International Accents

E.g., Saturday, June 4, 2016
E.g., Saturday, June 4, 2016

"China?” my dental hygienist asks as she inspects my back molar, “Well, how was that?” The dentist chair is in full recline with my mouth obligingly open to allow her metal tools to prod away. In the end all I can manage is, “oh, it was grood…” It is the fate of every traveler when they return home to be asked that dreaded question – to sum up the experience of a lifetime in a sentence short enough to be uttered between teeth x-rays. But China is a particularly ambitious task, dental impediments aside; I have yet to come up with a good response.

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“The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir” by Kao Kalia Yang is this year’s book choice for the One Community, One Book annual reading program, sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR) in International Programs.

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The trip across the stage to collect her diploma will be the shortest leg on the journey so far for Stephanie Lukas.

Just two weeks ago she was in West Africa, completing an elective rotation for her pharmacy degree. During four weeks in Liberia studying the pharmacy system and ways to improve it, she met with the ministry of health’s medication supply chain manager, interviewed health care providers and patients, and participated in a training session for pharmacy workers who dispense medications. She set up the rotation herself, in collaboration with Lloyd Matowe, University of Iowa assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and founder of the nongovernmental organization Pharmaceutical Systems Africa.

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Originally from Burlington, Iowa, Brandon Jennings has always had an interest in the Middle East. Very soon, he'll have an address in the Greater Middle East.

Jennings, a senior graduating this May with a major in international studies and minors in religious studies, chemistry, and Arabic, was recently awarded the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. He will be going to Morocco for a 10-week program to study Arabic, which is considered a critical language.

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The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) is awarding seven students a total of $7,500 to support their internships for human rights organizations in the United States or internationally in the summer of 2012.

These students, seeking a combination of graduate and undergraduate degrees, have received funding as part of the UICHR’s annual Kenneth J. Cmiel Funded Human Rights Internship Program. Program funds cover travel and living expenses for students who have secured an internship with a local, national or international nongovernmental organization or governmental agency engaged in human rights-related advocacy, research or education.

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As a costume designer in the theater, I feel that my work often is a re-creation of memories. The actors and I create a life for the costumes and the characters, partly based in fact, and partly in imagination.

Working with other theater artists, we construct a world for the audience that they inhabit with the performers during a performance. That is the magic of theater — a shared existence in real time made up of memories and the suspension of disbelief.

There is great sweetness in remembering a work of art, particularly when it is an experience like a theater performance and you are surrounded by a crowd, a community of focused participants all sharing the same time and place.

That is why it is so vital to have theaters, museums and concert halls, both humble and grand, to experience art in community.

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The European Studies Group will conclude its spring lecture series will a talk presented by Rebecca Léal, titled “My Mother, the Stranger: Ruptures, Transmissions, and Stereotypes in Popular Representations of Arab-French Mothers,” at noon Friday, May 4, in 2520D UCC. A light luncheon will be provided and the event is free and open to the public.

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Join us for the final WorldCanvass of the 2011-2012 season when we consider the connections between art and memory. Memories live and resonate in both the conscious and unconscious spaces of our experience, but art allows for expression that moves beyond simple narrative. How does a poet draw upon memory? What does a masterful printmaker, painter, musician or writer take from his/her own personal experience and what is sheer imagination? Why is art such a powerful medium for the preservation and expression of a community’s cultural memory?

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Being a first generation student, my family was new to the whole college experience and all the opportunities I had available to me, including studying abroad. At first, my parents did not understand the benefits of going abroad or why I even wanted to. My mom was mostly worried about me going to a different country, especially a third world country, with nobody she knew and no cell phone to contact me. Both my parents could not relate so I spent a lot of time convincing them to take studying abroad seriously and that studying abroad was a valuable idea. After much discussion, they began to understand how this is a once in a lifetime opportunity I needed to take advantage of while I still can as a student.

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During the week of April 23-27 the UI UNA, Global Health Club, the Food and Water Watch, and Delta Sigma Pi will be sponsoring a week of global citizenship. In honor of UI Global Citizen's week, the Global Health Club formally invites all to attend the Charity:Water Benefit.

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The collaborative community art project Stir-Fry, which uses art to focus on how people resettle into new communities and cultures, will culminate its semester-long activities with a series of free public events from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center Assembly Room, 28 South Linn St., Iowa City.

The goal of Stir-Fry is to tell stories of how people came to Iowa from different parts of the world through the visual arts. Throughout the semester, workshops have been held at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. Students from the University of Iowa as well as community artists volunteered to help participants from as far as Liberia, Togo, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Puerto Rico share their stories through mixed media, print making, stop motion animation, and other art forms.

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The infectious beat and flurried movements of Latin music and dance will take center stage at this year's Gusto Latino.

"There are a lot of diversity events on the University of Iowa campus, but this one is a really great display of dance and music, and it gives the community and the student body a chance to have live, authentic music and be able to experience the dancing talent of people from all over Iowa," said Kimberly Tranel, a graduate student in the University of Iowa International Programs and an organizer of the event.

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Lewis Liú relocated from China to the United States with a Hollywood dream. But during his three years in film school, his Hollywood dream met reality.

Liú's M.F.A. film thesis, Drifting in Los Angeles: Chinese Students, Film Schools, and Hollywood Dreams, will be screened at 8 p.m. April 22 in the Bijou. Admission is free and open to the public.

After an expedition to visit his friends who are film students at the University of Southern California, Liú found that film school in Hollywood isn't the heaven young filmmakers imagine. And Californians were treating his Chinese friends as second-class citizens.

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In January of 2012, approximately 650 of Brazil's top-notch undergraduate students traveled to the United States to study on U.S campuses as part of the Science without Borders program, sponsored by the Brazilian government. The University of Iowa has had the fortune of hosting four participants in this two semester academic scholarship program, and is expecting to host more Brazilian undergraduates in the fall. Below, the four undergraduates have shared some of their thoughts and reflections on life at the University of Iowa.

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Join Salsa Vibe and the UI’s Global Village for a night of salsa dancing, musical performances, and a dance competition at this year’s Gusto Latino. Gusto Latino has been an annual event at the UI for over two decades. It brings together a wide range of students and community members of diverse backgrounds to interact through music, dance, and conversation.

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In this presentation, I trace the roots of Japanese reggae from the early 1970s until the present, focusing on the musical productive strategies through which “J-reggae” has come into being. Among these strategies are incorporation of Japanese musical traditions; creative use of the Japanese language (as opposed to patois); and in the way of artistic self-representation, male dancehall performers’ referencing of the figure of the samurai. I argue that these strategies invoke discourses of the traditional that are deeply interlinked with those of modernity in Japan, a modernity shaped by the specter of Western domination that Japanese, like Jamaicans, have long had to negotiate. I focus, however, on the link between these discourses of the traditional and a contemporary ethos of cultural internationalism in recessionary Japan, in which Japanese reggae practitioners imagine global southern countries like Jamaica as simultaneously signs of these artists’ cultural and sociopolitical cosmopolitanism, but also as tradition-bound and thus instructive symbols of Japan’s own potential rebirth.

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Madhavapeddi Murthy, Dancers and Orchestra will be in residence April 16-20 within the UI Department of Dance and UI School of Music. Murthy and his troupe will culminate their residency Friday, April 20, with an open lecture demonstration followed by a public performance at the Space Place Theater.

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The DI: Why do you think it's important to include and recruit underrepresented and minority students?

President Mason: I think it's the whole way in which they approach life — which may be different from ways in which others approach life. The way they think, the cultural traditions that they perhaps were raised with. When you're out in the workforce after you leave the University, being exposed to different types of people and different ways of thinking and different ways of looking at life and different cultures and traditions, that's extremely important because that's likely what you'll be facing in the workforce. We know that many employers today are looking for people who have a diversity of experiences. In other words, haven't just been raised in one place all their life and never experienced any other part of the country or any other part of the world and that's part of the reason why we also do so much study abroad and why we encourage students to get involved in activities that might take them beyond the boundaries of Iowa and into communities that they perhaps haven't been exposed to

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Is there anyone who doesn’t marvel as the next new technological phenomenon rolls off the production line? Whether you like the new gadget and desperately want one for yourself, or whether you think it may be the ruination of all that’s good and true in the world, you’re likely to gasp or shake your head with the realization that what was once beyond even the imagination of ordinary mortals is now a quotidian reality.

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The University of Iowa Opera Studies Forum (OSF) in International Programs will conclude its 2011-12 lecture series coordinated with the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD theater screenings Monday, April 9, with a talk on Verdi’s “La Traviata” presented by Roberta M. Marvin. All lectures take place at 5:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre conference seminar room 2520D and are free and open to the public.

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Please join the African Studies Program for its spring 2012 Baraza lecture series. This lecture series is sponsored by ASP and International Programs.

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Thanks to a CIVIC program, my wife Mary and I recently hosted two female students from Japan for a weekend “home stay” during their university’s educational exchange visit at the University of Iowa. Mina and Mayu arrived at our house each with a suitcase nearly bigger than herself, along with smiles, curiosity, laughter and wonderment that filled our home like birdsong throughout their stay.

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Stephen J. Rapp of Iowa, the ambassador-at-large heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. Department of State, will give a lecture titled "Diplomacy for Global Justice: The tools for establishing truth, accountability and reconciliation after the commission of mass atrocities." Rapp will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in the South Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

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The collaborative art project Stir Fry is a mix of people of various cultures and ages that are brought together in a series of structured workshops to tell and transform their stories into art. Please join us for the following workshops:

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Autobiography is Another Story: “Lives” in Hindi
Abstract: Hindi has a rich tradition of writing about the self – both in formal autobiography (atmakatha, ap-biti) and in more casual contexts and genres. This talk discusses a dozen works, ranging from self-consciously literary texts to the transcribed memoirs of a provincial station-master. Themes such as family life and childhood memories illuminate these narratives, while darker moments include jail writings by the sometime prime minister Chandrashekhar (imprisoned and released by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency of the 1970s) and by Ramprasad Bismil (imprisoned and executed by the British a half-century earlier). My spotlight is on the stylistics of the narratives: how do the various authors crystalize their sweet and bitter experiences into words and bring them to the printed page?

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