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University of Iowa News Release


May 25, 2010

At A Glance

New UI Press book explains how literature will save the planet

"Brave New Words: How Literature Will Save the Planet" by Elizabeth Ammons will become available June 1, 2010, from the University of Iowa Press.

The book will be available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or Customers in Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at It is also available as a PDF e-book:

Ammons argues that the responsibility now facing humanists is urgent: Inside and outside academic settings, they need to revive the liberal arts as a progressive cultural force that offers workable ideas and inspiration in the real-world struggle to achieve social and environmental justice.

Concentrating on activist U.S. writers, she calls for all humanists to link their work to the progressive literature of the last half-century, to insist on activism in the service of positive change as part of their mission, and to teach the power of hope and action to their students.

Ammons is Harriet H. Fay Professor of Literature at Tufts University. She is the author of "Conflicting Stories: American Women Writers at the Turn into the Twentieth Century" and "Edith Wharton’s Argument with America."


Old Capitol Museum, Museum of Natural History announce extended summer hours

The University of Iowa’s Old Capitol Museum and Museum of Natural History will have extended summer hours from Tuesday, June 1, through Saturday, July 31. Both museums will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. They will be closed on Mondays and national holidays.

For more information on the Old Capitol Museum, visit or call 319-335-0548.

For more information on the Museum of Natural History, visit or call 319-335-0480.


IWP alumnus Mo Yan becomes honorary fellow of MLA

Prolific Chinese author Mo Yan, who was in residence with the University of Iowa International Writing Program in 2004, has become the first Chinese writer to be elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Modern Language Association (MLA).

Honorary Fellows of the MLA number only around 40 and include Chinua Achebe, Doris Lessing, Toni Morrison, Seamus Heaney, Philip Roth, Wole Soyinka, Milan Kundera, Carlos Fuentes, J. M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and Margaret Atwood.

The election process involves suggestion to the executive council, nomination by the council to the delegate assembly and ratification by the MLA membership at large.

Mo Yan was invited to speak at the MLA annual convention in December 2008 in a forum presentation followed by two sessions dedicated to his work.

His writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His works in English include "Red Sorghum," which was made into an acclaimed feature film, "The Republic of Wine" and "The Garlic Ballads."

He has been a controversial figure, with some of his works of social commentary banned in his homeland. "Mo Yan" means "don't speak" in Chinese, and he chose this pen name to remind himself not to speak too much.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at (for arts news) or (for all other news).

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