International Writing Program

Vicki Ruiz knows Latino culture. “Latinos are the biggest minority group in the United States, but their contributions and legacies in the United States often remain invisible to the general public and contribute to the unfortunate notion that Latinos are peoples who arrived the day before yesterday,” said the professor of history and Chicano/Latino Studies. Around 16 percent of the United States is made up of Latinos, and that demographic is only going to grow, according to the 2010 Census. Being the fastest growing minority group in the United States, it is estimated that this 16 percent will jump up to 30 percent by 2050.

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WorldCanvass
Co-founder and tireless supporter of the International Writing Program (IWP) at the University of Iowa, Hualing Nieh Engle will receive the 2012 International Impact Award as part of the November 2 WorldCanvass program “IWP: Writing the Stories of the World.” The program, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 5-7 p.m., in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum. A reception will follow.

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TJ DEMA
The UI African Studies Program cordially invites faculty, students, and the general public to its fall reception on Thursday, Oct. 4, 4-6 p.m., in the executive board room (2390 UCC), which is located on the second floor above the north entrance to the Old Capitol Mall. There will be no formal presentation, just a relaxed opportunity to meet and socialize with scholars and community members interested in Africa. Special guests are African writers and current IWP residents TJ (Tjawangwa) Dema Christopher Mlalazi, Khaled Alberry, and Barlen Pyamootoo (see biodata below). Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.

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 Overseas Writing Workshop in Cuba
It has been almost two years since President Obama lessened restrictions on travel to Cuba. This move made by our president provides academic, religious, and cultural groups with unparalleled opportunities to travel to this previously forbidden land. The University of Iowa took advantage of the situation and started the Overseas Writing Workshop in Cuba in January, immediately after President Obama’s lessening of travel restrictions, as reported by The Daily Iowan.

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No students have registered for the University of Iowa’s Overseas writing program in Cuba 10 days before the deadline, despite program managers opening its gates to graduate and non-degree seeking students. Leslie McNelius, a study-abroad adviser and one of the pioneers of the UI’s program in Cuba, said she was not too concerned because she expects a lot of last-minute applications. “We’ve had quite a few email and phone inquiries from potential participants in the last weeks," she said. "There’s an info session coming up … so some may turn in apps after that."

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Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir will speak at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, in C20 Pomerantz Center. Her book is this year’s choice for the One Community, One Book annual reading program, sponsored by the UI Center for Human Rights (UICHR), which invites community residents to discuss the same human-rights related text. This event is free and open to the public.

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two students in Greece
Introducing John Cabot University, an American university located in the heart of Rome. Now enter professors from the prestigious International Writing Program (IWP), the University of Iowa’s unique residency program for international writers. The occasion for their meeting? The first annual Italy Writes Creative Writing competition for Italian high school students.

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Angela Flournoy
Given the importance of ensuring that students graduate on time and are equipped to be successful in their careers, and given the emphasis the University of Iowa is giving to student success, my earlier post addressed the connections between study abroad and student success. Since then, the number of students studying abroad has gone up a bit: now over 20% of UI undergraduates study abroad at some point during their time at the University, which is a significant and encouraging number. However, as I noted previously, the study abroad population remains strongly female, and there is still significantly lower participation among minorities than among white students.

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Iowa City has been welcoming people from all across the globe for years. Various cultures are orchestrated beautifully in this city and enrich its cultural heritage. This summer, the International Writing Program is bringing younger writers, between the ages of 16 and 19, from Russia and Arabic-speaking countries to the University of Iowa for their Between the Lines (BTL). Students participating in BTL will study creative writing and will be able to experience American culture during a two week stay at the university.

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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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