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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 28, 2010

At A Glance

Writers’ Workshop, English NWP alumna Yiyun Li named MacArthur Fellow

Writer Yiyun Li, an alumna of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the English Nonfiction Writing Program (NWP), has been named a MacArthur Fellow.

Li, author of a novel "The Vagrants" and a story collection “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” (2005), moved to the United States from China in 1996 to pursue a graduate degree in immunology at the UI. She eventually shifted her studies over to writing in her adopted language of English.

Li is described as a fiction writer whose spare and quietly understated style of storytelling draws readers into powerful and emotionally compelling explorations of her characters’ struggles, set both in China and the United States.

Since 2008, she has been an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. Her additional works include “Gold Boy, Emerald Girl: Stories” (2010) and short stories and essays in many publications.

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $500,000.

More information about Li, including a video, may be found at

Li will be reading from her new story collection, "Gold Boy, Emerald Girl," at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, at Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City. More about the reading can be found here.


Osher Institute course on the early history of Iowa begins Oct. 5

"Iowa: Early History to 1900" is the title of a course being offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Iowa on Tuesdays, from Oct. 5 to Nov. 23, in Room 2390 of the University Capitol Centre in downtown Iowa City. The eight weekly sessions will run from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m.

Instructor Jeanine Redlinger, a teacher at Iowa City High School, will compare and contrast various points of view from the past with present-day perspectives of Iowa. This course offers an opportunity to discover and understand Iowa's early growth, communities, personalities and politics.

The course fee is $60 for Osher Institute members and $75 for nonmembers, which includes an institute membership.

Learn more or register online at, or contact Linsey Durst at 319-384-4221 or


‘HIV/AIDS in India’ talks focus of SASP lectures Oct. 6, 13

The University of Iowa South Asian Studies Program (SASP) will start its fall lecture series by welcoming Dr. Nupur Barua of New Delhi, India, to the UI campus for two related talks.
Barua will present “HIV/AIDS in India: Current realities and emerging challenges” Wednesday, Oct. 6, and “‘It is better to die than to let people know that you have the curse’: AIDS-related stigma and treatment seeking behavior among the urban poor in Delhi, India” Wednesday, Oct. 13. Both lectures begin at 4:30 p.m. in Room 128W of the UI Chemistry Building.
Barua is vice president of Amaltas Consulting in New Delhi and a medical anthropologist with extensive experience in the development of national HIV/AIDS strategies in India.
SASP will offer lectures through November from other visiting scholars. All lectures are free and open to the public. Chai and Indian refreshments will be served prior to the presentations.
The UI Global Health Studies Program, South Asian Studies Program and International Programs sponsor the events.
View the lecture series schedule at For more information, contact Paul Greenough at or 319-335-2222.


Iowa Writers' Workshop presents 'The Practice of the Wild' film screening Oct. 6

The Iowa Writers' Workshop will present a screening of the documentary film "The Practice of the Wild: A Conversation with Gary Snyder and Jim Harrison" 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Frank Conroy Reading Room in the Dey House, 507 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

The film is a profile of environmentalist activist and Pulitzer Prize- winning poet Gary Snyder. Along with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, Snyder was a central figure of the Beat Generation.

Borrowing its name from one of Snyder's most popular non-fiction books, the film revolves around a life-long conversation between Snyder and his fellow poet and novelist Jim Harrison. In the film, they talk while taking a wilderness trek along the central California coast.

The discussions are punctuated by archival materials and commentaries from Snyder's friends, observers, and intimates who talk about his 'Beat' years, followed by his years of Zen study in Japan, and up to the present, where he continues to be an environmental advocate.

For more information on the film see its Facebook page at


Recreational Services hosts Steve Goff Memorial 5K Run/Walk

University of Iowa Recreational Services is sponsoring the Steve Goff 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Ashton Cross Country Course to raise money for the Steve Goff Scholarship awarded to undergraduate students in Leisure Studies.

Goff was a professor in the Department of Health, Leisure, and Sport Studies from 1994 to 1998 who died of cancer at the age of 43. Goff wanted students to become involved in activities that promoted health and well-being, motivating them with the motto, “Life is not a spectator sport.”

Goff Scholarships have been awarded for the past six years with approximately 20 recipients being given just over $10,000.

The Goff 5k race day registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 10. The course is located near the Hawkeye Recreation Fields on Hawkeye Park Road. Awards will be given to runners and walkers in the intramural division for all UI-affiliated participants, or an open division for non-UI participants.

Registration is $12 if received before Friday, Oct. 8, or $15 on race day. Registration forms are available online at or outside the E216 Field House office. For more information, call Recreational Services at 319-335-9292.


UI Upward Bound students help with Davenport service project

Upward Bound students will team up with United Neighbors for a day of service in Davenport, Iowa, from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 16, clearing debris, assisting with yard work, completing painting projects and performing other community service activities.

The Ripley Street Roll project will engage student and community volunteers in a neighborhood clean-up/beautification project on 8th Street through 15th Street. The event precedes Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of helping others and volunteerism. Upward Bound students will be encouraged to identify and participate in additional volunteer opportunities leading up to the renowned national day of service.

Upward Bound is a pre-college program for high school students who are committed to being successful in high school and who are interested in attending college. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the University of Iowa and is part of the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment. Participants are attendees of Davenport North High School, Davenport Central High School, Davenport West High School, Columbus Community High School, Muscatine High School, and West Liberty High School.

More information about Upward Bound is available at


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

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.