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News & Events

Performing Ethnicities Through Sport, April 1-3, 2011

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Sessions held in the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU), unless otherwise noted
All sessions are free and open to the public.

Friday, April 1, Lucas Dodge Room, IMU

8:15 Coffee

8:30 Welcomes by Linda Maxson, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa; Lauren Rabinovitz, Director of the Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts

8:45-10:15 Critical Whiteness
Moderator: Harilaos Stecopoulos, University of Iowa

• Wayne Anderson, University of Iowa, “The National Corn Husking Contest and Images of the Model Farmer in the 1930s Midwest”
• Tina Parratt, University of Iowa, “Putting on the Tartan: An Unquiet American and the ‘Highland Laird’ in Compton Mackenzie’s The Monarch of the Glen.”
• Sean Malone, University of Kansas, “Anglo-Saxon Athleticism and Harry Wright's 1874 English Baseball Tour.”

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Ethnography
Moderator: Jen Metz, University of Iowa

• Nik Dickerson, University of Iowa, “Skating Across Racial Lines: An Auto-Ethnography of Racial Identity within Ice Hockey”
• Rachel Tanquist, University of Iowa, “Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) and Race: Why are African Americans Underrepresented?”
•Ben Chappell, University of Kansas, “Mexican American Fastpitch Cultural Citizenship and the Ethnography of Playing”

12:00-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-2:45 Keynote Address: Daniel Nathan, Skidmore College, "Playing Together, Playing Apart: Sport, Community, and Identity."
Introduced by John Raeburn, University of Iowa; Response by Allen Steinberg, University of Iowa.

3:00-5:30 Film: Girlfight (2000, directed by Karyn Kusama, US)
Moderated by Susan Birrell, University of Iowa
Location: 101 Becker Communication Studies Building

Saturday, April 2, Illinois Room, IMU

8:30 Coffee

8:45-10:45 Performing Identities
Moderator: Nate Titman, University of Iowa

• Daniel Taradash, University of Iowa, “The Coldest War: Olympic Champion Billy Mills and the Politics of Native Representation and Identity”
• Gabe Logan, Northern Michigan University, History, “Kicking a Political Fubol: Anton Cermak and Chicago Soccer”
• Will Bishop, University of Kansas, “Of Green Monsters and Plastic Paddies: the Correlations and Convergence of Boston Red Sox Fandom and Irish-American Identity”
• Tyran Steward, The Ohio State University, “Jim Crow in Michigan’s Big House and the Exclusion of Black Performance”

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:30 Transnational Migrations
Moderator: Gyorgy Toth, University of Iowa

• Susan Birrell, University of Iowa, “Climbing as Labor: Guides and Sherpas in American and Himalayan Mountaineering”
• Rich McGraw, University of Alabama, “’The Eternal Rivalry:’ Baseball, Cuba and the United States”
• Shelly Bromberg, Miami University Hamilton, “Can Soccer Change the Discourse on Latino Immigration?”

12:30-2:00 Lunch Break

2:00-3:30 Keynote Address: Mary McDonald, Miami University of Ohio, "In the Embrace of Michelle Obama's Arms: Intersectionality and Celebrity Body Politics in 21st Century America."
Introduced by Susan Birrell; Response by Thabiti Lewis.

7:30 Performance: “Horseback Views: A Queer Hippological Performance” by Kim Marra, University of Iowa. Introduced by Horace Porter; Response by Rebekah Kowal, University of Iowa
Reception following in the Café, upstairs in the Theatre Building, sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.
Location: Theater Building, Theatre B

Sunday, April 3, Illinois Room, IMU

8:30 Coffee

8:45-10:15 Celebrity and Sport
Moderator: Horace Porter, University of Iowa

• Lisa Alexander, Wayne State University, “Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens: Performing the Bad Black Man vs. the Authorization and Revocation of White Privilege.”
• Thabiti Lewis, University of Washington-Vancouver, “Curious Representations of the Williams Sisters”
• Jen Metz, University of Iowa, ‘Motherhood-  May I?’:  The Cultural Politics of Motherhood in Women’s Professional Sports”

10: 15-10:30 Break

10:30-11:45 Keynote Address: Sarah Fields, The Ohio State University, "The Absence and Presence of Race: Ross v. Creighton University." Introduced by Tina Parratt, University of Iowa; Response by Ann Rhodes, University of Iowa.

12:00-1:00 Roundtable: Concluding Remarks and Future Directions: Moderator: Horace Porter – Susan Birrell, Sarah Fields, Thabiti Lewis, Kim Marra, Dan Nathan, Tina Parratt

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate, please call the UI Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts in advance at 384-3490.

For further questions or information on PERFORMING ETHNICITIES THROUGH SPORT, please contact

Past News & Events

Order the Food in America Cookbook

Download the order form (44KB PDF).

From Field to Tablet: A Symposium on Food, Culture, and the Law
February 6, 2010

CESA/MAASA Identities and Technoculture Conference
April 3–4, 2009, University of Iowa

Final Program (PDF)

Food Studies Workshop

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A day-long intensive workshop directed by Associate Professor Doris Witt for UI faculty and graduate students to discuss, share, and get feedback on research in-progress. Morning panels were on Entertainment and the Arts; afternoon panels were on Technology, Risk, and Resistance.

Jr. Faculty Publication Workshop

Thurs–Sat, September 18–20, 2008

Three University of Iowa faculty have been selected as junior fellows to participate in the workshop: Assistant Professor Naomi Greyser, Rhetoric and English; Assistant Professor Lena Hill, English and African American Studies; Assistant Professor Bridget Harris-Tsemo, Rhetoric and African American Studies.

Seven junior fellows from universities and colleges across the country have also been selected as participants: Assistant Professor Mar?a Elena Cepeda, Latino/a Studies, Williams College; Assistant Professor Erin D. Chapman, History & African American Studies, University of Mississippi; Assistant Professor Marcia Chatelain, Honors and African American Studies, University of Oklahoma-Norman; Post-doctoral Fellow Cerise L. Glenn, Intercultural and Organizational Communication, Purdue University; Assistant Professor Kimberly Lamm, English, Critical & Visual Studies, Pratt Institute; Assistant Professor Abigail Markwyn, History, Carroll College; Assistant Professor J. James Scott, African American Studies & English, University of Mississippi.

Workshop co-directors: Professor and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Collegiate Fellow Lauren Rabinovitz, American Studies and Cinema and Comparative Literature; Associate Professor Aimee Carrillo-Rowe, Rhetoric; Associate Professor Corey Creekmur, English and Cinema and Comparative Literature; CESA Senior Fellow Assistant Professor Miriam Thaggert, English and African American Studies; CESA Senior Fellow Assistant Professor Deborah Whaley, American Studies and African American Studies.

Funding for this event has been provided by: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Graduate College, and the Office of the Provost.

CESA publications workshops allow each participant to discuss with other scholars and senior faculty a journal article or book chapter that he or she is preparing. The workshops also provide opportunities for conversation and networking among peer scholars working in ethnic studies areas.

Hawkeye Chef Cookoff in the News

From University of Iowa News Services comes this video package on last week’s Hawkeye Chef cookoff and food symposium. Take a look! And don’t miss the story The Cedar Rapids Gazette ran on the food symposium on Monday, April 7, 2008.

Food in American Culture Course in the News

“Students in a UI honors seminar discover how Americans are fascinated and defined by what they eat,” says Amy Schoon in an article entitled “Food for Thought,” which appeared in the Feb. 2008 issue of Iowa Alumni Magazine.

Additionally, a recipe preview appears in the February 2008 issue of Edible Iowa River Valley.

Food, Ethnic Identities, and Memory

April 4, 2008

9:00 a.m.
Welcome, Lauren Rabinovitz, Director, CESA

9:15 a.m.
Welcome, Dean Linda Maxson, CLAS

9:30 a.m.
Lisa Heldke (Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College), “Staying Home for Dinner: Ruminations on Local Foods in Cosmopolitan Society”

10:30 a.m.
Jeffrey Pilcher (History, University of Minnesota), “Who Chased Out the Chili ‘Queens’? Food, Race and Gender in San Antonio, Texas 1880–1943”

1:00 p.m.
Riki Saltzman (Iowa State Folklorist, Iowa Arts Council), “Pork, Place and Praxis: Foodways in Iowa”

2:00 p.m.
Psyche Williams-Forson (American Studies, University of Maryland), “Culinary Polygamy: Food, Place and Memory in an African and African American Household”

3:30–5:30 p.m.
Iron Chef Competition and Reception

Featuring food samples from the new Food in America Cookbook. Co-sponsored by IMU Food Services, Edible Iowa River Valley, and Iowa Cultural Corridor.

Three teams of professional chefs battled it out for the title of Iron Chefs of Eastern Iowa! Team 1: University of Iowa IMU. Team 2: Zins Restaurant (Cedar Rapids). Team 3: New Pioneer Food Co-op (Iowa City). WINNER: University of Iowa IMU Team!

Emcee: Marcia Hughes, Vice President of Iowa Cultural Corridor

Guest Judges:

  • University of Iowa President Sally Mason
  • Ken Mason, Lecturer, University of Iowa
  • Joe Jennison, Exec. Director of Iowa Cultural Corridor
  • Beth Bewley-Randall, Exec. Director of Englert Theatre and President of Iowa Cultural Corridor
  • Wendy Wasserman, Publisher, Edible Iowa River Valley

Guest Commentators:

  • Floyd Akins, Senior Director for Development, UI Foundation
  • Riki Saltzman, Iowa State Folklorist, Iowa Arts Council
  • Michael Knock, Iowa City Press Citizen Food Critic

Funding provided through a generous grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Harry Oster Folklore and Folk Music Memorial Fund. Additional funding provided by Graduate College, and Office of the Provost.

Download a printable version of this information (1.3MB PDF).

Fall 2007 Junior Faculty Fellows

News About the CESA Fellows

Fellows from our Junior Faculty Publications Workshop, Fall 2007 continue to use the connections they made at the University of Iowa. Two fellows, and one of the faculty co-facilitators gave papers at the MELUS conference at the Ohio State University March 27–30. Joe Ponce’s paper is entitled, “The Echoes and Erotics of Comparison.” Julie Moody-Freeman will present “Food for Thought: On Cannibalism, Piracy and the Commodification of the Caribbean” and Aimee Carrillo Rowe’s paper is called “L is for…Longing and Racialized Erotics in The L Word.”

Another group of Fellows organized a panel for the American Studies Association Annual Conference, Fall 2008. The panel, called “Theorizing Difference at the Cultural Crossroads of the Popular and the Profane.” The panel includes Fellows Deborah Whaley, “Rustle your Bones, Honey Lambs: Torchy Brown Comics, Popular Front Politics and Hip-hop Feminists’ Revenge;” Joe Ponce, “Dream Jungle, Apocalypse Now and the Politics of Comparisons;” and Grace Wang, “A Shot at Half-Exposure: Asian Americans and Reality T.V.” Aneeka Henderson, University of Illinois, Chicago is also on the proposed panel. Her paper is entitled “Ugly Step Sisters: Black Popular Fiction on the Margins of African American Literary History.” Bridget Harris Tsemo, also a Fellow will chair the panel and commentate.

The Center is pleased to see connections continuing among the fellows and congratulate them on their work.

Fall 2007 Junior Faculty Publications Workshop

November 1–3, at the Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts, University of Iowa.

Co-directed by: Professor and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Collegiate Fellow Lauren Rabinovitz, American Studies and Cinema and Comparative Literature; Associate Professor Aimee Carrillo-Rowe, Rhetoric; Professor Kent Ono, Professor of Asian American Studies and Communication, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The CIC (Consortium for Institutional Cooperation) is a co-sponsor of this event. Funding for this event has been provided by: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Graduate College, and the Office of the Provost.
CESA publications workshops allow each participant to discuss with other scholars and senior faculty a journal article or book chapter that he or she is preparing about a topic in ethnic identities and the arts. The workshops also provide opportunities for conversation and networking among peer scholars working in ethnic studies areas. In addition, two public sessions wereopen to the entire UI community: Professor Kent Ono, Professor of Asian American Studies and Communications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “The Test of Japanese American Loyalty During World War II: Documenting Decisions to Resist The Draft;” “Publishing Your First Book in the Humanities” Workshop, with: Associate Professor Aimee Carrillo-Rowe, Rhetoric; Associate Professor Claire Fox, English and Latin American Studies; Associate Professor Priya Kumar, English.


André Brock, Assistant Professor of Library Information Sciences, University of Iowa

“Kanye Speaks for the People”


Mark Chiang, Assistant Professor of English, University of Illinois, Chicago

Representing Asian America: Minority Literature and Cultural Capital: Representing Asian America explores the role that culture has played in the institutionalization of Asian American Studies as a political project in the academy. The book seeks to illuminate the historical transformations of Asian American culture and cultural studies by elaborating them within a model of representation that is constituted by struggles over the symbolic capital of Asian American identity. Political, cultural and intellectual representations, then, must be seen as strategies of capital accumulation deployed by those who seek to represent Asian Americans in particular fields.

Research Interests: Asian American literary and cultural studies; Minority politics, culture and cultural capital; Race in 20th century American film and literature


Sean Christian, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, Wheaton College

“Making Use of the Harlem Renaissance’s Collaborative Impulse in Brother to Brother”


Julie Moody-Freeman, Assistant Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies, DePaul University

“Food for thought: On Cannibalism, Piracy, and the Commodification of the Caribbean”: The Pelegostos and Tia Dalma subplots in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest as well as Malibu rum ads divert attention away from an historical context that connects imperialism and capitalism to piracy, slavery, and rum making. Furthermore, the sideshow of cannibalism and voodoo in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest as well as Caribbean minstrelsy in the Malibu rum television spots detract attention from the undergirding economic and political powers gained literally on the backs of exploited peoples, past and present in the Caribbean region.

Research Interests: Women Writers from Africa and the African Diaspora, Caribbean Narratives and Criticism, Feminist Theory, and the Rhetoric of Colonialism and Post-Colonialism


Tamiko Nimura, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, University of Puget Sound

Different Dark Colors: Multiracial Coalitions, Multicultural Literatures: is the first book-length study of coalition in multicultural American literatures, and contributes to African American and Asian American literary studies by using “coalition” as trope and methodology to compare and contrast American ethnic literatures.

Research Interests: African American literature (20th century), Asian American literature, Women of color feminism, Multicultural literatures and literary theories


Martin Ponce, Assistant Professor of English, Ohio State University

“The Cross-cultural Musics of Jessica Hagedorn’s Postmodernism”: This chapter of a book project on diasporic Filipino literature examines how the references to and uses of music in Jessica Hagedorn’s literary work reveal and enact a hybrid, cross-media aesthetic practice. I suggest that the variety of musical styles she alludes to in her poetry, stories, and novels – including African American, Spanish/Andalusian, and Filipino musical styles – figure and model a form of cross-cultural expressivity that traverses racial and ethnic boundaries.

Research Interests: Asian American and African American literature and culture; queer studies; theories of diaspora, imperialism, and nationalism


Miriam Thaggert, Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, University of Iowa

“Escape from Harlem: Josephine Baker and the Ziegfeld Follies.” This article examines the circulation of the celebrity image as a commodity and as a trademark. In addition to analyzing Baker’s unusual 1935 appearance in the American revue, the Ziegfeld Follies, the article examines The Follies’ emphasis on America and American rhetoric, its construction of an ideal white femininity, and its unapologetic interest in commodity culture and consumerism.

Research Interests: African American literature and film, photography, American visual culture, museum studies, race and technology.


Grace Wang, Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of California, Davis

Soundtracks of Asian American Identity: Music, Race, and National Belonging: this project use oral interviews and literary texts to examine the cultural work that music plays in the production of contemporary Asian American identities. Drawing on a capacious sense of what it means to make music – activities ranging from driving children to piano lessons to writing poetry about listening to jazz – Soundtracks of Asian American Identity listens closely to how Asians and Asian Americans utilize particular discourses about Western classical music, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll to craft meaning about their social identity.

Research Interests: Asian American literature and culture, comparative ethnicities, American Studies


Deborah Whaley, Assistant Professor of American Studies and African American Studies, University of Iowa

“Black Cat Got Your Tongue?: Making Space for Race, Gender and Sexualities in DC Comics’ Catwoman


CESA Book Discussion

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Chicago Room of the IMU
6:30–9:00 p.m.

The UI Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts, Department of American Studies is sponsoring a colloquium on Wendy Brown’s new book: Regulating Aversion, Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire.

Wendy Brown is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Edgework: Essays on Knowledge and Politics, Politics Out of History, and States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity.

In what we hope will be a richly rewarding and entertaining discussion, faculty and graduate students are invited to a workshop-discussion on Brown’s provocative new book, which examines the dark and troubling undercurrents of “tolerance.”

Discussion participants will read the book ahead of time and come prepared with points of view, discussion questions. Space is limited, and seats may fill prior to this date.

Books will be available from Prairie Lights Bookstore (15 South Dubuque) and a few copies will be available on reserve at the Main Library.

Funding provided by: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate College, and Office of the Provost..

Spring 2007 Lecture Series

March 23, 2007: E. Patrick Johnson, Director of Performance Studies and Associate Professor of African American Studies, Northwestern University

April 6, 2007: Noliwe Rooks, Associate Director of African American Studies, Princeton University

Partially funded by: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate College, Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Office of the Provost.

Fall 2006 Lecture Series

“Thinking Outside the Box: Ethnic Identities and the Arts”

All lectures begin at 3:00 p.m. in room 704 Jefferson Building. They are open and free to the public. A reception will follow each lecture.

Friday, September 22

Frances Aparicio, Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Illinois, Chicago

“Gendered Transculturation in Six Feet Under

Friday, October 20

Leslie Bow, Director of Asian American Studies and Associate Professor of English and Asian American Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“Anomalies of Segregation: Racial Interstitiality in the Jim Crow Era”

Friday, November 3

Bluford Adams, University of Iowa Associate Professor of English and American Studies

“Peasants or Progressive Farmers?: Immigrants on the Land in Gilded Age New England”

Friday, November 10

Bridget Harris Tsemo, University of Iowa Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and African American Studies

“Corporeality and Capitalism in Spike Lee’s She Hate Me

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