Iowa Sister States

Nationhood Redefined
What defines a nation, or a state? What’s the meaning of sovereignty, and how do communal or religious identity figure into demands for self-determination? The world community in 2016 appears to be a fractured place with aspirations to statehood like those we’ve seen in South Sudan and Palestine, as well as civil disruptions and realignments like those between Crimea, Ukraine, and Russia. Amidst all of this there are non-state actors like ISIS challenging sitting governments and established states. The 2016 Provost’s Global Forum, The Nation, the State, and the Global Redefinition of Self-Determination, will address these questions and more during a series of lectures and panel discussions on October 13-15. A highlight of the forum will be the October 15 WorldCanvass, which will be held for the first time in Des Moines at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and begins with a reception at 4 p.m.

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A 30-year relationship between Hebei Province in China and the University of Iowa might soon be taken to the next level. The UI International Programs, in partnership with the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures as well as Iowa Sister States, has recently been awarded a grant to open an American Cultural Center in Hebei.

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group of chinese bikers in RAGBRAI
The state of Iowa’s long-standing ties to Hebei Province in China will continue to strengthen with a new American Cultural Center opening in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang next year. The center will offer educational and cultural programming in Iowa’s sister state of more than 30 years, and Hebei community members will be able to participate in Iowa's summer, state-wide bike tour RAGBRAI.

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