University of Iowa

Tagged with "commentary"

Phillip Round
3/7/2013

Attending to the written record of Native peoples

In October 1833, a book purporting to be the autobiography of the famous Sauk and Fox leader, Black Hawk, appeared in Cincinnati. In the 1830s, Euro-Americans were clamoring for “Indian stories,” and this volume of recollections by the principal warrior in what became known as the Black Hawk War — whose final battle was pitched on the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois — was an instant sensation. Although some contemporary reviewers dismissed the book as the fabrication of Antoine Le Claire, the biracial (French-Canadian/Potawatomi) founder of Davenport, others continued to believe in its authenticity, their views bolstered by the undeniable fact that in the 1830s there were many books written and published by Native Americans — books recounting Native writers’ objections to the Jackson administration’s policy of removal, the erosion of their treaty rights, or often simply their life stories.
Thomas Gallanis at Oxford
2/4/2013

A Year at All Souls

One of my referees (based at Yale) told me candidly that I should not be disappointed by a rejection, for no one he had recommended had ever been accepted. When the letter came from the College, it was in a thin envelope. My heart sank, for thin envelopes rarely contain good news. To my surprise, this one did. From the dean of visiting fellows, the letter began with the words "I am pleased to invite you...." And to my delight, the invitation was for not one, not two, but three Oxford terms -- a full academic year.
Daniel Reed
2/4/2013

Understanding the World through Genetics and New Technologies

Like all new technologies, genetic medicine brings a new set of societal questions. If DNA sequencing uncovers an untreatable genetic defect, do you want to know? It is not a hypothetical question; we are already facing this ethical dilemma for selected diseases. Because you are genetically similar to your siblings, what are the implications for them if you fit a particular disease profile? What is the appropriate ethical and economic balance between personalized health care treatment and cost, particularly if you choose a lifestyle that worsens your health, given a genetic predisposition to a disease? How do we protect individual privacy in a world of “big data” and inexpensive health monitoring devices?
Brian Farrell in Bulgaria
1/29/2013

Reflections from Bulgaria: My experience as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer

I’ve often thought that the best destinations are those that weren’t on your list. My experience as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in the faculty of law at Sofia University certainly falls into that category. Unlike many of my Fulbright colleagues, I didn’t begin my experience with a particular country, or even region, in mind. Instead, I focused on trying to identify an award that was seeking someone with my background and skills, with a large degree of flexibility as to where that might be. Happily, this approach led to my selection as a Fulbright scholar and an incredible experience in a place I have grown quite fond of.
Author 
David McCartney
1/24/2013

Remembering, responding to the Civil War 150 years later

Jesse Skinner Wilkerson was a 33-year-old farmer from Hamburg, Iowa, when he was drafted to serve in the 13th Iowa Infantry, Company C. His wife, Sarahett, was pregnant with their third child and left to run the farm in his absence. The year was 1864, and the U.S. was embroiled in a civil war that ultimately cost three-quarters of a million lives among the Union and Confederacy ranks. Wilkerson, by his reckoning, traveled over 5,000 miles to seven states during his service. Though he survived the war, he was murdered in a barroom in 1869, only four years after the war’s end.
12/4/2012

Globalization: a world of opportunity for Iowa

What do the University of Iowa’s 1,245 Chinese students, Whirlpool appliances from Middle Amana, Johnson County’s cornfields, Kirkwood’s STEM outreach and West Liberty’s Dual Language Programs have in common? They represent some of Iowa’s considerable assets in the world-wide competition for growth and prosperity. Thanks to advances in communication and transportation, globalization means that Iowa is more connected to and affected by world events than ever before.
12/3/2012

Experiencing the extraordinary: my summer in Nicaragua

You would think by having a waterproof, shockproof camera that your pictures would be safe. Well, not from a little girl who doesn’t read English. With the pressing of just a few buttons she managed to delete the 1,000 pictures documenting a month of my time in Nicaragua. Luckily, I found a program to retrieve photos that have been deleted from a memory card and I am thankful that, in my whole summer of traveling, that incident was the closest thing that could be considered a disaster.
11/27/2012

Stromquist: On saving the Center for Human Rights

University of Iowa President Sally Mason, in her recent interview with the DI editors, discussed the future or, more precisely, the elimination of the UI Center for Human Rights as we have known it. She spoke of the university's budget difficulties and suggested that closing the center would "save some money." She also argued that the provost's plan to parcel out a couple of the center's programs to other academic units was "perfectly appropriate" and would enable the work of the center to continue "in a different capacity."
Jeannette George
11/1/2012

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.