International Accents

E.g., Tuesday, October 21, 2014
E.g., Tuesday, October 21, 2014

We are having the wrong public debate about global warming — and we are running out of time to get it right. It’s important to discuss carbon caps and taxes or other mitigation strategies, but a good chunk of the population views these as restrictive and burdensome. We miss a larger and more affirmative point if we only have that discussion.

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This music video was made to commemorate the 2009 visiting writers for the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa. Directed by Azeem Sajjad, this music video stars the writers themselves and features Fflur Dafydd as the singer. Camera work was done by Lauren Haldmen, and edited by Vicente Garcia.

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Lisa Weaver’s third-floor office is still bare. She only began teaching journalism at the UI in August. She moved to Iowa City in June. Before that it was Pittsburgh. Yet even before that it was China, Indonesia, East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Weaver spent most of her extensive journalism career in China, where she went in 1987. Now, she’s using that experience in her class on international journalism.

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International Mondays Fall 2009 Lecture Series

All lectures take place from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A.

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I had the opportunity recently to attend two events that are exemplary of the ways in which International Programs works to connect our campus and community in Iowa to the globe. The first, a lecture by Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, a native of Ethiopia and distinguished professor at Purdue University, was exemplary of the connections between human rights issues and agricultural science.

The other event—actually a full-blown conference, the Obermann Humanities Symposium (co-sponsored by International Programs)—highlighted a new breed of public scholar who champions engaged humanities research.

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The English Corner, a part of Bridges International, is designed to change all that. The group sponsors a range of activities — everything from a tailgate to a New York City trip to Catch Phrase game nights — in an effort to help form connections between students hailing from different countries.

“It is an opportunity for American students and international students to communicate in a casual setting to not only improve English proficiency but to build friendships,” said Stephen Wong, a third-year UI pharmacy student.

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Of average height and build with salt-and-pepper hair, Jonathan Kuttab’s physical qualities may not have been too imposing, but his words quickly captivated his audience as he began his speech: “Can there ever be peace in Palestine?”

And he answered with a emphatic “Yes.”

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Watch an interview of 12 African women leaders speaking about gender issues, their encounter with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their fight for women’s rights.

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Whenever mentioning “1989”, people in the West instantly think about the protesting students in Tiananmen Square. In fact, although starting in Beijing and led by the students there, the democratic movement was a nation-wide event, drawing together people from all walks of life.

Twenty years on, I remember vividly every detail of that day when I organized a demonstration among the workers from my Nanjing factory in support of the movement. It was Sunday, May 28, a week before the crackdown in Beijing.

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For many UI students, winter break means home, family, and a reprieve from classes. For others, the month off means visiting a foreign country, more than 1 billion new faces, and three weeks of intensive, hands-on learning.

Expanding its course offerings this year, the INdIA Winterim program provides students with the opportunity to study issues of social justice and entrepreneurship in a developing country.

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UI Associate Professor of history Laura Gotkowitz was recently awarded the American Historical Association’s John E. Fagg prize for 2008 for her book, A Revolution for Our Rights: Indigenous Struggles for Land and Justice in Bolivia, 1880-1952.

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Thousands of UI students can struggle when trying to pick out a major. That includes senior Abby Milloy, who felt that there might be something missing from the UI’s. So she created her own.

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Nine students from The University of Iowa ‘s College of Pharmacy were among 17 UI students who got to literally step into their subject matter and make a difference. Students learned how to partner with nonprofit organizations and local communities to address health care, social services, and environmental quality needs in less developed countries. After spending the semester planning service projects, the students traveled as part of a project team to Xicotepec, Mexico for a week in the spring of 2009.

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About a week ago, I attended an informal brown-bag lunch presentation by Professor Stephen Vlastos based on his research on post-war Japanese national myths.  The presentation was the first in the fall roster of events offered by IP’s Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS), led by Professor Sonia Ryang.  These presentations are valuable to me as dean since they allow me to hear about the vibrant research and teaching efforts of University of Iowa faculty (and, perhaps less surreptitiously than I like to imagine, to gauge the interest these events muster!).  I was pleased to see that th

A pile of hundreds of bubble-wrapped computers lurks in the UI Communications Center waiting to be shipped away. Destination: Africa.

For the UI-based Widernet Project, established in 2000, delivering more than $500,000 worth of equipment is practically second to delivering accessible information.

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A typical member of Iowa City’s International Women’s Club (IWC) is difficult to define. With roughly 140 members representing nearly 50 countries, and ranging from young mothers to a woman in her 90s, it’s easy to see why.

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University of Iowa alumna Martha Selby, associate professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, will discuss “The Color of Gender: On Substance, Sex Determination, and Anatomical Difference in the Caraka and Sushruta-samhitas” at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 in Room 315, Phillips Hall.

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Every two years, a group of Japanese students from Joetsu University of Education spends several days visiting local attractions and offering an exchange of cultures at local elementary and secondary schools in eastern Iowa. The group also takes part in several events on the University of Iowa campus. The ten day Joetsu Exchange is facilitated by International Programs at the University of Iowa.

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Joanna Demers, Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Southern California, will present a lecture titled “William Basinski, Tape Loops, and Mourning” as part of the International Programs series “Taping the World: The Global Legacy of a Neglected Technology.” The lecture takes place on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 4 p.m. in room 101 of the Becker Communication Studies Building.

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The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded University of Iowa International Programs two grants that will help expand on- and off-campus learning opportunities in South Asian studies for undergraduates and will create on-campus and study abroad courses in East Africa.

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Fall 2009

There is quite a bit of exciting news to share with you; and I hope you have a chance to read the pieces in this, our first online issue of International Accents!

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The Adirondack Mountains of northeastern New York are for me and my family a promised land. Geologically related to Canada’s Laurentian Mountains, but a few miles south of the mighty St. Lawrence River and west of Lake Champlain, North America’s sixth “great lake”, they are especially beautiful in the autumn when vibrant gold, orange, and red sugar maples meet claret oak and yellow beech and birch on dark evergreen mountainsides to stitch tapestries that feed the soul. My family first staked its slice of this “forever wild” heaven in the late Nineteenth Century, and has enjoyed and sought to protect it ever since, generation after generation. I now enjoy and protect it with my children and grandchildren, and believe they will do the same with their children and grandchildren.

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More than two billion readers now have access to a major report in their native language on the acceleration of gifted students.

Thanks to a $99,300 John Templeton Foundation grant, the University of Iowa College of Education’s Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development has translated “A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students,” in the seven leading languages in the world after English.

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The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs, and current global issues. The Council provides opportunities for members to hear over thirty experts per year who may be visiting the University of Iowa campus or the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. This past May, ICFRC celebrated its 25th Anniversary. Executive Director, Sharon Benzoni, delivered the keynote address commemorating this milestone:

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On June 29, 2009, the Fulbright Association launched a statewide affiliate in Iowa, at a meeting of alumni hosted by the University of Iowa’s International Programs. Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa, Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of international programs, and Jane L. Anderson, Fulbright Association executive director, spoke to Fulbright alumni and friends from Ames, Bettendorf, Burlington, Des Moines, Fairfield, Hudson, Iowa City, North Liberty, Oxford, Waterloo, and Williamsburg.

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