News

Thinking in Images: The Evolution of Rachel Williams

“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...

Cathy Park Hong Gives UI Keynote

In the first chapter of Cathy Park Hong’s creative nonfiction book Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (One World, 2020), the reader is transported to Kalamazoo, where Hong gave a reading from an early draft of her book at Western Michigan University. At the end of the event some fans approach her, eager to share gratitude for her work and express how personal it is to them. Two audience...
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Sawyer Seminar Culminates with Latina/o/x Futurity

When COVID-19 interrupted the late spring events and culmination of the yearlong Mellon Sawyer Seminar Imagining Latinidades: Articulations of National Belonging, we didn't know that the events would eventually end up online and across institutions. In 2019–20, seminar co-directors Darrel Wanzer-Serrano, Ariana Ruiz, and Rene Rocha worked across disciplines to organize six symposia, a film series...

Signing Music, Gender in The Iliad, and Civil Rights Performance: Three faculty receive book completion awards

Three UI faculty have received Book Ends awards to complete manuscripts. A jointly sponsored opportunity of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Office of the Vice President for Research, Book Ends supports faculty from disciplines in which publishing a monograph is required for tenure and promotion. The award, which is now in its third year, is designed to help faculty members...

Pandemic Practices: Lessons Learned (and Worth Keeping)

Even as many of us long for a return to an in-person, on-site work life, we’ve also been learning valuable new practices—for teaching, for meetings, for collaboration, and more. Over the past few months, the Obermann Center has been collecting Pandemic Practices to share, practices we want to remember and refine. The following is a list of practices submitted via our webform and/or discussed at...

Spring 2021 Invite-a-Guest-to-Class Mini-Grant Recipients, Visitors

We received such enthusiastic reports from our Fall 2020 Invite-a-Guest-to-Class mini-grant recipients that we reprised the program this spring, extending eligibility to UI teaching assistants as well as faculty. We're delighted to award a new slate of mini-grants to support 38 virtual course visits by a diverse and impressive array of educators, researchers, artists, administrators, and activists...

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

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...
Jason Rantanen

Patent Warrior: Jason Rantanen's projects seek to help patents serve people

Early last fall, the Federal Circuit rejected a request from Google to move a patent infringement case involving Google’s YouTube service out of East Texas. The request, formally known as a writ of mandamus, is an attempt at judicial remedy by petitioning an appellate court. In this instance, Google was claiming that East Texas wasn’t the proper venue for the lawsuit. There has been an uptick in...

Black Lives on Screen: Cinematic Arts Offers Semester-Long Series

This spring semester, the Department of Cinematic Arts is hosting an online screening series, Black Lives on Screen, featuring the work of a diverse range of acclaimed African American and Black filmmakers, artists, and scholars. Intended to promote and celebrate the rich history and future of Black cinematic expression, the events will give UI classes, as well as individual students, staff, and...

Cultural Postmortem 2020

How can artists and scholars help the nation contend with the peril in which we find ourselves—starting with our own campuses? The 2020 US presidential race was one of the most politically and ideologically divisive and contentious races that we’ve ever seen. As the events of January 6, 2021 have illustrated, the nation remains divided: political leaders at the highest level are challenging...