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University of Iowa News Release

June 6, 2005

Photo: UI student Dora Edu-Buandoh of Ghana will participate in a panel discussion on misconceptions about Africa and tips for sharing knowledge about Africa during the Iowa International Programs' Summer Institute for Teachers.

Teachers To Explore Methods For Teaching African Cultures June 13-17 At UI

Africa is more than images of starving children, civil strife and natural disasters. To help dispel common stereotypes and provide more accurate information about the 55 countries in this rich and complex continent, University of Iowa International Programs Summer Institute for Teachers June 13-17 will offer middle and high school teachers from across Eastern Iowa the opportunity to gain more comprehensive knowledge from both African experts and African students.

The weeklong workshop, "Global Encounters: Teaching African Cultures through Literature and Film," will concentrate on the diversity and cultures within the continent of Africa. It will be held daily in Room S181, Pappajohn Business Building from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"Teachers want access to the latest scholarly research on Africa in order to portray this diverse and complicated continent in their curricula accurately," said Buffy Quintero, IP outreach coordinator and institute organizer. "We are very excited about the focus of this summer's institute. A committee of area high school teachers and UI faculty and staff chose this topic, and it aims to provide teachers with resources that might not otherwise be available."

The institute is so popular that its 24-student capacity filled long before the registration deadline, Quintero said. Teachers from Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Grinnell, Iowa City, Mount Vernon, Muscatine, Newton and Turkey Valley will attend.

This workshop, offered by UI International Programs and the Center for Credit Programs, is an excellent opportunity for middle and high school teachers in all subject areas to gather information and perspectives that will be invaluable in helping students understand the diversity of African cultures through literature and film, said Quintero. Participants will learn about the availability of educational resources such as lesson plans, instructional videos and electronic discussion forums to enhance existing or develop new curriculum units on Africa.

With lectures, film screenings and group discussions, the workshop will analyze current media representations of Africa and expose participants to different literary works and films examining life and culture in Africa. In addition, there will be panel discussions with UI African students, opportunities to interact with experts in the field, group excursions and evening entertainment. Other highlights include a tour of the world-famous Stanley Collection of African Art at the UI Museum of Art on Thursday, June 16 from 3-5 p.m. There will also be a cooking demonstration by Chef Soleil at the New Pioneer Co-op in Coralville on Tuesday, June 14 at 7 p.m.

At the UI, 55 students representing 16 different African countries are registered including students from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The 2005 Institute will be conducted by Marie Krüger, adjunct assistant  professor of International Programs. Krüger has been teaching seminars and workshops on Africa and the African diaspora for K-12 and postsecondary students and teachers since 1996. In the fall, she will join the UI English Department as an assistant professor for African and diasporic literatures.

"The Institute will provide participants with a historical overview of Western images of Africa and introduce them to first-hand sources, literary texts and films produced by Africans as alternative sources of information," Krüger said.

For a complete schedule of events, contact Quintero at 319-335-0345 or

The Institute is funded through International Programs by a Title VI National Resource Center grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Additional support comes from the UI Office of the Provost and the UI Division of Continuing Education.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research, and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Buffy Quintero, 319-335-0345,; Writer: Kent Nguyen