International Accents

E.g., Thursday, August 25, 2016
E.g., Thursday, August 25, 2016

Iowa Literaria, the electronic journal of the Master of Fine Arts in Spanish Creative Writing program at the University of Iowa, is online as of Tuesday, Feb. 26. Created with the support of the UI’s Digital Studio for Public Humanities, it has been designed as a space to reflect on the art of creativity, to approach the complexities and challenges of creative writing, and to publish a variety of literary pieces.

The inaugural issue contains a dossier on the great Chilean poet Óscar Hahn, who just received the National Prize on Literature of Chile, the most prestigious literary award in that country. Hahn was professor of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese here at the university for more than 30 years. He is now retired.

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Faculty members in the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages at the University of Iowa have received a $90,000 grant from STARTALK, a unit of the federal National Security Language Initiative, for their program “Bridging the Gap through Standards and Technology: STARTALK for Teachers.” The program provides unique professional training for teachers of Russian as a foreign language in the United States.

This is the second grant received by this team—Irina Kostina, UI lecturer; Anna Kolesnikova, UI visiting professor; and Marina Kostina, CEO of Wired @ Heart—from STARTALK for the development of their teacher-preparation program.

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In interviews with 40 international students at four research universities, Chris R. Glass was struck by the relative absence of Americans from his subjects' stories. The interviewees, half undergraduate and half graduate students, described close relationships with their international peers, including those coming from countries other than their own. But while they frequently characterized their American classmates as friendly or helpful, only rarely did they seem to play a significant role in their lives.

"Only one student has described a significant relationship with a U.S. peer and that student was from Western Europe and that peer was her boyfriend," said Glass, an assistant professor of educational foundations and leadership at Old Dominion University. "That to me is a striking omission from the stories that they're telling."

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The UI African Studies Program is holding a public lecture, featuring Ruramisai Charumbira of the University of Texas-Austin, on the topic “Black Colony, White Memory: The Price of Commemorating Occupation in Rhodesia, 1890-1980.” The presentation will be held Monday, March 11, from 4-5:30 p.m. in Room 2520D, University Capitol Centre.

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Despite controversy at a Canadian university that led to the closing of its Confucius Institute, officials at the University of Iowa say they have taken measures to prevent the same occurrence.

Confucius Institutes, which can be found in several countries around the world, are organizations designed to help create stronger ties between China and the community the institute is located in. These institutes are meant to educate communities about Chinese culture and language.

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UI undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who have secured summer internships with human rights organizations in the United States or internationally should consider applying for the Kenneth J. Cmiel Funded Human Rights Internship Program.

Honoring the late Kenneth J. Cmiel, an internationally-renowned scholar of the history of human rights, these awards provide funding to selected students who will be working with a local, national, or international non-governmental organization or governmental agency engaged in human rights related advocacy, research, or education. Program funds cover travel and living expenses associated with the internship.

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Chinese students at the University of Iowa may be used to hearing their names rendered into unrecognizable sounds by linguistically challenged faculty but it probably doesn't help them adjust to life in Iowa.

That's why the Tippie College of Business has begun offering a variety of programs focused on bridging the cultures, including a recent workshop to teach faculty and staff how to properly pronounce Chinese names. And not a moment too soon. This year, Tippie has 497 international students, 15 times more than the 34 international students enrolled in 2005; 412 of them are from China.

The workshops were attended by about 50 faculty, staff, and administrators and were conducted by Xi Ma, a program associate in the UI Confucius Institute in International Programs.

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This year, the University of Iowa Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival will be Sunday, Sept. 29 as a kick-off to the week’s homecoming events, creating a new fall tradition for a popular event that has traditionally been held during the spring semester for the past 22 years.

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The Chinese Association of Iowa recently selected Downing Thomas, dean of International Programs at the University of Iowa, as an honoree of the International Education Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals or organizations that have an exemplary record of publication, teaching, advising, advocacy, leadership, new program development, or general service to the field that has made and will make a lasting contribution to international education.

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One of the more significant changes that has occurred during the time I have served in my current position is the tremendous increase in international undergraduate students at the University of Iowa, and indeed across the U.S. And here at the UI we have seen even larger than average increases. The fall before I started as Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs (fall 2007), we had about 400 international undergraduates in total on our campus. This past fall, that number was getting close to 2000.

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In an upcoming lecture, Antoni Castells-Talens, a researcher at Universidad Veracruzana, will explore how Veracruz's community media were forced to learn new ways to operate in this violent atmosphere. His presentation, “Community media and armed violence in Mexico: Challenges and dilemmas in the State of Veracruz,” will take place Tuesday, March 5, from 4-5 p.m. in 203 Becker Communication Studies Building.

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University of Iowa alum Aaron Sinift, creator of 5 Year Plan in collaboration with Gandhi Ashram spinning and weaving collectives in India and 26 artists from 7 countries, will be speaking at the UI Thursday, February 28, 2013, at 5 p.m. in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

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The European Studies Group will welcome Dimitrios Latsis, a Ph.D. candidate in the UI Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature, for the next lecture in their luncheon series on Friday, March 1, at noon in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

Latsis will present “À la recherche de Yankee Art: Franco-American 'Exhibition Diplomacy' on the Eve of WWII.”

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The University of Iowa College of Law will be the new administrative home for the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR), with Adrien Wing, Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law, becoming its new director.

The center, which faced an uncertain future in recent years because of funding constraints, will move from International Programs in the Office of the Provost to the law school effective July 1. The center will retain its central campus office as a hub for interdisciplinary programs.

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If University of Iowa students ever feel like they don’t have a voice, here’s proof that they do.

After much clamoring by students, faculty, staff and community members against the impending closure of UI’s Center for Human Rights, university officials announced Wednesday a new permanent home for the center in the College of Law beginning July 1.

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The stories of our lives and our histories are carried from one generation to the next through language. Whether spoken, signed, or written, languages are complex systems of communication that evolve over time and are rich with cultural and social meaning. As the centuries go by, some of the keys to understanding these languages and the cultures they reflect may be lost. On the March 8 WorldCanvass, we’ll investigate the painstaking work of uncovering and interpreting age-old documents and written records, and we’ll try to get a fuller picture of the people who produced them. WorldCanvass takes place before a live audience in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City and is taped for television, radio and internet distribution. The program begins at 5 p.m., March 8, and is free and open to the public.

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When it comes to making a difference in the empowerment and health care of women, College of Nursing junior Brittney Ross is one highly motivated and dedicated individual.

As the first in her family to go to college, there have been times when Ross felt overwhelmed and her zeal to succeed was tested, but she has persevered in her studies, including her research on female genital mutilation, a subject she has investigated as far away as Africa.

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Name: Guilherme B. Prudente
Home country: Brazil
Currently attending: University of Iowa
Major: Computer science
Career aspirations: Game/App Developer
Graduation year: 2013

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The controversy over awarding of the Nobel Prize for literature to PRC author Mo Yan has uncovered old and bitter debates about the relationship between politics and literature. However, Chinese society and contemporary Chinese literature have come a long way since the Cold War, when those debates first flared up, and the possibilities for Chinese literature today are unprecedented.

In an upcoming public lecture, East Asian scholar Charles A. Laughlin will explain how Mo Yan and his generation have fundamentally changed the relationship between literature and politics in China, helping create a broader space for creativity and more vigorous engagement with world literature than ever before.

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An increasing number of University of Iowa students are choosing to not only study abroad but also to work and volunteer overseas. The university is ranked 46th, among schools of its size, in the number of students graduating and joining the Peace Corps.

The UI recently increased its response to this demand by creating a position specifically geared toward students wanting to work, intern, or volunteer abroad. The position has been in place for 18 months, and officials have seen good results.

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Fighting wanderlust after your study abroad experience? Just need more international travel in your life? We hear you!

That’s why we’re hosting Life after Study Abroad Wednesday, February 20 from 7:30- 8:30 p.m. in 1100 UCC for study abroad returnees and interested students to learn more about their international options outside of study abroad and after graduation.

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While many of us took time to relax and unwind over the holiday break, Professor Joann (Jo) Eland, PhD, RN, FAAN, was scrambling to finalize international travel plans while prepping to instruct a class that provides vital hospice and palliative care overseas.

On December 29, Dr. Eland and a group of 18 students (11 from the College of Nursing) embarked on multi-day journey that took them from Iowa City, to Chicago, to Abu Dhabi and ultimately to their final destination—a hospice in Trivandrum, India, a city located in the Southern tip of the country—where Eland taught a three-week course titled “Hospice, Pain and Palliative Care.”

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University of Iowa senior women's golfer Gigi DiGrazia was intrigued by an email she received last August for a class offered over winter break called “Diagnosing Diseases.”

DiGrazia, a health and human physiology major, wants to attend medical school, so this was right up her alley. The class would be worth three credits, offered over three weeks during winter break, and students would be working hands-on with doctors and physicians in diagnosing illnesses and other medical situations.

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Do international collaborations make for better science, or better scientists? This was one of the key questions raised at an event I attended this week, the first “Global Research Funding Forum,” hosted jointly by International Affairs and the Office of Research and Economic Development at the University of North Texas.

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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.

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