International Accents

E.g., Tuesday, September 27, 2016
E.g., Tuesday, September 27, 2016

In January of 2012, approximately 650 of Brazil's top-notch undergraduate students traveled to the United States to study on U.S campuses as part of the Science without Borders program, sponsored by the Brazilian government. The University of Iowa has had the fortune of hosting four participants in this two semester academic scholarship program, and is expecting to host more Brazilian undergraduates in the fall. Below, the four undergraduates have shared some of their thoughts and reflections on life at the University of Iowa.

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Join Salsa Vibe and the UI’s Global Village for a night of salsa dancing, musical performances, and a dance competition at this year’s Gusto Latino. Gusto Latino has been an annual event at the UI for over two decades. It brings together a wide range of students and community members of diverse backgrounds to interact through music, dance, and conversation.

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In this presentation, I trace the roots of Japanese reggae from the early 1970s until the present, focusing on the musical productive strategies through which “J-reggae” has come into being. Among these strategies are incorporation of Japanese musical traditions; creative use of the Japanese language (as opposed to patois); and in the way of artistic self-representation, male dancehall performers’ referencing of the figure of the samurai. I argue that these strategies invoke discourses of the traditional that are deeply interlinked with those of modernity in Japan, a modernity shaped by the specter of Western domination that Japanese, like Jamaicans, have long had to negotiate. I focus, however, on the link between these discourses of the traditional and a contemporary ethos of cultural internationalism in recessionary Japan, in which Japanese reggae practitioners imagine global southern countries like Jamaica as simultaneously signs of these artists’ cultural and sociopolitical cosmopolitanism, but also as tradition-bound and thus instructive symbols of Japan’s own potential rebirth.

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Madhavapeddi Murthy, Dancers and Orchestra will be in residence April 16-20 within the UI Department of Dance and UI School of Music. Murthy and his troupe will culminate their residency Friday, April 20, with an open lecture demonstration followed by a public performance at the Space Place Theater.

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The DI: Why do you think it's important to include and recruit underrepresented and minority students?

President Mason: I think it's the whole way in which they approach life — which may be different from ways in which others approach life. The way they think, the cultural traditions that they perhaps were raised with. When you're out in the workforce after you leave the University, being exposed to different types of people and different ways of thinking and different ways of looking at life and different cultures and traditions, that's extremely important because that's likely what you'll be facing in the workforce. We know that many employers today are looking for people who have a diversity of experiences. In other words, haven't just been raised in one place all their life and never experienced any other part of the country or any other part of the world and that's part of the reason why we also do so much study abroad and why we encourage students to get involved in activities that might take them beyond the boundaries of Iowa and into communities that they perhaps haven't been exposed to

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Is there anyone who doesn’t marvel as the next new technological phenomenon rolls off the production line? Whether you like the new gadget and desperately want one for yourself, or whether you think it may be the ruination of all that’s good and true in the world, you’re likely to gasp or shake your head with the realization that what was once beyond even the imagination of ordinary mortals is now a quotidian reality.

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The University of Iowa Opera Studies Forum (OSF) in International Programs will conclude its 2011-12 lecture series coordinated with the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD theater screenings Monday, April 9, with a talk on Verdi’s “La Traviata” presented by Roberta M. Marvin. All lectures take place at 5:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre conference seminar room 2520D and are free and open to the public.

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Please join the African Studies Program for its spring 2012 Baraza lecture series. This lecture series is sponsored by ASP and International Programs.

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Thanks to a CIVIC program, my wife Mary and I recently hosted two female students from Japan for a weekend “home stay” during their university’s educational exchange visit at the University of Iowa. Mina and Mayu arrived at our house each with a suitcase nearly bigger than herself, along with smiles, curiosity, laughter and wonderment that filled our home like birdsong throughout their stay.

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Stephen J. Rapp of Iowa, the ambassador-at-large heading the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. Department of State, will give a lecture titled "Diplomacy for Global Justice: The tools for establishing truth, accountability and reconciliation after the commission of mass atrocities." Rapp will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in the South Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.

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The collaborative art project Stir Fry is a mix of people of various cultures and ages that are brought together in a series of structured workshops to tell and transform their stories into art. Please join us for the following workshops:

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Autobiography is Another Story: “Lives” in Hindi
Abstract: Hindi has a rich tradition of writing about the self – both in formal autobiography (atmakatha, ap-biti) and in more casual contexts and genres. This talk discusses a dozen works, ranging from self-consciously literary texts to the transcribed memoirs of a provincial station-master. Themes such as family life and childhood memories illuminate these narratives, while darker moments include jail writings by the sometime prime minister Chandrashekhar (imprisoned and released by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency of the 1970s) and by Ramprasad Bismil (imprisoned and executed by the British a half-century earlier). My spotlight is on the stylistics of the narratives: how do the various authors crystalize their sweet and bitter experiences into words and bring them to the printed page?

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A class offered this spring by the University of Iowa is helping entrepreneurs from around the state learn how to take their businesses global.

The class—Entrepreneurship and Global Trade—is offered online by the Tippie College of Business and John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. It’s designed to provide practical lessons to small business owners or aspiring small business owners who want to start selling outside the United States.

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University of Iowa courses are expanding to meet an increasing level of student interest as the political atmosphere continues to evolve in the Middle East.

Since 2001, UI political-science professors said there has been a marked increase in enthusiasm for courses related to the Middle East. And with the increase, some professors said, comes a responsibility to accurately present the foreign events in an educational way.

Prior to 2001, the UI Political-Science Department had no Middle Eastern coverage separate from a comparative politics courses, said UI political-science Professor Vicki Hesli.

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A University of Iowa official said UI students won't likely feel the effects of new federal student-loan regulations that some experts fear are minimizing geographic options for studying abroad.

But other provisions governing summer semesters abroad may decrease the popularity of the programs at the UI.

John Rogers, UI assistant director of Study Abroad, said he has not yet seen UI students affected by the new U.S. Department of Education regulations that may require foreign universities to bar American students relying on financial aid because of costly new U.S. accounting standards.

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This new consciousness among vernacular publics highlights corruption at all levels of government and the corporate world, while still resisting the hegemonic discourse of economic growth. The talk looks at the recent populist social mobilization (jan andolans) against corruption and its possible grievance mechanism (Jan Lokpal Movement). It analyzes how an urban democratization movement features a competitive struggle among vernacular publics, and how the state and news media struggle over the legitimacy of alternate politics and vernacular public space, as it moves beyond electoral politics but still calls for democratization and transparency in governance.

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We’ve had the melting pot and the tossed salad; now we have the stir-fry. The Stir-Fry Project will happen over the next few weeks at the Senior Center of Iowa City. The project is “a collaborative community art project that explores the stories of people who have resettled to Iowa from different countries through collective works of art.” There are workshops in stop-motion animation, mixed media, and printmaking. Community members may participate. The workshops and materials are free, but pre-registration is required. There will be an opening exhibition of the collaborative work on April 27, and the art will remain on display through May.

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This event is free and open to the public. The papers presented will be edited in a book to share with those who could not make it to Iowa City.

This event is sponsored by UI International Programs, the African Studies Program, University of Iowa Libraries, the Newman Center, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the African Student Association, and the African Trade Law Expert.

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Abstract: Over the past several decades vernacular music industries in many parts of South Asia have utilized artistic traditions originating in Dalit communities to create marketable commodities of “folk culture.” Why do music industries that celebrate and seek to raise the profile of “folk arts” (lok sangeet) also routinely neglect and exploit regional “folk artists” (lok kalakar)? By attending to the experiences of musicians from three hereditary caste communities in the Garhwal Himalayas—Baddi, Bajgi, and Jagariya—and by interrogating the body politics of a number of mass-mediated representations, this talk will interrogate the idea that new media and vernacular markets have had a democratizing influence on musical practice. Instead, I demonstrate that entrenched and widely-shared conceptions about caste-based status, function, musical style, and mobility continue to influence who is allowed to participate in regional studio recordings, and how they are ultimately represented on video and cassette albums.

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The European Studies Group continues its spring 2012 lecture series with a film screening of “The Forgetting Game” followed by a conversation with director Russell Sheaffer at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

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The 13th annual Crossing Borders Convocation will explore “Transcultural Communication and Migrations in the Indian Ocean Rim and the Caribbean” March 23-24 in W401 Pappajohn Business Building. The event is free and open to the public.

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The forum will feature the following speakers and presentations:
George Ayittey: Indigenous and Modern African Institutions: Explaining the Real Causes of Poverty in Africa
Muna B. Ndulo: Is Foreign Aid Working in Africa?
Lyombe Eko: Explaining the Real Causes of Communication Problems in Africa
Denford Madenyika: ICT Infrastructure in Africa: What do We Need in African Schools?
Bell F. Ouelega: Insurance Industry and Africa’s Development
Etse Sikanku: Press Freedom in Africa
Sunday Goshit: African perspectives on environmental issues
Gbenga Ajiboye: The Impact of Corruption on African Youth Development – Case Study- Nigeria
Henri J. Nkuepo: The Real Causes of Food Insecurity in Africa

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Haitian-born painter and sculptor Edouard Duval Carrié will discuss his activities in the general relief efforts made after Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010 during a lecture, titled “Art in Times of Quake and Cholera,” Thursday, March 1, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 2520D University Capitol Centre. This event is free and open to the public.

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Over the past couple of years, a number of U.S. universities have set up branch campuses or other extensive satellite ventures (or pulled out of failing ones) particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa: NYU, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and more recently Duke University, just to name a few. Branch campuses can be successful, and meet the needs both of the U.S. institution and of the host country in which the offshore branch is located.

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Science fiction scholars and a renowned filmmaker will join host Joan Kjaer on April 13 at 5:00 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber for what promises to be a robust discussion of the genre of science fiction, both in literature and in film. We’ll look at the genesis of science fiction and at its profusion around the globe, discussing recurrent themes and the impact of science fiction on both popular culture and everyday assumptions about the future. We’ll also meet the artist who brought us SLEEP DEALER, award-winning filmmaker Alex Rivera.

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