Thinking in Images: The Evolution of Rachel Williams

Sunday, April 11, 2021
“I had to think in images.” This is how Rachel Williams explains her progression as the artist-author of two graphic histories who moved from illustrating the words of others to bringing a story to life on her own terms. A painter and art educator by training, Williams’s approach has always been multi-disciplinary. For her recently published books, Run Home If You Don’t Want to Be Killed: The...

Wise and Valiant: Ana Rodríguez-Rodríguez celebrates forgotten women authors

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
While completing a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa, Martín López-Vega took a course on the Golden age of Spanish theater. When the class read Valor, agravio y mujer by Ana Caro, López-Vega was shocked. Though he was a native of Spain and had studied literature at the University of Spain, he’d never before heard of Caro. The course, which led him to discover the names and...
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Activating the Museum

Friday, January 24, 2020
March Humanities Symposium to Explore Future of Museums When you think about museums, what comes to mind? Many of us picture an imposing building with artworks and artifacts displayed among velvet ropes, marble columns, and guards who shush you. But there are many possibilities for museums, and the two directors of this spring’s Obermann Humanities Symposium, “What Can Museums Become?”, Joyce Tsai...

Black Curators' Roundtable Examines Changing Practices

Monday, October 21, 2019
This Friday's Black Curators' Roundtable is a first chance to hear some of the issues that will be central to the 2019–20 Obermann Humanities Symposium, What Can Museums Become? Led by trans poet, artist, curator, and UI alumnus Anaïs Duplan (pictured above), the event gathers three others curators to discuss their practices and trends. Facilitated by Duplan, founding curator for the Center...

Misfitting: Symposium Connects Disabilities Studies Scholars, Shines Light on Need for Scholarly Leadership at UI

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Tricia Zebrowski and Douglas Baynton pulled off a wonderful finale this spring. The two retiring professors—Zebrowski is in her first year as an Emeritus in Communication Sciences & Disorders, while Baynton retired in May 2019 from History—co-directed “Misfitting: Disability Broadly Considered,” the 2019 Obermann Humanities Symposium. During three days in April, the pair helped to host eminent...

Andrew Tubbs: Scholar, musician, disability advocate, comedian

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Andrew Tubbs would like to see more researchers recognize the influence that disability has on their work—no matter the field of study. “It’s beneficial for researchers to understand that disability inherently intersects with their work,” Tubbs says. “Being able to come at issues, research questions, and problems from a disability perspective helps nuance arguments.” The University of Iowa...
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Nina G: Stuttering comic walks the line between satire and issue advocacy

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Bay Area comedian Nina G works tough territory. She plays gigs at clubs with names like “Nightlife on Mars” and “The Laugh Boat.” She stutters. And she’s really funny about it. While most stand-up comics engage their audiences through relatable stories, Nina G’s work pulls that kind observational humor into the broader intersection of comedy, satire and issue advocacy. That’s tough territory...

Archiving the Archives

Friday, April 20, 2018
The 2018 Obermann Humanities Symposium and Provost's Global Forum, "Against Amnesia: Archives, Evidence, and Social Justice," brought a dozen scholars, artists, and archivists to Iowa City to share their wide-ranging work. While our symposia are usually organized by two or three faculty members who propose topics, this time Obermann Director Teresa Mangum (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and...

Full audio of Trudy Peterson's keynote lecture on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Thursday, March 8, 2018
On March 1, 2018, Trudy H. Peterson delivered the Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship Keynote Lecture, “Best When Used By: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” as part of the 2018 Provost's Global Forum/Obermann Humanities Symposium, "Against Amnesia: Archives, Evidence, and Social Justice." Listen to the full audio below:

Archives as a Space for Social Justice Is Focus of Provost's Global Forum/Obermann Humanities Symposium

Friday, February 9, 2018
“It is essential to seize the power of archives and use it to hold institutional and government leaders accountable. All aspects of society should be documented, not simply those where power has traditionally resided.” —Randall Jimerson, “Archives for All: Professional Responsibility and Social Justice” Animating the Archives Archives conjure up visions of crumbling files tied with...

First Iowa City Archive Crawl Celebrates Treasures in Local Collections

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Hold History in Your Hands at the First-Ever Iowa City Archives Crawl What gems hide in plain sight in Iowa City’s libraries, museums, and archives? At the area’s first-ever archives crawl, visitors can snoop in between the pages of historic diaries, read other people's mail, hold feathers and fossils, and peer into mysteries revealed by historic artifacts like swords and locks of...

The Archeology of Ten Minutes Ago: Preserving the Artifacts of Border Crossing

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Across campus and community, you’ll be seeing the poster for our upcoming symposium, Against Amnesia: Archives, Evidence, and Social Justice. We wanted a powerful image to anchor our communications for this event—one that captures the urgency and importance of archiving in today’s political climate, especially in the name of human rights. Living, breathing archives, uncomfortable, incriminating...
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Iowa City Archives Crawl - Hold History in Your Hands!

Thursday, December 28, 2017
On Saturday, February 24, Iowa City hosts its first archives crawl. You'll hold history in your hands. Get behind-the-scenes tours of local museums and libraries. Talk to experts who can help you with your own home-archiving projects. And learn about projects that scholars and artists are currently creating from the impressive archival holdings of local institutions. Between 11:00 am and 3:00...

A Symposium Bears Fruit: New book and an inter-institutional grant the latest results of The Latino Midwest

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Convening the right group of people at the right time can create not just a ripple effect but a tidal wave of creative, collaborative products. Claire Fox (English and Spanish & Portuguese, CLAS) has seen this firsthand. Since she co-directed The Latino Midwest, the 2012–13 Obermann Humanities Symposium, a new University of Iowa program has come into being, a related textbook is soon to be...

Announcing "1984 in 2017: A Symposium"

Monday, February 20, 2017
This April, Loren Glass (English, CLAS; Center for the Book) and the UI Center for Human Rights will present an interdisciplinary public symposium, 1984 in 2017. The all-day event will explore correlations between George Orwell's dystopian—and newly bestselling—novel 1984 and current events, addressing such questions as, What does it mean to live in a world where dystopian fiction resembles...

Snapshot of German Iowa in the Global Midwest Symposium

Thursday, November 17, 2016
German Iowa and the Global Midwest was a three-day symposium (Oct. 6-8, 2016) that explored Iowa's multicultural heritage. Part of a larger series of linked events, the 2016 Obermann Humanities Symposium was a tremendous success, gaining considerable local, statewide, and even national attention. Highlights Frank Trommler, an Ida Beam speaker, gave two public talks. The first, in the public...
Don Quixote in Chinese

Don Quixote in 140 Characters

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Can one of the world's most iconic books be boiled down to a Tweetable 140 characters? Don Quixote was parodied or plagiarized, depending on how you look at it, before Cervantes could even write the second volume chronicling the misadventures of an errant knight and his loyal sidekick. The 400-year old tome has inspired a plethora of adaptations, including ballets, symphonies, cartoons, films...
Ana Rodriguez and Denise Filios

Connecting 400-Year-Old Knight Errant to UI Students and Community

Monday, September 28, 2015
This fall, University of Iowa students are discovering the charms of an aged knight-errant, his earthy sidekick, and a cast of colorful characters. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of Don Quixote, Ana Rodríguez-Rodríguez and Denise Filios, professors in Spanish and Portuguese, are co-directing the Obermann–International Programs Humanities Symposium, “Parody, Plagiarism...
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Scenes from Anthropocene Symposium

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Several keynote lectures from the 2014-15 Obermann Humanities Symposium, Energy Cultures in the Age of the Anthropocene were filmed and are now available on the Obermann's YouTube channel. Lonnie Thompson: "Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options"; Jennifer Kayle and UI dancers: "Smoke-Screen: This and Other Warnings"; Charles Mann: "Energy and Climate: A Problem from Hell"...

Smoke-Screen: Dance Performance Explore Themes of the Anthropocene

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Smoke-Screen Debuts as Finale of Anthropocene Symposium Jennifer Kayle (Dance, CLAS; pictured left) has spent the past few months immersed in books like Diane Ackerman’s The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us and Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, as well as works about how complex science can be effectively communicated to a broader public. This research has been...
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Inquiring About Affect - A Conversation with Naomi Greyser

Thursday, March 20, 2014
How might the work of artists, scholars, and activists be more pleasurable and easeful? How might our working environments and labor conditions be more healthy? These are some of the questions this year’s Obermann Humanities Symposium, Affect & Inquiry, will address. Co-directed by Naomi Greyser (Rhetoric, CLAS), Deborah Whaley (American Studies, CLAS), and Jeffrey Bennett (Communication Studies...

Author Luis Alberto Urrea Reads from New Novel

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Author Luis Alberto Urrea will read from his new novel, Queen of America, during a reading on December 11 at 7 pm at The Englert Theatre. Urrea will be joined by Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, fellow writer and co-director of The Latino Midwest, the 2012-13 Obermann Humanities Symposium. Urrea was born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother....

The Latino Midwest

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Latino culture has been helping shape the United States for hundreds of years, even before the U.S. was a country. Though the Latino population in the Midwest is small compared to other areas of the country, it continues to grow, infusing Latino art, literature, and music into the culture of the heartland.The Latino Midwest, the 2012-13 University of Iowa Obermann-International Programs Humanities...

Migration Letters

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Alejandro García-Lemos first came to the U.S. from his home in Colombia in order to attend graduate school in 1997. The painter, who now works as an interpreter for immigrants in hospitals and at the courthouse in Columbia, South Carolina, had visited the U.S. many times before finally decided to stay. "You meet someone, life changes," he says with a small laugh. The process of staying has hardly...