Loyce Arthur (CV) is Associate Professor and Head of Design in the Theatre Arts Department. She has designed costumes for numerous productions including the US premiere of Peter Pan & Wendy at the Prince Music Theater, Philadelphia; Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, which won a special OBIE award; Box Office of the Damned at the Classic Stage Company Theatre, New York and The Brothers Sun and Moon at the Kennedy Center for the performing Arts, Washington, D.C. Her work at The University of Iowa includes Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Seascape, Wonderchild, The Magic Flute, The Learned Ladies and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
In Fall 2005 she designed costumes for Nocturnal Wandering and Brokenville with distinguished theater artist Anton Juan in Athens, Greece. In fall 2004 she designed costumes and masks for Shadows of the Reef, a piece about the plight of Phillipine women and children created by artist Anton Juan. Research Awards include an Old Gold Award to study mask making with Donato Satori in Italy; a West African Research Association fellowship to study ritual and performance in Ghana; and research grants to extend her knowledge of Balinese mask traditions. East Indian Kutiyattam and Kathakali theatre forms and West African Research traditional arts and performance; a Faculty Development Award and travel grants to be an artist-in-residence at the Mahogany Mas Camp in London UK, working with award winning carnival designer Clary Salandy on Notting Hill Carnival. She was co-director of the 2001 National Theatre Mask Conference, the first of its kind ever held in the United States, Summer 2004. She presented her work on Trinidad carnival at a symposium in Santiago de Cuba. Professor Arthur is currently developing a University of Iowa Museum of Art exhibition of carnival costumes with a Mas Camp site and a carnival parade for Spring 2013.
Maria Jose Barbosa
Dr. Barbosa's research interests lie within the Brazilian novelistic tradition with the focus on Clarice Lispector. She published articles, annotated bibliographies, encyclopedia entries, and books about Clarice's life and work. The following books are in print: Clarice Lispector: Spinning the Webs of Passion (1996), Clarice Lispector: Mutações Faiscantes / Sparkling Mulations (a bilingual edition, 1997), and Clarice Lispector: Des/fiando as Teias da Paixão (2001), a translation into Portuguese of Spinning the Webs of Passion. Although the study of Lispector’s texts has been of main emphasis for her teaching and research agenda, she has also written about other authors and areas of study. She was also a contributing editor to a book-project, Passo e Compasso: Nos Ritmos do Envelhecer [In the Rhythms of Growing Older], in November 2002, about representations of aging in Portuguese-speaking countries (Brazil, Portugal, Angola, and Mozambique). The nineteen essays explore ideologies, behaviors, social expectations, and endowments, focusing on questions of identity, ethnicity, language, sexuality, the role of elders within their families and also within specific communities (African, Afro-Brazilian, Jewish, and Indigenous groups in Brazil). Parallel to her interest in literature written by women lies her ongoing interest in Afro-Brazilian culture and literature.
She has published articles, chapters of books, interviews, and encyclopedia entries, and made conference presentations on the the following topics: Afro-Brazilian poets Adão Ventura and Edimilson Pereira, Exu (an African deity), Pomba-Gira (the Brazilian counterpart, in Umbanda’s cosmology), mulattas, Capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art/dance), and Chica da Silva (a 19th-century former slave woman in Brazil). Currently she is working on her book project on women’s studies and Afro-Brazilian culture and literature. It will analyze the role of Afro-Brazilian women in the development of Brazilian cultural identities
Paul Cunliffe is the staff percussionist with the University of Iowa Department of Dance. Working for the department since 1979, he provides accompaniment for modern dance, visiting artist workshops and master classes, and teaches rhythm and drumming classes. Paul has composed original music for many student and faculty choreographers with performances at Hancher Auditorium and Space/Place Theatre in Iowa City and the Cunningham Studios in New York. Paul co-leads the UI Afro-Cuban Drum & Dance Ensemble which was formed after organizing a study abroad trip in 2003 to take University of Iowa music and dance students to Matanzas, Cuba to study Afro-Cuban folkloric dancing, drumming, and song from members of the world renown Los Munequitos de Matanzas and Grupo AfroCuba. The new ensemble has been well received by Iowa audiences and in 2004 had the honor of performing at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Nashville.
Outside the University Paul has maintained a busy schedule through the years as a freelance musician working as a drummer and percussionist doing anything from weddings, bar mitzvahs, bars and dance halls to studio recording, advertising jingles and musical theater shows. He served as house band drummer for many shows during the mid 80’s with Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, with weekly broadcasts on National Public Radio from their home base in St. Paul, MN, the Auditorium Theatre in downtown Chicago, and while on tour with the show in Alaska and Hawaii. For over 12 years, Paul has performed and recorded with the Iowa based Latin jazz and salsa group Orquesta Alto Maiz which had the opportunity to perform several concerts at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival while touring Europe. He currently performs with Dennis McMurrin and The Demolition, Calle Sur Fiesta, Orquesta Alto Maiz and the John Shultz Organization.
Roxanna Curto is Assistant Professor of French and Spanish. She received her Ph.D. in French from Yale in 2008, and an A.B. in Romance Studies from Harvard in 2001; from 2008 to 2011, she was an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University.
Professor Curto is a specialist in 20th-century French and Francophone literature and culture; postcolonial and literary theory; Latin American theatre; and comparative Caribbean studies. She is currently completing a book manuscript, “Inter-tech(s): Colonialism and the Question of Technology in Francophone Literature,” which examines the representation of modern technologies in the works of Francophone writers from Africa and the Caribbean. She is also writing a series of articles exploring connections between Aimé Césaire and Latin American literature, in order to argue that Césaire’s works can be interpreted from the perspectives of Afro-cubismo and negrismo, magical realism, and the “theater of development” movement. Her second book project is a study of the representation of sports, especially soccer, in literature and film, focusing on their fundamental role in post-colonial body politics, nation-building, and the formation of collective imaginaries.
Professor Curto’s articles on Beyala, Bhêly-Quénum, Césaire, Loba, Lopes and Senghor have appeared in French Literature Series, Research in African Literatures, the Journal of the African Literature Association, and in two edited volumes, Trains, Literature and Culture: Reading/Writing the Rails, and Francophone Cultures and Geographies of Identity. She is also the editor of the French Caribbean section of The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies.
James Dreier (CV) is a drum set, Latin percussion and jazz educator, clinician, and performer. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) and a Master of Arts degree in music theory from the University of Iowa. His interest in Latin music has taken him to Brazil, where he served a residency at the Conservatorio Pernambucano de Musica in Recife, and twice to Cuba, where he studied with the legendary Rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, and master drummer Jesus Alfonzo. James performs with Orquesta Alto Maiz, Combo Nuevo, OddBar Trio, and the UI Faculty Jazz Ensemble and others. Mr. Dreier is a Lecturer in Jazz Studies at the University of Iowa. There he teaches Jazz Improvisation for Drum Set, Small Jazz Ensembles (Latin/jazz Ensemble), Jazz Techniques and Cultural Connections. He also co-leads the U of Iowa Afro-Cuban Drum Ensemble.
Mary Lou Emery
Mary Lou Emery (CV) received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and is a Professor in the Department of English at the University of Iowa. In her teaching and research, Professor Emery explores intersections of British modernist, Caribbean, and postcolonial literatures. Most recently, she has published a book-length critical study, Modernism, the Visual, and Caribbean Literature, with Cambridge University Press (2007). Her work in these areas began with a book on the Dominican-born writer, Jean Rhys, titled Jean Rhys at “World's End”: Novels of Colonial and Sexual Exile, and includes critical essays on the Guyanese experimental writer, Wilson Harris, which have appeared in Calalloo, The Journal of Caribbean Literatures, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, and a collection edited by Hena Maes Jelinek, The Uncompromising Imagination. She has also published on C.L.R. James, Jamaica Kincaid, and Michelle Cliff as well as the modernists Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and May Sinclair.
Courses she has designed and taught include the following:
• For graduate students: Transcultural Modernism; Caribbean Literature: Writings in Exile; and Postcolonial Theory and the Anglophone Caribbean.
• For undergraduates: Caribbean Literature and Culture; Caribbean Crosscurrents of the 20th Century; Transcultural Modernist Women Writers; and Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures.
Professor Emery has received several awards for her teaching, including the Graduate Mentor Award (2007) and the President and Provost Award for Excellence in Teaching (2008).
James Giblin received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His recent publlications which are articles and book chapters include Ecology and Culture in the History of Tanzania (co-editor, 1996) , Family Life, Indigenous Culture And Christianity In Colonial Njombe (1998), Passages in a Struggle Over the Past: Stories of Majimaji in Njombe, Tanzania, Land Tenure, Traditions Of Thought About Land, And Their Environmental Implications In Tanzania (2001), and Divided Patriarchs in a Labor Migration Economy: Contextualizing Debate about Family And Gender in Colonial Njombe” (2000).
Professor Giblin’s recent grants are: NEH Collaborative Projects Grant (2001), Arts and Humanities Initiative, University of Iowa, 1998 and 1999, Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Award (1997), and Faculty Scholar Award, University of Iowa (1996). His current research is a book on the social history of 20th-century Tanzania entitled A History of the Excluded: Making Family and Memory a Refuge from State in Twentieth-Century Tanzania; the Majimaji War of 1905-07 in Tanzania; social, economic and ecological history in 19th and 20th century Tanzania.
He has taught several courses on African History including, History of Precolonial Africa; History of Colonial Africa; African and African-American Interactions; Graduate Seminar on Africa and the Caribbean; Graduate Seminar on Interpreting Oral Histories.
Professor Giblin will be teaching Pre-colonial African History (16W:120/129:163).
This course concentrates on Africa south of the Sahara. It surveys the major changes in this region over the 2000 years which preceded the onset of European colonial rule in the late 19th century. Thus it brings the story of African history up to 1880, the point at which European colonialism irrevocably changed the course of African social development. The course focuses on the major dynamics of economic and political change, including the development of states and large systems of trade. A major aspect of this history is the Atlantic slave trade. The course places the slave trade in the wider context of African political, economic and social history, and examines its impact on African societies. The course concludes by discussing the ways in which Africans living under European influence in the early colonial period interpreted their own past.
Professor Michel Gobat's research interests focus on U.S. intervention and social revolution in the Caribbean basin. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Enduring the American Dream: Nicaragua under U.S. Imperial Rule, 1849,1933. Based on research in Nicaraguan and U.S. archives, the book explores the paradoxical effects of Americanization in Nicaragua from the heyday of Manifest Destiny (1840s/50s) through the U.S. military occupation of 1910-33. Professor Gobat has presented aspects of this work at conferences in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the U.S. Most recently, his article Against the Bourgeois Spirit: The Nicaraguan Elite and the Threat of Modernity, 1918-1929, was published in the 2000 special issue of Nicaragua’s Revista de Historia on “Elites, Families and Power Networks in Mesoamerican Societies.” In his teaching, Professor Gobat explores the history of the Caribbean basin in the following courses: Modern Latin America; U.S. Latin American relations; U.S. intervention in the Caribbean basin; and Latin American revolutions.
During this past year she presented at a workshop on the Dutch Colonial and Global Imaginary at the Historians of Netherlandish Art Conference in Antwerp, Belgium; gave a talk on the uses of foods in Dutch still life at the Interdisciplinary and Multicultural Conference on Representations of Food at the University of Texas in San Antonio; hosted a panel on connections between Africa and Europe at the Crossing Borders Convocation at the University of Iowa where she also gave a talk; delivered a paper at the Midwest Art History Society Conference in Milwaukee on African servants in Dutch portraits and still-life paintings, and another on the exchange of influence between Asian porcelain and Dutch tin-glazed earthenware, at the International Conference of Netherlandic Studies at the University of Michigan. She is currently at work on a book for Yale University Press entitled, Trade Secrets: Unpacking Commodities in Still Life of the Dutch Golden Age.
Priya Kumar joined the English department in January, 2001. She received her PhD in English from McGill University, Canada, and has taught previously at the University of Virginia. In Spring 2000, she was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Institute on Violence, Culture and Survival and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Her specialization is in postcolonial studies with a focus on South Asian literature and culture.
Her areas of research and teaching include: nationalism and minority culture;discourses of cosmopolitanism and secularism; testimony and trauma theory; postcolonial feminist fiction and theory; the literature of displacement and exile. In recent years, she has become increasingly interested in the literatures of the South Asian diaspora in the Caribbean, Fiji and East Africa. She has published essays on The Partition of the Indian subcontinent in Interventions(Routledge, 1999), on secularism in Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, on the Urdu writer, Qurratulain Hyder (Routledge, 2001), and on the South African writer, Bessie Head (Africa Quarterly, 1994). She is currently working on a book project on secularism, religious violence and collective memory in the Indian subcontinent.
Adriana Mendez-Rodenas CV received her PhD in Romance Studies from Cornell University. A professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Iowa, her areas of expertise are nineteenth and twentieth century Latin American narrative. Caribbean literature and culture is one of her main areas of expertise.
Professor Méndez Rodenas has published widely in Hispanic Caribbean literature. Her first book, Severo Sarduy: el neobarroco de la transgresión (UNAM: 1983) won the National Literary Essay Prize in Mexico. Her second book, Gender and Nationalism in Colonial Cuba—The Travels of Santa Cruz y Montalvo, Condesa de Merlin (Vanderbilt University Press: 1998), studies a foundational figure in Spanish American Romanticism. A Creole writer who straddled two cultures, Cuba and France, la Comtesse Merlin’s writings on the slavery debate in Cuba are gathered in her edition of Les esclaves dans les colonies espagnoles (Paris: Editions l’Harmattan, 2006). Based on the 1844 Madrid edition located at the University of Iowa libraries, Professor Méndez Rodenas has recently edited la condesa de Merlin’s Viaje a la Habana (StockCero Ediciones, 2009), a classic in the tradition of Caribbean travel writing. Her articles anti-slavery narrative have appeared in the journals Cuban Studies (1999), and New Literary History (1990). A collection of essays on Cuban literature and culture appeared as Cuba en su imagen: Historia e identidad en la literatura cubana (Madrid: Editorial Verbum, 2002).
Professor Méndez Rodenas has also reflected on the Cuban diaspora in “Identity and Diaspora: Cuban Culture at the Cross-Roads,” an essay appearing in Cuba—Idea of a Nation Displaced (SUNY Press: 2007). Her essays on Cuban-American literature appeared in MLN (Modern Language Notes, 2001) and in the recent interdisciplinary anthology Cuban-American Literature and Art: Negotiating Identities (2009).
Her current research project centers on European women’s travels to 19th century Latin America. Her essays on Fredrika Bremer, a Swedish novelist who traveled to Cuba in 1851, have appeared in Cuba: The Elusive Nation—Interpretations of National Identity (University of Florida Press, 2000) and Cuba: Un siglo de literatura (1902-2002).
Caribbean Literature in Comparative Perspective
Cultural Identity in Caribbean Literature
Cuban-American Literature and Culture
Seminar: Sugar and Abolition in the Spanish Antilles
1989 Iowa Humanities grant: an international conference, “Islands in Time: Identity and Culture in the Caribbean,”co- directed with Fredrick Woodard
2002-2003 National Endowment for University Teachers Fellowship
2008-2009 Distinguished Chair in American Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden.