WRITER: JONATHAN JORDAHL
CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Dec. 14, 2001
UI art education professor receives $10,000 Humanities
Rachel Williams, a University of Iowa assistant professor
of art education, has received a $10,000 grant from Humanities Iowa to coordinate
a project at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville
that explores the structure of women's autobiographical writing through a
series of writers' workshops.
"Women on the Inside," a project that will involve both
women inmates and staff in the prison, will present an opportunity for the
humanities to play a vital role in the lives of a community of women involved
in violence, poverty, substance abuse and mental illness. Participants will
have an opportunity to work with scholars and staff to write, read and learn
about literature, women's issues, culture and history.
Their final written product will be compiled as an audio
and visual narrative in the form of a DVD and a book. These materials will
be distributed to more than 1,000 public libraries, cultural centers, colleges
and universities throughout Iowa.
Williams, who has engaged in extensive scholarly research
with incarcerated women, will work with Jane Parsons, a former staff counselor
at Mitchellville who now works for Simpson College but continues to volunteer
at the correctional center.
Humanities Iowa is a private, non-profit state affiliate
of the National Endowment for the Humanities whose mission is to enhance the
civic life, culture, and identity of Iowans. Drawing on history, literature,
philosophy, law, and other humanities fields, it fosters lifelong learning,
critical thinking and community connections.