African Studies Program

students participating in the Tadoku Workshop in April 2022

8 academic centers, programs, and networks contribute to Iowa’s global mission

International Programs supports eight faculty-led academic centers, programs, and networks that exist to create opportunities for faculty to contribute to the global mission of the University of Iowa.
Image of Mary Cohen

Mary L Cohen

My research area is music education and well-being with a focus on music in prisons (from an abolitionist perspective), songwriting, and collaborative communities. I am creating connections among many researchers across the U.S. through the Justice Arts Coalition and recent Arts in Prison conferences and across the globe interested in music education in prisons, currently in Germany, Scotland, England, Brazil, Belgium, Norway, Australia, and hoping to continue to build this network. I am also very interested in peacebuilding and music education, and restorative & transformative justice.
Image of Laurie Croft

Laurie Croft

In order to support the needs of gifted and talented learners, I work primarily with educators who want to better understand best practices in gifted education. I teach or supervise courses that explore the identification of gifted learners and the curriculum and programming that meets their needs. All coursework aligns with one or more sets of national standards in the field as provided by the National Association of Gifted Children, although work with international educators has to be responsive to their settings. My research interests include attitudes of teachers toward talented children, and how those attitudes can expand to include essential practices such as the acceleration of high-ability learners.
 

Marie Kruger

Marie Kruger is an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches classes in postcolonial and gender studies. Her monograph, Women’s Literature in Kenya and Uganda: The Trouble with Modernity, draws attention to fictional works that constitute a vital, yet often overlooked part of the cultural and creative exchanges in Eastern Africa. Her work has been published in several edited volumes and literary journals, including English Studies in Africa, African Studies, Research in African Literatures, Postcolonial Text, Swahili Forum, and The Nairobi Journal of Literature. Together with Mildred Mortimer and Maureen Eke, she co-edited a special issue of Research in African Literatures on “Memory/History, Violence and Reconciliation.” Her current project studies the representation and commodification of traumatic memory in South African visual culture, including film and memorial sites.
 

Jeff Murray

I was trained in Pediatrics and genetics and have been on the Faculty since 1984. My clinical work was in caring for newborns and families with inherited disorders, I held appointments in the CCOM, CPH, COD, CON and CLAS and taught undergraduates, graduate students and medical students. I retain a very active research career and have been funded by NIH for over 30 years and directed the graduate PhD program in genetics for ten years. We played a substantial role in the development of the Human Genome Project, identified the first genes with defects causing cleft lip and palate, and am an author on over 530 peer-reviewed articles. I chaired two NIH study sections, was a member of the Scientific Council for the NHGRI and served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH. I was an elected president of the 8000+ member American Society of Human Genetics, is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the AAAS. Our research work is highly interdisciplinary and International. I took a leave of absence from 2014 to 2018 to serve as the Deputy Director for Family Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where my work focused on building programs to address maternal and child health disorders in Africa and South Asia.
Image of Elizabeth Menninga

Elizabeth Menninga

I am an Assistant Professor in the Political Science department at the University of Iowa. I received my Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, specializing in International Relations and Political Methodology. My primary substantive research agenda focuses on the effectiveness of international mediation in intrastate wars. Other current projects explore the evolution of cooperation between combatants in civil wars.
Image of David Bedell

David Bedell

Clinical faculty with a rural and LatinX patient population. Interested in health care for the underserved, social determinants of health, primary care in global health (experience in Central America, West Africa and Russia). Recent research projects include: pediatric obesity, immigrant / migrant health and the use of health registries to improve health outcomes.
Image of Christopher Merrill

Christopher Merrill

I am a poet, nonfiction writer, translator, and editor, and much of my work concerns my travels abroad. I have written books on the 1990 World Cup in Italy, the wars of succession in the former Yugoslavia, and the spiritual home of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. As director of the International Writing Program, I have undertaken cultural diplomacy missions to more than fifty countries. And every fall I have the good luck to host thirty-some distinguished poets and writers from around the world.
Image of Barbara Eckstein

Barbara Eckstein

My interests include environmental humanities; urban studies with an emphasis on African-American, American Indian, and Asian American history and cultures; and environmental justice. Alternatives to binary thought and violence have always driven my theoretical and practical commitments.
Image of Anny-Dominique Curtius

Anny-Dominique Curtius

My research is interdisciplinary as it circulates at the crossroads of Francophone Studies (cultural theory, cinematic, visual, and performing arts of the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and West Africa); Suzanne Césaire; postcolonial ecocriticism; slave memorials; comparative postcolonial museum studies; critical ocean studies; intangible cultural heritage in the Global South and UNESCO.
 

Ann Estin

My primary teaching and research areas are Family Law and International Family Law, with a particular interest in cross-border children's law and children's rights. I chair the board of the US branch of International Social Service (ISS-USA) and have attended treaty negotiation and review meetings in The Hague and elsewhere on the Hague Children's Conventions.
Image of Adrien Wing

Adrien Wing

Dean Adrien K. Wing joined the University of Iowa Law school faculty in 1987, and is the Bessie Dutton Murray Distinguished Professor. Wing also serves as the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and is Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights. Author of over 140 publications, she teaches Critical Race Theory, Sex Discrimination, and Law in the Muslim World. Her many activities include advising the founding mothers and fathers of three constitutions. She holds her Bachelor’s degree from Princeton with high honors, MA degree from UCLA in African Studies, and her JD from Stanford.