Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, and elected memberships in the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“Sui Generis, Kosovo, and Iowa’s Unique Relationship with this New Balkan State”
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Alle McNorton is a 3rd year law student at the University of Iowa College of Law. During the spring semester of 2017, she lived in Prishtina, Kosovo and worked in the Republic of Kosovo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At Iowa Law, she currently serves as an Iowa Law Ambassador, Senior Articles Editor for The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, and is Graduate Member of the UI Council on the Status of Women, and Research Assistant for Associate Dean of Comparative and International Programs Adrien Wing, board member of the Equal Justice Foundation, and a member of the Pro Bono Society Member, Phi Delta Phi, International Law Society, OWLSS, OutLaws, EJF, BLSA, and I.O.W.A.
Alle McNorton will be discussing the historical, legal, and international relations concepts behind Kosovo’s independence and subsequent developments. She will address Kosovo’s goal of becoming a member of the EU and the hurdles they face. Lastly, she will conclude with Iowa’s unique relationship with Kosovo and the field placement program that allowed her to have this incredible experience.
“How the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Uses Innovation to Accelerate Equity in Low and Middle Income Countries”
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Jeff Murray, M.D, is Deputy Director of Family Health in the Discovery and Translational Sciences for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition, he is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Clinical Genetics, and is a human molecular / developmental geneticist and researcher at the University of Iowa.
He received his B.S. in Biology at MIT, and did his M.D., and pediatrics residency at Tufts, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. He has also done sabbaticals at Oxford University and the University of Southern Denmark.
Jeff led the development of the first user enabled genetic linkage maps of the Human Genome Center at the University of Iowa, and identified the first genes associated with cleft lip/palate and glaucoma. He also oversaw the first genome wide association study of preterm birth. He is the co-author on 470 peer-reviewed articles. He is Past President of the American Society of Human Genetics and is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and Fellow of AAAS.
Jeff Murray will speak about his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as Deputy Director of Family Health in the Discovery and Translational Sciences Group, and his team’s responsibility for the Healthy Birth, Growth, and Development programs with an emphasis on preterm birth and early childhood physical and cognitive development.