The University of Iowa

Prairie InSight" debuts Jan. 28 featuring "The World's Our Stage"

January 25th, 2010

A new town-gown tradition is debuting with the first Prairie InSight program, a partnership between International Programs at the University of Iowa, Prairie Lights Books and City Channel 4.

The first program will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at Prairie Lights Books, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City in the second floor, newly-remodeled café, with the theme, “The World’s Our Stage: Why Internationalization?” This debut program will feature a variety of guests from a broad range of disciplines with diverse experience and perspectives who will discuss their visions of internationalization. All programs are free and open to the public.

City Channel 4 will videotape and air the program on a trial basis and will also re-broadcast at a later date on UITV. Podcasts might also be developed in the future.

Gerhild Krapf, director of external relations for UI International Programs, will serve as the program moderator.

“The idea is to create a casual setting that will enable relaxed conversation among the speakers and between the audience and speakers, in the mode of the salons of bygone eras,” Krapf said.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, a salon was a regular gathering of distinguished guests who might meet in a drawing room, especially a meeting of literary or artistic people in a celebrity’s home.

Guests for the first program include: Downing Thomas, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs; Terry Boles, associate professor in management and organizations and director of the institute for international business, Tippie College of Business; John Rapson, professor of music and director of jazz studies in the School of Music in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS); Mark Ginsberg, art dealer, owner of two jewelry galleries in Iowa, and well-known in the community for more than two decades of committed activism in the arts; Robin Paetzold, director of Global Programs at the UI Carver College of Medicine; and Nicholas Johnson, an Iowa City native, global traveler, former FCC Commissioner, and telecommunications and computer policy specialist, who teaches at the UI College of Law and writes the blog FromDC2Iowa.

The program will begin with Thomas sharing his understanding of the word “internationalization” and then letting each speaker share his or her interpretation of the word. Each speaker will also share his or her work in the area and why it is important. After that, audience members and panelists will be encouraged to chime in with thoughts and questions.

Krapf added that the goal is to bring together speakers through a shared, overarching, unified theme with some kind of international connection. Speakers will include UI faculty and student scholars from all disciplines, guest lecturers, including participants in the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities and Iowa City Foreign Relations Council speakers, and community members from different backgrounds.

The program will be held once a month, on occasion around book readings, and opposite the scheduled dates of WorldCanvass, a new International Programs monthly television and radio series that explores topics that are international in scope.

“The newly remodeled Prairie Lights café will provide the perfect ambiance for a relaxing atmosphere where people can learn and exchange ideas about international topics and issues,” Krapf said.

For more information or special accommodations to attend, contact Amy Green with International Programs at UI at 319-335-1433 or at

For more information on International Programs at the UI, visit

For more information on Prairie Lights Bookstore, visit