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University of Iowa News Release


November 8, 2010

PHOTO: A screenshot of the new Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature iPhone app to be showcased Nov. 14 at the Old Capitol Museum.

Old Capitol to host film and discussion for ‘Chaos and Creation’ exhibit

One of Iowa City’s literary greats, Kurt Vonnegut, will be featured as part of the “Chaos and Creation on the Pentacrest” exhibit and film series sponsored by the University of Iowa Old Capitol Museum. The museum will host a screening of “Slaughterhouse-five” and a panel discussion featuring Christopher Merrill and Brooks Landon on Sunday, Nov. 14. The event is free and open to the public and will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Macbride Auditorium on the UI Pentacrest.

Ryan Watson, a UI doctoral candidate in film studies, will introduce the movie and lead a discussion of critical and historical information about it. Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-five or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death” was published in 1969 and was made into a film in 1972, when it won the Prix du Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. The work follows Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain’s assistant, who is captured by the Germans during World War II and held captive in Dresden while Allied forces firebomb that city.

“Our new exhibit, ‘Chaos and Creation on the Pentacrest,’ has generated a lot of positive feedback, and the Old Capitol Museum is excited to explore the tumultuous times of the 60s and 70s through the celebration of an internationally recognized author who taught in the University’s Writers’ Workshop,” said Kathrine Moermond, education and outreach coordinator for the Old Capitol Museum.

Before the screening, Shalla Ashworth, director of operations for the Pentacrest Museums, will moderate a discussion with the following panel members:

— Christopher Merrill, director of the UI International Writing Program, who will discuss his excitement as a high-school student reading Vonnegut for the first time.
— Brooks Landon, UI professor of English, who will explore Vonnegut’s relationship to science fiction as well as his own personal experiences with Vonnegut.
— Bridget Draxler, UI doctoral candidate in English, who will describe how she and her students created the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature iPhone app.

In addition, Brian Bockelman of Dubuque, winner of a student Vonnegut essay contest, will read selections from his winning essay.

For more information on the Old Capitol Museum and its current exhibit visit

For more information on the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature iPhone app visit

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kathrine Moermond, Old Capitol Museum 319-335-0546,; Steve Parrott, University Relations 319-384-0037,; Writer: Brett Janecek