Archive for School of Liberal Arts

IUPUI Student Readings Series

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Indy Reads Books
911 Mass. Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Join IUPUI students and community members as they perform their poetry, essays, short stories, original songs, and other spoken-word pieces in a casual, fun environment. Refreshments are served, and all audience members will be eligible to win prizes for brief writing activities.

To sign up for a spot on our stage, email Terry Kirts at or phone (317) 274-8929. The readings are free and open to the public. Participants need not be IUPUI students.

Readings Series event dates and times this semester:

Thu. October 3, 2013 06:30 PM – 08:30 PM

Wed. November 6, 2013 06:30 PM – 08:30 PM

Thu. Dec 5, 2013 06:30 PM – 08:30 PM

IUPUI Center for Economic Education wins statewide award

photo Mohammad Kaviani

The IUPUI Center for Economic Education has won the 2013 Peter V. Harrington Award for University Centers from the Indiana Council for Economic Education and its executive committee. The center — part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and directed by senior lecturer in economics Mohammad Kaviani with support from program coordinator Terri Crews — works with Indiana schools to help students become better decision-makers, more knowledgeable consumers and productive citizens.

To accomplish this task, the center works with K-12 educators to improve their understanding of economics and personal finance and provides them with teaching strategies that can be easily integrated into their classroom instruction.

“I firmly believe that developing an economic way of thinking is like learning a foreign language: the younger the better. We need to tackle economic illiteracy early and persistently both in and outside the classroom,” Kaviani said. “The center plays a vital role in helping Central Indiana teachers, students and area residents take a common sense approach to economics.

“The center facilitates programs that engage teachers at all grade levels, on a variety of topics, and helps them learn how to implement economics into their existing curricula. Last year’s programs included workshops on basic economics and personal finance concepts; the role of economics in energy and environmental policy; using children’s literature to teach economics; and the impact and outcome of the recent financial crisis. The center also coordinated two high school competitions: the Economics Challenge and the Personal Finance Challenge. These programs, along with the center’s efforts to build a stronger relationship with teachers in Indianapolis Public Schools, were highlights last year.”

The Indiana Council for Economic Education commended the Center for Economic Education for its K-12 professional development and student-focused programs offered during the 2012-13 school year. The Harrington Judging Committee praised the center for its continued high level of programming, the increase in the number of teachers and students who participated in those programs, and the variety of economic education opportunities it made available to teachers and students last year.

“There are 11 Centers for Economic Education statewide in Indiana, and I’m very pleased that the IUPUI center is receiving this year’s Harrington Award,” said William Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts. The Harrington Award was presented at an event at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum on Sept. 20. The honor comes with a $3,000 award funded by Duke Realty.

Former IUPUI student Josh Green, poet Orlando Menes highlight 2013 Reiberg Reading Series

josh green photo

Josh Green, a former IUPUI English M.A. student and author of the new short story collection Dirtyville Rhapsodie, will kick off the Fall 2013 Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series when he returns to campus for a free reading on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 pm in the University Library Lilly Auditorium.

Dirtyville Rhaposodies, published this past spring by Dionysus Books, has garnered considerable praise since its release. Paste Magazine wrote “Josh Green reports from the literary homeland with a lion’s heart and a steady hand” while Men’s Health Magazine named the book on of the “Best Books for the Beach.”

The 18 stories in the collection focus on dark and comic troubles of everyday people. Green drew from his experience as a freelance journalist and crime beat reporter, and also his experiences living in Indiana’s Decatur County.

“We’re excited to have Josh Green back on campus not only because his book is getting such positive reviews but to show our students what someone can do with the time they spent in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI,” says Terry Kirts, senior lecturer in English and director of the Reiberg Reading Series. “Josh has made a successful career by writing in a variety of genres for various media, which is a great example for all students of writing at IUPUI.”

Rounding out the fall series is poet Orlando Ricardo Menes, director of the creative writing program at the University of Notre Dame, on Thursday, Oct.17 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Library Lilly Auditorium. He is the author of three books of poetry, including the recently released collection Fetish, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. His work has appeared in journals such as Ploughshares, the Indiana Review, Callaloo, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He is also the editor of two anthologies including The Opening Light: Poets from Notre Dame, 1991-2008. Menes will also judge the 2013 IUPUI Poetry Contest.

Founded in 1997 in honor of former Department of English chair Rufus Reiberg and his wife, Louise, the series annually brings national and regional writers to the IUPUI campus to present their work. Past visiting writers have included Jane Smiley, Helen Prejean, Maxine Hong Kingston, Patricia Hampl, Richard Jones, Edward Hirsch, Alison Bechdel, and Martin Espada.

IUPUI’s University Library is located at 755 W. Michigan St. Visitor parking is available in the North Street Garage, 819 W. North St. For more information about the series, contact Terry Kirts at 317 274-8929 or join the Series’ Facebook group.

The Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series is sponsored by the Department of English in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and is made possible by the generous support of the Reiberg family, the IUPUI Office of Academic Affairs, University College, and the University Library.

IU School of Liberal Arts Sabbatical Speaker Series Fall 2013

SLA at IUPUI logo

Presented by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

Islamic Jihad or Just Revolt? Muslim Political Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean

Edward E. Curtis IV, Religious Studies – Tuesday, October 1, CE 409, 4:30-5:30 PM

Learn about jihad, sometimes considered the sixth pillar of Islam, and its role in fueling political violence. The influence of jihad is compared in two rebellions among African Americans: an 1835 uprising in Bahia, Brazil, and a 1990 coup attempt in Trinidad.

Poverty Warriors: Tales from Britain’s War on Poverty

Susan Brin Hyatt, Anthropology – Tuesday, October 8, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM

Inspired in part by the U.S. War on Poverty, in 1969, the British government funded 12 Community Development Projects in impoverished communities across Britain. By 1978, this experiment came to an end amidst a great deal of political turmoil. Come hear how some of the original community development workers reflect on that tumultuous time.

Rescuing Henrietta: The Story of An African American Woman Activist

Ramla Bandele, Political Science – Friday, October 25, CE 268, 4:30-5:30 PM

Before Ella Baker and Rosa Parks, there was Henrietta Vinton Davis, a principal activist who achieved the rank of vice president in the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Nearly lost to the true story of UNIA until now, Davis’ work was buried in the footnotes.

Remembering Self, Remembered Self: Persona in Memoir Writing

Robert Rebein, English – Tuesday, November 5, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM

Writers of memoirs must fashion a dual sense of self in order to tell their stories and connect with readers: the self who is remembering and the self who is remembered. Discover the entirely different roles of these selves in the story that unfolds, and their crucial importance.

Mother’s Day and the Mafia

Anne C. Williams, English – Friday, November 8, CE 409, 4:30-5:30 PM

Florists serve their customers on the most important days of their lives. When customers are also neighbors, no matter who they are, important connections ensue. Working in memoir, the writer revisits her family’s Kansas City flower shop and its unusual neighborhood.

Reexamining the Opium War in China

Xin Zhang, History – Tuesday, November 12, CE 309, 4:30-5:30 PM

Take a closer look at the development of modern China in this examination of the (at times overstated) influence of the Opium War on the changes that have come to China in the past 40 years. Ain Haas Folk Music Traditions in Estonia Ain Haas, Sociology Tuesday, November 19, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM Many contemporary Estonians are making and playing ancient instruments like the Baltic psaltery, bowed lyre, and bagpipe. Hear how the processes of modernization, which did much to undermine this country’s musical traditions, now contribute to their revival.

Folk Music Traditions in Estonia

Ain Haas, Sociology – Tuesday, November 19, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM

Many contemporary Estonians are making and playing ancient instruments like the Baltic psaltery, bowed lyre, and bagpipe. Hear how the processes of modernization, which did much to undermine this country’s musical traditions, now contribute to their revival.

New book by John McCormick makes the case for ‘Why Europe Matters’

John McCormick

The news coming out of Europe in recent years has not been good: high unemployment, recession, austerity, threatened bank collapses, and speculation that the bold experiment of the euro might be on the verge of collapse. But an IUPUI professor of political science argues that the pessimism is misplaced and it is well past time to get the debate back on a productive track.

In his new book, Why Europe Matters: The Case for the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan), John McCormick argues that the European Union is widely misunderstood — on both sides of the Atlantic — and that the debate has for too long been dominated by critics known as euroskeptics.

“Many of their arguments are based on myths and misrepresentations about what the EU does, rather than on a fair and informed assessment,” McCormick said. “They say that the EU is undemocratic, that it is expensive, that it is unresponsive, that it means more — not less — regulation, that it is unpopular, and that it reduces the sovereignty and independence of its state members.”

But while the EU is far from perfect, McCormick said, euroskeptics have exploited confusion and misunderstandings to make its problems seem much worse than they are.

McCormick, professor of political science in the School of Liberal Arts, has been studying and writing about the EU for more than 20 years. A citizen of both the U.S. and the U.K., he was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair in European Union politics from the EU in 2010, and he just spent several months in Europe as Fulbright-Schuman chair at the College of Europe in Belgium.

There has been a rising tide of euroskepticism since the early 1990s, he said, which has moved into high gear since the sovereign debt crisis broke in Greece in 2009.

“The euro suffered from the perfect storm of fallout from the global financial crisis, problems in the design of the euro, a failure by several of its member states to respect the eurozone rules on budget deficits and some foot-dragging by EU governments reluctant to bail out countries that misbehaved,” he said.

The euro crisis zone has created a depressed mood for much of Europe, McCormick said, which has led to several rough years for the EU.

“But people have tended to forget all the good and positive things that have come out of the EU, and more people need to step up and speak up to balance the debate,” he said. “That’s why I wrote the book. I’ve been a longtime supporter of the EU, still believe strongly in what it does, and thought it was time that someone made the case for Europe in the face of all the myths being generated by its critics.”

McCormick why europe matters

John McCormick, Why Europe Matters. The Case for the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

McCormick argues that the EU has helped bring a lasting peace to Europe (for which it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year); has created new jobs and opportunities; has helped Europeans learn more about what they have in common; and has helped individual member states work together in being a substantial global actor and wield the kind of influence they could not if working alone.

“The EU has a population of more than half a billion,” he said. “It is the wealthiest marketplace in the world, is the biggest trading power in the world, is the biggest source of (and magnet for) foreign direct investment and has shown that it is possible to wield influence without relying on military power.”

McCormick’s book “Why Europe Matters,” argues that the European Union is widely misunderstood on both sides of the Atlantic.

During the time McCormick has been researching and sharing his extensive knowledge of the European Union with IUPUI students, he’s helped bring the Euroculture program to IUPUI, and for 20 years ran a Model EU for students around the Midwest. McCormick has also been a prolific writer, with 13 books to his name.

Included in his publications are textbooks designed to help students understand the complex issues surrounding the European Union. His book Understanding the European Union will soon be coming out in a sixth edition and has been translated into Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Croatian and Macedonian.

Unlike previous books that focused on an academic audience, “Why Europe Matters” was written for a general audience. McCormick wanted a book that was accessible for readers, feeling that the scholarly research on the EU and its academic nature was contributing little to the debates on the topic.

“I didn’t think that another academic tome would contribute as much to the debate as a book that tried to reach a broader audience by making some of the academic research more accessible and relevant to the debate about the EU,” McCormick said. “And even though the book is about Europe, Americans also stand to benefit by learning more about how the EU works and how its approaches and values are distinctive.”

(The above article was written by Josh Flynn and originally appeared in Inside IUPUI)

Reading at the Table: Dragging Wyatt Earp

rebein dragging wyatt earp
September 18, 2013
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Room 200 IP – Hine Hall (formerly University Place Conference Ctr.)
850 W. Michigan St. Indianapolis, IN 46202
Presented by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Join Dr. Robert Rebein, Associate Professor in the IU School of Liberal Arts, for lunch and a discussion of Dragging Wyatt Earp in which he explores what it means to grow up in, leave, and ultimately return to the iconic Western town of Dodge City, Kansas. In chapters ranging from memoir to reportage to revisionist history, Rebein contrasts his hometown’s Old West heritage with a New West reality that includes salvage yards, beef packing plants, and bored teenagers cruising up and down Wyatt Earp Boulevard.

Purchase of a buffet lunch for $13.00 (dessert and beverages not included) is required to attend this event. Please pre-register here.

Lecture: Nicholas Rattray, “Altered Bodies and Relocated Dreams: Understanding reintegration and care for student veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan”

photo of nicholas rattray
Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
12:00-1:00 pm
Campus Center 309
Nicholas Rattray, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, IUPUI Department of Anthropology
Presented by Medical Humanities and Health Studies Seminar Series
“Altered Bodies and Relocated Dreams: Understanding reintegration and care for student veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan”

This talk will explore issues of community reintegration for student veterans whose bodies have been altered by psychological and physical injuries. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research, I discuss the tensions that lie behind labels such as “reintegrated,” “disaffected,” and “disabled” and how they are negotiated in veterans’ everyday lives. In seeking to manage new embodiments and the tensions between care and the cultural dislocations of military service, many veterans have been forced to create new pathways that diverge from their prior plans — dreams both deferred and transformed.

Free and open to the campus and public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to: to save a spot.

IUPUI receives NEH grant for study of origins of HIV/AIDS

Project Director William Schneider, right, and the head of Limbé Hospital blood bank in eastern Cameroon.

An international team of historians and anthropologists, including two Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professors, will spend the next three years hunting down the origins of HIV/AIDS.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $290,000, three-year grant to IUPUI for the project titled “An International Collaboration on the Political, Social, and Cultural History of the Emergence of HIV/AIDS.”

Under the leadership of IUPUI professor William H. Schneider, six humanities scholars assisted by three medical research consultants will study evidence supporting the most frequently offered explanations for the emergence of the global AIDS pandemic.

“It is a clear and a worthwhile goal: figuring out the origin of AIDS,” said Schneider, a historian of medicine who teaches in the history department and directs the medical humanities and health studies program, both part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. “The emergence of new diseases, such as avian flu and swine flu, is one of the most important health concerns in recent decades.”

The new study could prove invaluable to those working in global health by providing information about how other new diseases emerge, the principal investigator said.

“It can offer a model for medical science and public health researchers who recognize that their studies need to account for the larger historical, political, economic, social and cultural relations and processes that shape disease emergence.”

Three prominent HIV/AIDS researchers — virologists Preston Marx and François Simon and epidemiologist Ernest Drucker — will serve as medical research consultants. The collaboration began 10 years ago and was recently assisted by the IUPUI Office of Vice Chancellor for Research, which provided $15,000 in seed money for the project.

Scientists widely agree that immune viruses have existed in the African simian population — chimps and monkeys — for tens of thousands of years. Some of these evolved and adapted into viruses that were devastating to the human population less than 100 years ago.

HIV/AIDS study collaborators and scientists during a planning workshop.

HIV/AIDS study collaborators and scientists during a planning workshop.

Through DNA sequencing, scientists have identified a dozen human immunodeficiency virus strains, two of which, HIV-1 and HIV-2, are responsible for the current AIDS pandemic among humans.

Because there were several adaptations, most scientists agree that the transfer was not a random incident, and they point to colonial rule of Africa as the circumstance permitting the adaptations.

The question is how and why?

Until now, explanations have focused on finding a “smoking gun,” i.e., the first case of human immunodeficiency virus. But that scholarship has lacked a critical humanities approach to the wide array of available field and archival resources.

Schneider’s team will address those shortcomings.

“This project is meant to place the medical, public health and biological dimensions of the origin of (HIV/AIDS) in its historical context in sub-Saharan Africa — bringing attention for the first time to the details of the specific social and cultural consequences of the introduction of (Western) medicine which was followed in short order by the appearance of the HIV epidemic,” Drucker said.

The research team will focus on the three most feasible explanations: changes in great ape and monkey hunting; social transformations during colonial rule including urbanization, prostitution and human mobility; and new medical interventions, specifically injection campaigns and blood transfusions, that facilitated transfer of viruses.

Schneider, an expert in the history of blood transfusions in Africa, along with Guillaume Lachenal of the University of Paris, will study the role of blood transfusions and vaccination campaigns, health interventions unheard of in Africa before colonial rule.


IUPUI professor Ch. Didier Gondola, chairman of the history department, is also a member of the research team.

IUPUI professor Ch. Didier Gondola, chairman of the history department, is also a member of the research team. He is an authority on the history of Brazzaville and Kinshasa, the two neighboring African cities considered to be the place where the HIV-1 epidemic began, which is responsible for 85 percent of today’s AIDS cases. Gondola will investigate the impact of equatorial African urbanization, migration and gender on the emergence of AIDS.

The team will conduct field research and consult several archives and colonial and medical service records in Africa and Europe. Beginning with an IUPUI meeting in February 2014, the scholars will meet periodically to review the research, which will conclude with the publication of a book in 2016.

The HIV/AIDS project was one of four Indiana awards among the 173 NEH grants announced in July for a total of $33 million.

Lecture: Jon Coleman, “Here Lies Hugh Glass: A Mountain Man, a Bear, and the Rise of the American Nation”

Jon Coleman

August 29, 7-8pm
CE Yale Pratt Room
Jon Coleman, Professor of History, Notre Dame University
“Here Lies Hugh Glass: A Mountain Man, a Bear, and the Rise of the American Nation”
Support provided by the IUPUI Department of History 

In the summer of 1823, a grizzly bear mauled Hugh Glass. The animal ripped the trapper up, carving huge hunks from his body. Glass’s fellows rushed to his aid and slew the bear, but Glass’s injuries mocked their first aid. The expedition leader arranged for his funeral: two men would stay behind to bury the corpse when it finally stopped gurgling; the rest would move on. Alone in Indian country, the caretakers quickly lost their nerve. They fled, taking Glass’s gun, knife, and ammunition with them. But Glass wouldn’t die. He began crawling toward Fort Kiowa, hundreds of miles to the east, and as his speed picked up, so did his ire. The men who took his gear and left him to rot were going to pay.

Here Lies Hugh Glass springs from this legend. The acclaimed historian Jon T. Coleman delves into the accounts left by Glass’s contemporaries and the mythologizers who used his story to advance their literary and filmmaking careers. A spectacle of grit in the face of overwhelming odds, Glass sold copy and tickets. But he did much more. Through him, the grievances and frustrations of hired hunters in the early American West and the natural world they traversed and explored bled into the narrative of the nation. A marginal player who nonetheless sheds light on the terrifying drama of life on the frontier, Glass endures as a consummate survivor and a complex example of American manhood. Here Lies Hugh Glass, a vivid, often humorous portrait of a young nation and its growing pains, is a Western history like no other.

Reserve your free tickets here:

Two IUPUI research centers receive Signature Center designation

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has selected the Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training Center and the Institute for American Thought to receive IUPUI Signature Center designation. This distinguished recognition is based on the centers’ achievements during three-year funding under the Signature Centers Initiative Grant Program.

“The formal designation of the RESPECT Center and the Institute of American Thought as IUPUI Signature Centers is well-earned by the internationally recognized work of the faculty and staff,” IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said. “The two centers together illustrate the range of scholarship at IUPUI — from translating research into practice for one of the most challenging times in a person’s life to leading literary and philosophical scholarship.”

Ten centers and institutes have received official Signature Center designation since the initiative grant program’s inception in 2006.

“The Signature Centers Initiative has become a key cornerstone of the IUPUI research enterprise, playing an important role in enhancing research and scholarly activity, while fostering the development of research centers that are bringing national and international recognition and visibility,” said Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research.

Researchers at the RESPECT Center successfully brought in over $22 million in funding to support research to grow the knowledge base around communication about palliative and end-of-life care, according to Susan Hickman, Ph.D., of the School of Nursing, a co-director of the newly designated signature center.

The RESPECT Center hosted a statewide conference in March that focused on evidence-based palliative and end-of-life care, attracting 145 professionals from across the state. A second conference is planned for March 2014.

The RESPECT Center also provided support for the Indiana Patient Preferences Coalition, which led to the passage of the Indiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment Act, which took effect July 1. This communication tool documents patient preferences in the form of physician orders.

“Achieving Signature designation is an honor that is [both] a recognition of the work of RESPECT Center investigators and the importance of this topic,” Hickman said. “Researchers on the IUPUI campus are committed to improving the care of seriously ill patients and their families through evidence-based approaches. We are extremely honored to support investigators in honoring that commitment.”

The Institute for American Thought is home to five scholarly editions publishing critical, authoritative texts of three American philosophers, Charles Peirce, Josiah Royce and George Santayana; former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass; and American fantasy writer Ray Bradbury. The institute preserves, researches and publishes the papers and works for these scholarly editions, all of which have a global audience and international reputations. The institute also sponsors two academic programs: American Studies and a graduate certificate in Professional Editing.

“The funding provided through the Signature Centers Initiative allowed the institute to pursue the development of a content management system, which can be used by critical editions like those being done here at IUPUI,” said David E. Pfeifer, an original Signature Centers Initiative funding awardee and former Institute of American Thought director.

“This funding prepared the ground for receiving a National Endowment for the Humanities digital humanities start-up grant,” he said. “The application, called STEP for Scholarly Text Editing Platform, is being tested within the Peirce Edition and will be presented this fall to NEH, who will release the open-access platform to the public for its adaptation and use.”

The dissemination platform will become an online resource within which scholars can comment on the texts, the editing of the texts and the work of each other. It will benefit text editors in Indiana and the nation, said Marianne S. Wokeck, who became the director of the Institute for American Thought on July 1.

“The significance of this work is that it makes editing transparent and collaborative; all the editors of a text can review all the work online at any time and track the changes being made,” said Wokeck, also Chancellor’s Professor of History and former School of Liberal Arts associate dean for academic affairs.

According to Pfeifer, this content management development is but one aspect of the work of the Institute for American Thought. The library and archival resources associated with the editions and housed in the institute attract visiting researchers from across the nation and around the globe.