CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 15, 2002
Sept. 11 Attacks Prompt Talks On Civil Liberties, Artistic Expression
Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry at the University of Iowa has organized
"Infinite Respect, Enduring Dignity: Voices and Visions of the September Attacks,"
a Jan. 25-26 conference, an artistic and academically-inspired public discussion
on the terrorist attacks and its impact on our political, religious, and artistic
climate. The conference takes place at the University Theatre Building and
runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; it resumes Saturday at 9 a.m. and ends
at 5 p.m. The entire event is free and open to the public.
At the conference, Rep. James Leach will give the
keynote address. Choreographer Bill T. Jones will speak on the role of arts
in times of national tragedy prior to his Saturday evening performance at
Hancher Auditorium. Mary Gilchrist, director of the UI Hygienic Laboratory,
will address the topic of self-resilience and bioterrorism. James Allen McPherson,
creative writing professor at the Iowa Writer's Workshop, takes on the use
of humor in the wake of the attacks, and Alan Sener, associate professor of
dance, will perform a new dance work. The University Theater lobby will house
an exhibit of original artistic and cinematic works inspired by the tragedy
and gathered from across the state.
"Though we all come with unique perspectives, we share our grief. Gathering
together with poets, politicians, lawyers and religious leaders may allow
us to find that moment of communal reflection that we all so dearly need,"
said Susan Zickmund, conference-co director and director of the Graduate Certificate
Program at the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry.
"The conference was organized with two goals
in mind," explained Merrie Snell, conference co-director. "First,
to provide information and stimulate conversation about the current crisis
among a diverse population of scholars and laypeople in the state of Iowa
and second, to enact a richer, more complete understanding of our human experience
of -- our humanistic responses to -- these events by combining academic with
The above named guests will be joined by discussions
on civil liberties, human rights, and just war by UI College of Law professor
Adrien Wing, and visiting international law lecturer Christopher Rossi. Christopher
Merrill, director, International Writing Program, will contribute a personal
literary piece about the attacks and will present similar responses from international
writers. University of Pittsburgh professor Gordon Mitchell will discuss self-censorship
and the crisis. David Skorton, UI vice president for research and interim
director of University Relations, will give introductory remarks on Friday.
Discussions on Saturday will begin with comments from Iowa City Mayor Ernie
Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders will contribute
to the two-day conference, as will Steve Thunder McGuire, associate professor,
art education and art history, whose video documentary will explore local
reactions. In all, more than 60 invited guests, participants, and artists
will contribute to the discussions.
The conference is organized by eight faculty and various
master's of arts students, and is co-sponsored by Humanities Iowa, the National
Endowment for the Humanities, The Stanley Foundation, International Programs
and 14 additional UI sponsors.
A complete conference schedule is viewable at http://www.uiowa.edu/~poroi/Infinite_Respect_schedule.htm.
Participants listing is at http://www.uiowa.edu/~poroi/infinite_respect_participants.htm#participants.