Joan Kjaer

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On the next WorldCanvass, we investigate adverse childhood experiences and the negative physical and mental health consequences children and adults with these experiences may face. If left unaddressed and untreated, the toxic stress of childhood adversity can have serious health repercussions throughout a lifetime. But important advances are being made in the recognition and treatment of health issues related to adverse childhood experiences, many of them led by physicians and researchers at the University of Iowa. WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer will speak with experts from a wide range of health disciplines as well as child advocates from the Iowa City Community School District and Johnson County on February 20, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., when the topic is “Resilience Over Trauma.” The free event will be held in the Recital Hall of the Voxman Music Building. No tickets are required.

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The focus of the UI Theme Semester in spring 2017 is the Internet, the global system of connectedness that has literally made the world smaller. It enables the efficient processing of complex information, the transfer of knowledge and ideas beyond the borders of language and geography, technological advances few would have dared imagine possible mere decades ago, and rapid communication that can save lives, start a revolution, crowdfund research, and play to both our better and worse natures in interpersonal exchange. WorldCanvass guests will talk with host Joan Kjaer about “Our Lives Online” on January 17, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., in the Recital Hall of the Voxman Music Building. The public is invited to attend both WorldCanvass and the catered, pre-show reception (6:30-7:30 p.m.).

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What does the American dream look like to you? To your neighbor? How does your life experience compare with that of someone from a different ethnic background, a different economic class, or a different religion? These questions have been at the heart of the 2016 political debate but their roots are as deep and tangled as the history of America itself. With a closely divided electorate, highly-charged rhetoric, and unaccountable social media messaging, the chasm in understanding can seem all but infinite. Joan Kjaer and her guests will discuss thorny, controversial, and critical issues of social justice in contemporary society on “WorldCanvass: White Privilege, Structural Racism, and the Dream of America.” The free, public program takes place on December 7, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum.

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A former naval commander and aide to two U.S. vice presidents and one president, Howard Kerr says his greatest pleasure today comes from bringing a little ‘real world’ experience into the academic space. “When students tell me that I’m lucky to have had the experiences I’ve had, I agree, but with a big caveat. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt once defined luck for me as preparation waiting for opportunity,” says Kerr. “I took classes in Schaeffer Hall sixty years ago, sitting in the same seats they’re in, and I didn’t have any idea what I’d be doing when I left the university. But I found out that my time here at the university had prepared me to take advantage of opportunities that presented themselves. This is the message I try to pass on to students.”

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Howard Kerr, a native Iowan, 1960 graduate of the UI, and former naval commander and advisor to U.S. presidents, has been named the 2016 recipient of the International Impact Award. UI Provost Barry Butler and Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Downing Thomas will present the award to Kerr at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, as part of the television/radio/internet program WorldCanvass. Also appearing on WorldCanvass to discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by increasing internationalization in higher education will be Ellen Hazelkorn, policy advisor to the Higher Education Authority, Ireland, and Barbara McFadden Allen, executive director of the Big 10 Academic Alliance. The program takes place in the Recital Hall of the Voxman Music Building from 7:30-9:00 p.m. No tickets are required and the public is invited to enjoy a pre-show reception from 6:30-7:30.

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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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Worldcanvass square Fracking and the Iowa Divide
New time, new location! Season eight of the television, radio, and internet program WorldCanvass will begin on Tuesday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m., in the newly-opened Voxman Music Building in downtown Iowa City. WorldCanvass guests will join host Joan Kjaer to discuss the controversial method of energy production known as fracking and its impact on the environment, social dynamics, and the economy. We’ll also explore through music, photography, and literature ways in which artists have documented transitions and grappled with the drumbeat of change. The public is invited to attend and no tickets are required. 

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WorldCanvass tackles informatics—also known as big data—on its final program of the 2015-2016 season. Guests from the diverse fields of computer science, medicine, sociology, public health, and geographical and sustainability sciences will discuss the proliferation of big data and their attempts to both understand and utilize this massive and, in many ways, untamed digital resource. “Big Data: Big Brother or Big Sister?” is the topic at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, at FilmScene. WorldCanvass is free and open to the public.

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The UI’s Obermann Center for Advanced Studies has long been the home of interdisciplinary collaboration, where thinking outside the box isn’t just the result but the operating principle. Ten years ago, the Obermann Center, believing strongly in the power of actively-engaged scholarship, established an institute which would put experienced faculty together with graduate students to show them how they can enhance their teaching, research, and creative work through purposeful interaction with community partners. We’ll hear from participants—faculty, graduate students, and community members—on the next WorldCanvass in a program called “Taking It to the Streets: Engagement and the Academy.” The free program begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City.

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We live in an age of new technology, expecting any day to wake up to yet another jaw-dropping device or a discovery that simply changes everything about the way we live and work. The rate of innovation in the modern age can be breathtaking, but technological advances have jolted humans into new and unfamiliar territory since the dawn of humankind. On the next WorldCanvass, we’ll contemplate the larger implications of the adoption of new technologies—how do they change the ways in which individuals interact, the sharing of information, the movement of people and ideas from place to place, and what does all of this mean to the shape and form of a culture? WorldCanvass guests will discuss “Encountering New Technology” at FilmScene on February 9, beginning at 5 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

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