The bravest decision I ever made: a summer of SCA research in Uganda

Jeannette George, a Nursing and International Studies (CLAS) major with an emphasis in African studies, has been studying at the University of Iowa since 2009. Last summer, she made the life-changing decision to pursue her academic research of Sickle Cell Anemia awareness far beyond her UI classrooms. Here is her reflection on her research, her decision to travel to Uganda, and why she will never regret it.

Celebrating the life and legacy of Hualing Engle

Toward the end of “One Tree Three Lives” — a documentary on the life and work of Hualing Engle, the Chinese novelist and co-founder of the International Writing Program — there is a shot of her dining room table where, she reports, more than 600 writers have come to eat during her time in Iowa City.

It is a telling moment: hospitality is a recurring theme of Angie Chen’s film, which had its U.S. premiere on Sunday at the Landlocked Film Festival. And Engle’s spirit of generosity is what will be celebrated at 5 p.m. Friday in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber, when the UI’s International Programs awards her its International Impact Award for her contributions to global understanding.

Civilian Experiences of the Napoleonic Wars

The lecture explores what the new form of warfare with mass armies that were mobilized by a national propaganda and needed the support of the civilian population meant for ordinary citizens. Because of its extraordinary significance, the Battle of Leipzig provides an excellent example for such a study. To understand the extend of the civilian war experiences and the different factors that formed it, the lecture will start in spring 1812, when the war started for the people in Saxony, after four relatively peaceful years, and will end in the summer of 1814, when the wars against Napoleon officially had come to an end, but the population still was confronted with the aftermath of the war. To remember the victims of these wars on the occasion of their 200th anniversary instead of celebrating the glorious military leaders seems to be appropriate for today.

Architecture is focus of final ‘Chinese Culture for Lunch’ talk Nov. 6

Join the Confucius Institute for the final talk in its “Culture for Lunch” mini lecture series on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 12:15-1:15 in 1117 University Capitol Centre. The topic, “Ancient Chinese Thought’s Effect on Traditional Architectural Culture,” will be presented by Yong Zhu, an associate professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, China.

CAPS lectures: Shaping public memory in Japan; Chinese in the Philippine Life

This talk examines the role that historical narrative plays in the public relations agenda of corporate Japan. Most member companies of Japan’s 20th-century keiretsu (corporate conglomerates that included Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and Sumitomo) regularly published official histories as a means of enhancing corporate prestige and to evade critical discussion of their past indiscretions. As a result, company history narratives often obscure more than they illuminate about the corporate subject.

Confucius Institute hosts Chinese Cook-Off Nov. 2

Are you a food critic in the making or simply a lover of delicious cuisine? Join us Friday, Nov. 2, for an evening of exceptional Chinese food tasting! Watch as UI Professor and Director of the Confucius Institute Chuanren Ke and other contestants cook up a storm from 6-8 p.m. at the Hy-Vee on Waterfront Dr. in Iowa City.

For the event, each chef will give a brief demonstration and background information on their dish and then give samples to the audience, who will vote by secret ballot for their favorite dishes in each category.

Rediscovering his homeland through the eyes of war veterans

Beijing native Wu Qu, a UI undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently traveled back to his home country to research the motivations behind Chinese involvement in the Korean War. His trip to China was supported by a Stanley Award for International Research. Qu researched Chinese political leaders’ perception of the war, Chinese domestic propaganda during the war, and spoke with several Chinese Korean War veterans to get their unique perspectives. Here, Wu comments on his several aspects of his research trip, which at times left him feeling like a foreigner in his own country.

Keeping Up Appearances: On Marriage Fever and Homosexuality

Given the fact that most girls by the age of 12 have already begun to consider the minutiae of their future Big Day along with the popularity of reality TV shows on the topic, there is no doubt we are marriage- or at least wedding- crazy in the United States. But if you’re feeling wedding pressure here, thank your lucky stars you’re not a 20-something in China.

My Life in Nicaragua: Experiences of a Currently-Serving Peace Corps Volunteer

UI alum Alexandria Sharp, who is currently serving in the Peace Corps, will be visiting the UI during a break from her volunteer term to talk about her life and experiences in Nicaragua. Her presentation will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 2-3 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre and the event is free and open to the public.

In Nicaragua, Sharp is serving as a health promoter focused on maternal and child health, hygiene, and nutrition. She is eager to share her pictures and answer questions about her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer.

National Memory

Though I am currently traveling in Asia focused on College of Engineering initiatives, connecting with alumni abroad, and recruiting fully-funded graduate and professional students, the topic of my post is related to France and national memory.

English as a second language courses a key to success for many UI international students

Jin-A Park can order a complicated coffee with perfect English grammar, ask an American classmate to lunch with ease, and keep up with her linguistics professors’ mile-a-minute lectures on morphoxyntax and phonological theory—but, that certainly wasn’t always the case for the South Korean native.

Learn How to Read the Qur’an

Professor Carl W. Ernst will discuss strategies for making sense of the Qur’an’s complex text during a lecture Thursday, Nov. 1, from 5-7 p.m. in E105 Adler Journalism Building. The talk is titled, “How to Read the Qur’an” and the event is free and open to the public.

For many Americans, the Qur’an is difficult to read, its organization obscure, its messages cryptic or even threatening. This presentation is based on a new book of the same title. Chronological readings of the original sequence of its delivery, exploration of its links to earlier writings, and clarification of the central points of its symmetrical compositions all provide interested readers with new tools for comprehending an undeniably important religious document.

Views from across the world: UI alum teaches in China, writes for Des Moines Register

A small classroom filled with some 70 Chinese teenagers is a typical sight for Kirsten Jacobsen, a 2011 University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate. Jacobsen, who speaks barely five words of Mandarin, has somehow found a way to not only survive while teaching in a new culture but also to turn her adventures into stories for The Des Moines Register.