Monday, September 12, 2022


multiple drawn people in black and white

The Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, with funding from an International Programs Major Projects Award, sets out to explore the intersection of race, ethnicity, language, and culture and how to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the academy.

The three-day symposium, taking place on the University of Iowa campus from Thursday, October 6, 2022, to Saturday, October 8, 2022, will bring together leaders and scholars from across disciplines and geographic areas and engage them in an open dialogue about the opportunities that advocating for DEI in the academy provides.

“As educators, we share the University of Iowa’s initiatives in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the goal of supporting students on the path to becoming antiracist global citizens,” said Waltraud Maierhofer, professor of German and faculty member of the Global Health Studies program at the University of Iowa. “Becoming an antiracist is always a work in progress and depends on who you are. Part of understanding race and ethnicity in America means understanding that anti-Blackness, ethnic discrimination, and colonialism are global issues, and here at the University of Iowa, we have a role in advocating for DEI in the academy.”

Following the resurgence of protests against racialized police violence since May 2020, citizens, activists, artists, and academic communities across the globe have renewed efforts to reflect on and respond to issues of race and ethnicity and racial and ethnic discrimination.

Symposium participants will engage in multidisciplinary dialogue and exchange of ideas concerning global ethnic and anti-racism studies while organizers aim to foster inclusive thinking about these issues while demonstrating the power of strong, imaginative, and critical thinking in today’s complex world. University of Iowa co-organizers of the symposium include: Jill Beckman, associate professor in linguistics; Waltraud Maierhofer, professor of German and faculty member of the Global Health Studies Program; Kristine Muñoz, professor of communication studies; Helen Shen, professor of Chinese; and Jan Steyn, lecturer of literary translation and French.

All symposium events are free and open to the public, with select events available via Zoom. For a full schedule of conference events, people involved in the forum, abstracts, and/or to register for in-person or virtual attendance, visit the symposium website.

Through the generous support of the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization, the International Programs' Major Projects Award promotes important contributions to scholarly debates and exchanges on international topics, issues, discoveries, and arts.


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events.  If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Daniel Vorwerk in advance at or 319-467-1619.

International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.