Colloquium Series

  • Featured Speaker - Michael Chibnik

    November 8, 2019

    3:30 pm, 27 Macbride Hall

  • Featured Speaker - Veronica Mraz

    October 25, 2019

    4:00 pm, 27 Macbride Hall

  • Featured Speaker: Melissa Ilardo

    April 19, 2019 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm

    The sea nomads are a population of traditional breath-hold divers inhabiting the waters of Southeast Asia. Their marine hunter-gatherer lifestyle necessitates regular period of extended, repeated diving that puts their body under considerable physiological stress. After thousands of years of this unique means of survival, the sea nomads have evolved genetic adaptations that underlie their remarkable diving capabilities. The study of these divers and other diving populations provides important insight about human evolution and physiology under extreme conditions.

    Melissa Ilardo,

    Postdoctoral Scholar

    University of Utah, Molecular Medicine Program

    University of California-Berkeley, Integrative Biology

  • Featured Speaker: Alberto Ortiz Díaz

    March 15, 2019 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm

    Macbride Hall 27

    ‘Awakening’ the ‘Living Dead’: Rehabilitative Corrections in Puerto Rico’s Oso Blanco, 1930s-1950s

    In the middle decades of the twentieth century, Puerto Rican convicts helped materialize a dynamic culture of rehabilitative corrections. The premier site of this activity was the Insular Penitentiary at Río Piedras (popularly known as Oso Blanco, or Polar/White Bear), an institution that opened in 1933 in the shadow of U.S. colonial empire with the goal of “regenerating” wayward citizens. Behind bars, prisoners engaged mainstream forms of medicine, religiosity, and the broader humanities not only to shield themselves from the dehumanization of the prison (Oso Blanco fell short of its aspirations in more ways than one at the time), but to get by and better and to prepare for societal reincorporation. During the decades in question, island authorities and their collaborators imagined inmates as “living dead,” or rather barely animate beings marginally capable of rational thought and action. While this trope can be traced to the era of racial slavery and even antiquity, in the mid-twentieth century Puerto Rican prisoners and the leisure and professional classes deployed the concept in their writings and other mediums to stress two realities: prisons were tombs for the living, but convicts could be raised from these tombs as well. Inmates could be “awakened” and have new social and civic life. Using penitentiary records, press accounts, and other sources, this talk explores the “irresolvable dialecticality” of living death and awakening through the lens of rehabilitative corrections in a creole-diasporic corner of the modern Caribbean.

     

    Alberto Ortiz Díaz

    Department of History, University of Iowa

  • Featured Speaker: Doug Hertzler

    March 1, 2019 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm

    27 Macbride Hall

    Land Grab University: TIAA and the Right to Food

    Land is the most basic resource which is crucial to the livelihoods and identities of communities. The twin 2008 crises of the global financial markets and food prices (driven by speculation and biofuels policy) strengthened the interest of financial investors in acquiring farmland. The private company TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund), which manages retirement investments for university and other non-profit employees, now claims to be the largest private manager of farmland and forests globally. They played a lead role in bringing together large financial actors to establish the Principles of Responsible Investment in Farmland, which largely ignore the stronger and more detailed human rights based land tenure guidelines of the UN Committee on World Food Security.  

    In the United States, TIAA is accumulating farmland in states such as Illinois and Mississippi, in a land market that reduces opportunities for family farmers and farmers of color. TIAA is trying to create an aura of responsibility around the growth of a system of large industrial farming companies, focused on flex fuel and feed crops, that is decimating rural economies. TIAA’s land acquisitions for soybeans in northeastern Brazil are undertaken in the context of violent threats against land rights defenders. TIAA is rewarding land-grabbers, causing deforestation and enormous biodiversity loss in the Cerrado savanna, and threatening the right to food and water for Afro-Brazilian and other peasant communities. However, a campaign to expose the problem and pressure TIAA to change their practices has been slowly building. University faculty and staff have a key role to play in changing policies and practices of farmland tenure that threaten communities.

    Bio:
    Doug Hertzler grew up in family farming in central Pennsylvania, and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Iowa in 2002. His dissertation was entitled Agrarian Cultures of Solidarity: Campesino Unions and the Struggle for Land and Community Development in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  He worked for 11 years a faculty member of Eastern Mennonite University and was Associate Director of the Washington Community Scholars’ Center in the District of Columbia. 

    In 2012, he joined the international human rights based NGO ActionAid to work on the threats posed by the expansion of agribusiness and concentration of land holdings to indigenous peoples and peasant/family farming communities. He still has retirement funds invested in TIAA in hopes that clients can pressure them to change their practices.

  • Featured Speaker: Anya Prince

    February 1, 2019

    4:00 pm, 27 Macbride Hall

  • Featured speaker Dr. Rui Gomes Coelho

    November 2, 2018

    2:30 pm, 27 Macbride Hall

  • Searching for Native American Domestic Dogs: What Does the DNA Say?

    October 15, 2018

    5:30 pm: E125 VAB, Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa

  • Colloquium Speaker Michael Chibnik

    October 19, 2018

    2:30 pm, 27 Macbride Hall

  • A lecture by Professor Ellen Lewin

    October 17, 2018

    101 Biology Building East

    Just as I am: Race and Sexuality in a Radically Inclusive Pentecostal Coalition

    Wednesday, October 17, 2018
    7:00 p.m.
    101 Biology Building East

    A panel discussion will follow including Professor Christopher McMillan (GWSS/Dance), Professor Kristy Nabhan-Warren (GWSS/Religious Studies), and Reverend Anna Blaedel (the Wesley Center).

    The Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality studies will inaugurate our annual Lewin Lecture, honoring our colleague Professor Ellen Lewin. We have established this annual lecture to honor Professor Lewin’s many years of path-breaking scholarship on gay and lesbian families, her substantial service in the field of feminist anthropology, her long record of impactful teaching, her mentorship of innumerable PhD students, as well as her important role in our department. This year’s lecture will be given by Professor Lewin on the subject of her newly-published book, Filled With the Spirit: Sexuality, Gender, and Radical Inclusivity in a Black Pentecostal Church Coalition (2018). A panel of esteemed colleagues will offer comments at the conclusion of her talk and be followed by a light reception.

Pages

Subscribe to Colloquium Series