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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 16, 2010

At A Glance

IWP alumnus Santaella answers questions online Feb. 19

The University of Iowa's Writing University Web site -- -- will host an online Live Discussion with an alumnus of the 2009 residency of the International Writing Program, Venezuelan fiction writer Fedosy Santaella, at 2 p.m. (CST) Friday, Feb. 19.

Santaella, the Creative Writing Workshop coordinator at UNIMET in Caracas, has published a novel, four short story collections and three collections of children's stories. His "Postales sub sole" won the 2006 Pocaterra Latin American Literature Biennial's Novel Prize and the story collection "Moon Rocks" was recognized in the 2007 José Antonio Ramos Sucre Literary Biennial. He has also written for HBO and Cinemax and contributes to magazines and newspapers in Venezuela.

The discussion with Santaella will take place in Spanish, with an English translation posted later on the Web site.

Questions may be submitted in advance at

Transcripts of the two previous Live Discussions, with Australia's Alice Pung and South Africa's Maxine Case, are available at the Virtual Writing University archive:


Public reception marks closing of MNH's Philippine Collection Exhibit Feb. 21

"The Museum Goes to the Fair: Rediscovering the Philippine Collection at the Museum of Natural History," organized by the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Museum of Natural History, will close Sunday, Feb. 21. There will be a free, public reception on the lower level of the Old Capitol Museum from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The exhibit itself is open from 1-6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Old Capitol.

The closing reception includes a lecture by Jonathan Thomas, graduate student in the UI Anthropology Department. His talk, "Art through Anthropology: Viewing cultural objects in a different light," begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Supreme Court Chamber of Old Capitol.

"Rediscovering the Philippine Collection" includes nearly 100 objects; many of which are being seen for the first time since they came to the museum more than 100 years ago. The objects are drawn from a collection of nearly 700 Philippine artifacts, including textiles, jewelry, musical instruments, household items, weapons, tools and baskets. Former MNH director Charles Nutting obtained the specimens from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

For more information please visit the Old Capitol Museum Web site, or call 319-335-0546.


'Movies@MNH' continues 'Evolution' series

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History Movies@MNH series continues with free public showings of episodes from the PBS "Evolution" series. The next episode, ""Extinction," will be shown at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, in Macbride Auditorium on the UI Pentacrest.

The series commemorates Darwin Day, Feb. 12, marking the birth of Charles Darwin the first person to describe the process of evolution. The episode introduces key concepts of evolution while interweaving the drama of Darwin's life with current documentary sequences.

The film series concludes with "The Evolutionary Arms Race," to be shown at 2 p.m. in Macbride Auditorium on Feb. 28.

The UI Museum of Natural History features three permanent galleries exploring natural history and emerging environmental research in Iowa and beyond. For more information call 319-335-0606 or visit


Story-time Explorers focuses on 'Backyard Birds' at UI Museum of Natural History

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History Story-time Explorers series continues on Sunday, Feb. 21, with children's book readings about "Backyard Birds" at 3 p.m. in the Hageboeck Hall of Birds, located on the third floor of Macbride Hall on the UI Pentacrest.

The event is free and open to the public. Stories are geared toward elementary-aged children and their families. Visitors will have an opportunity take part in "avian activities" to learn about bird nests and calls and will also receive projects to take home.

The UI Museum of Natural History features three permanent galleries exploring natural history and emerging environmental research in Iowa and beyond. For more information call 319-335-0606 or visit


Visiting artist Sarah Smelser will speak about her work Feb. 22

University of Iowa alumna Sarah Smelser, a School of Art and Art History visiting artist in printmaking, will speak on "Confessions of a Pack Rat" at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, in Room 109 of UI English-Philosophy Building. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Work by Smelser, who teaches at Illinois State University, has shown across the United States and she is the co-founder of Manneken Press in Bloomington. Her work is in the U.S. Library of Congress, the New York Public Library and Chase Manhattan Bank.

She has been awarded residencies at the Franz Masereel Center in Kasterlee, Belgium; ARTica in Bilbao, Spain; Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Cal.; and the Vermont Studio. Her work was the focus of a recent exhibition at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York.

View examples of her prints at


Same-sex relationships topic at Lifelong Learning program Feb. 23

University of Iowa Professor Ellen Lewin will discuss issues of legitimacy, identity and the cultural realities of gender roles in same-sex relationships at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City.

Lewin's talk was scheduled for Feb. 9, but was rescheduled due to winter weather conditions.

This program, "Negotiating Legitimacy and Recognition for Same-Sex Couples" is part of UI Alumni Association Lifelong Learning series on "Modern Love." A reception and book signing starts at 7 p.m. Copies of Lewin's books, "Gay Fatherhood" and "Recognizing Ourselves," will be available for purchase. The program is free and open to the public.

Lewin, a professor of anthropology and women's studies in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will also present her research exploring community and morality in same-sex commitment ceremonies. She earned her doctorate from Stanford University and has written about gay and lesbian family issues in the United States, including books on lesbian mothers, gay fathers and same-sex commitment ceremonies. Her major research interests center on motherhood, reproduction and sexuality in American culture.

For more information, or call 800-IOWALUM (469-2586).


Feb. 23 pancake promotion will benefit UI Children's Hospital

Iowans can enjoy a free serving of pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, and make a free will donation to benefit patients and families at University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City.

IHOP restaurants across the nation will serve one free short stack of pancakes per customer in celebration of National Pancake Day.

Donations to IHOP's national charity partner, Children's Miracle Network, will help improve the lives of children at the more than 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals nationwide. All funds raised at nine IHOP restaurants around Iowa will benefit UI Children's Hospital.

For more information or to find an IHOP near you, visit


Neo-African-American film screening features panel, director Feb. 24

Director Kobina Aidoo will introduce a screening of his documentary, "The Neo-African-Americans," followed by a panel discussion from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, in the Illinois Room (Room 348) of the Iowa Memorial Union. The event is free and open to the public.

Aidoo an immigrant from Ghana, documents how rapid, voluntary immigration from Africa and the Caribbean is transforming the African-American narrative.

Nicole Nisly, M.D., UI interim chief diversity officer and associate vice president, will introduce Aidoo.

Panelists include Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of International Programs and panel chair; Aidoo, film director and public affairs consultant; Lyombe Eko, associate professor, UI School of Journalism and Mass Communications; Edudzi Etsey, service delivery and operations manager, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; and Katrina Sanders with Sherry Watt, both associate professors in the UI College of Education.

This event is sponsored by International Programs at the UI. Co-sponsors include: African American Council; African Studies Program; Caribbean, Diaspora, and Atlantic Studies; Carver College of Medicine Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives; Chief Diversity Office; City of Iowa City Human Rights Commission; and UI Staff Council.

Contact: Amy Green, 319-335-1433.


Osher course on Financial Crisis begins Feb. 24

"The Financial Crisis: Implications for the Global Economy," a two-week course offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Iowa, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 and March 3 in room 234 of the Blank Honors Center, located at 221 N. Clinton St.

The course will cover origins of the financial crisis, as well as the short and long-term implications for the national and global economy. The course will be taught by Phil Davies, assistant professor of finance in the UI Tippie College of Business.

The course fee is $15 for Osher Institute members and $30 for non-members, which includes an institute membership.

Learn more or register online at, or contact Linsey Abbott at 319-384-4221 or


'PrairieInSight' hosts UI Nonfiction Writing program graduate Feb. 24

Matthew Davis will read from his travel memoir "When Things Get Dark: A Mongolian Winter's Tale" at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Prairie Lights in downtown Iowa City as part of the PrairieInsight program.

At age 23, Davis moved to a remote Mongolian village to teach English. There he was caught in a downward spiral of alcohol abuse and violence, a scenario he saw played out by many of the Mongolian men around him. His book tells the tale of his personal struggles, interlaced with essays on Mongolian history and culture.

Davis is an MFA graduate of the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program and currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

The theme for this program is "Journey as Transformation" and will include conversations with David Hamilton, director of the UI Nonfiction Writing Program and Rex Honey, UI professor of geography and director of International Programs' Crossing Borders. Sharon Benzoni, executive director for the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) and the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, will moderate.

PrairieInsight features collaboration between UI International Programs and Prairie Lights focused around book readings with an international topic.

For more information, visit


Visiting art historian Ruggles will speak about the Alhambra Feb. 25

D. Fairchild Ruggles, a visiting art historian, will speak on "The Alhambra: Real and Imagined" at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in Shambaugh Auditorium of the University of Iowa Main Library. The event, sponsored by the UI School of Art and Art History, is free and the public is invited to attend.

Ruggles is a faculty member at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she is also the co-founder of the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices. Her home department is Landscape Architecture but she has additional appointments to Art History, the School of Architecture, the Program in Medieval Studies and Gender and Women's Studies.

Trained as an historian of Islamic art, architecture and landscape, she has written two award-winning books on gardens: "Gardens, Landscape and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain" and "Islamic Gardens and Landscape." She is the editor of "Women, Patronage and Self-Representation in Islamic Societies" and co-editor of three other books.

The Alhambra ("red fortress"), one of Spain's most popular tourist attractions, is a complex originally completed by the Moors in the 14th century. When the region passed from Moslem control, it became a Christian palace, where Charles V was crowned Holy Roman emperor.



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