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All Recipes Are Home

Working Group Theatre, based in Iowa City, will present All Recipes Are Home, an original play with music and dance. Tickets are required for this free public event, which will start at 6 p.m. Monday, April 13, on the outdoor stage on Grinnell College’s central campus.

Incorporating dance and live folk music by the Awful Purdies quintet, this play tells the story of Josef, a young man who sets off across Iowa after receiving a postcard recruiting workers for a booming farm. Josef arrives after an arduous journey and finds that the farm has been foreclosed. He then takes a job at a local meatpacking plant. Meanwhile, his sister, Marie, and his fiancée, Erin, trek across the state to bring Josef a beloved family recipe that they believe will make him long for home. Through food, this  play aims to remind all of us of the comfort of home and the life we seek together.

The play encompasses interviews with Iowa farmers conducted by Sean Christopher Lewis, writer and director of "All Recipes Are Home." He spent seven days in northeast Iowa talking and working with farmers, food workers and those connected to the land, the history and the recipes of the state. The result is a play that is representative of the collective food story of Iowa.

Lewis and two other Master of Fine Arts graduates of the University of Iowa — Martin Andrews and Jennifer Fawcett — founded Working Group Theatre in 2009. Since then, the group has created more than 30 new plays and events, fostering community dialogue around important issues and gaining a national reputation for challenging and insightful work.

All Recipes Are Home is an original full-length play commissioned from Working Group Theatre by Hancher Auditorium/The University of Iowa, Grinnell College, and the Center Stage Series at Luther College.

Tickets and Attendance

Although the outdoor performance at Grinnell College is free, tickets are required. Ticket distribution will begin at noon Wednesday, April 8, in the box office of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Attendees are invited to bring nonperishable food items and donations to the show, where they will be collected by Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA), which is working with United Way to support the local food pantry.

In case of inclement weather, the play will be performed in Sebring-Lewis Hall in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

For questions concerning access or to request accommodation for a disability, please contact conference operations.


Public/Personal Scholarship

Socio‑cultural anthropologist Erica Lehrer ’92 will present a free public Scholars’ Convocation, “Public Scholarship, Personal Scholarship: the Work of Memory in Poland Today,” at noon, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. Lunch will be provided.

Much of Lehrer's research focuses on cultural practices that attempt to come to terms with mass violence and its aftermath. She has extensively studied Polish-Jewish relations in the years following the Holocaust, and her most recent book, Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places, further explores those themes.

Originally from Lexington, Mass., Lehrer graduated from Grinnell with a bachelor’s in anthropology. She earned degrees from the University of Michigan and is now associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Post-Conflict Memory at Concordia University in Montreal. In 2013 she curated the exhibit Souvenir, Talisman, Toy at the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, and in 2014 published the accompanying book Lucky Jews and the Lucky Jews online exhibit.

Lehrer's talk is sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

The Exit Zero Project

Christine Walley will present a free public lecture, “The Exit Zero Project,” at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Walley is an associate professor of anthropology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Exit Zero Project is described as “a transmedia effort to tell the story of the traumatic effect of deindustrialization on Southeast Chicago — once part of one of the largest steel-producing regions in the world.”

The steel mill her father worked in was closed in 1980, part of the deindustrialization happening throughout the United States. The disruption “propelled Walley into a career as a cultural anthropologist,” say Stefan Helmreich, MIT. Describing her 2013 book of the same name, he says, “In Exit Zero, she brings her anthropological perspective home, examining the fate of her family and that of blue-collar America at large.” In a combination of memoir and ethnography, Walley intertwines personal narratives and family photos with an assessment of the social impacts of deindustrialization.

In addition to the book, the project includes a feature-length documentary film and will include an interactive website.

The event is sponsored by Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights, and was originally a part of the Chicago symposium, but was postponed because of travel issues.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Rural Brain Gain and Leadership

Rural sociologist Ben Winchester, who studies positive trends happening under the radar in rural areas, will explore small-town leadership and the rural brain gain in two free public events.

Winchester aims to rewrite the rural narrative that focuses on small towns getting smaller, as churches, schools, clinics, businesses and post offices close their doors and the lucky few migrate out to the big cities.

"This deficit framework dominates how we discuss and envision our rural communities," Winchester says. "But the real story of rural America since 1970 is rich and diverse, with positive trends occurring under the radar. These positive changes require us to rewrite the narrative of rural community change."

Winchester's presentations are:

Re-writing the Rural Narrative: Rural Brain Gain (offered twice)
2 p.m. Monday, May 4, Drake Community Library, 930 Park St, Grinnell, Iowa
7 p.m. Monday, May 4, Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101
Winchester will discuss how the population of rural America has changed significantly in the past 40 years as newcomers aged 30-49 moved into small towns. He will explore how this has had a positive impact on social and economic structures, and how the new residents tend to have bachelor's degrees, careers, professional networks and children.
Re-writing the Rural Narrative: Rural Leadership
10 a.m. Tuesday, May 5, Spaulding Center for Transporation, 829 Spring St., Grinnell, Iowa
Winchester will explore how many people are needed to run small towns, how many leaders are available to serve, and the impact of changing patterns of social involvement on community groups.

"The next 15-20 years appears to be a great opportunity for American small towns," Winchester says, "as a once-tight housing supply begins to open up through the changing preferences of the retiring baby boomer generation. Overall, as we look to the future, the implications of these changes are positive ones for all of our small towns and open country places."

Winchester is a senior research fellow at the University of Minnesota Extension's Center for Community Vitality. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Minnesota-Morris, and a master's degree in rural sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Grinnell College is sponsoring Tuesday's event in conjunction with the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and the Poweshiek Leadership Program. Grinnell College's Office of Community Engagement and Enhancement and Center for Prairie Studies, as well as the city of Grinnell and Poweshiek Iowa Development (POW I-80), are sponsoring Monday's presentation.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center has accessible parking on the east side of the building. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system.  Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

MacArthur 'Genius Grant' Winner to Speak

Alison Bechdel, a noted cartoonist and graphic memoirist, will deliver the Scholars' Convocation at noon Wednesday, April 8, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. The lecture is free and open to the public with a free pizza lunch provided.

Bechdel is best known for her long-running comic strip, "Dykes to Watch Out For," which realistically captured lives of women in the lesbian community. Her comic strip is the origin of the well-known "Bechdel test," which asks if a film featuring two female characters has those characters talk to each other about something other than a man.​​

In recent years, Bechdel has penned several graphic memoirs, including "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic" and "Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama." Her work, which is striking for its conceptual depth and incisive use of allusion, has earned her a devoted and varied following. In 2014, Bechdel earned a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a "Genius Grant." Bechdel's visit is sponsored in large part by Writers@Grinnell, who is also sponsoring a round table with Bechdel at 4:15 p.m. the same day in Rosenfield Center Room 209.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center has accessible parking in the lot on the east side of the building. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

A Secret History of Sex Workers

Jennifer Worley, associate professor of English, women's studies, and LGBT studies at City College of San Francisco, will present two events at Grinnell College.

Screening and Talk — Sex On Wheels:  A Secret History of Sex Workers
7 p.m. Monday, April 13, Rosenfield Center Room 101
Worley will present her film, Sex On Wheels, with a talk and a question and answer session to follow. This film explores the lives, activism, and accomplishments of San Francisco's sex workers throughout the city's history, uncovering a gang of transgender teen revolutionaries, a feminist assassin, a cross-dressing gigolo, a nude dude ranch, and a madam who became mayor.
Roundtable Reading — Lusty:  Adventures in Stripping and Revolution.
4:15 p.m. Monday, April 13, Mears Cottage Room 115
Worley will read from her book in progress. Lusty is a monograph on San Francisco’s Lusty Lady Theater, whose strippers first unionized then took over the theater as a worker-owned co-operative. The book weaves together the author’s reflections on her years as a dancer, labor organizer, shop steward, and co-op founder at the Lusty Lady, with historical research on the history of the sex industry, the sex-workers’ rights movement and San Francisco’s labor organizing. 

The Stonewall Resource Center, Film Studies, and The Center for the Humanities are sponsoring both events, and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies is providing additional support to for the round-table reading.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east and room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. Mears Room 115 is wheelchair accessible. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Andelson, Chen at Iowa Humanities Festival

Two faculty members from Grinnell College will deliver presentations at the Iowa Humanities Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, April 10-11.

Iowa Humanities Festival LogoThe Iowa Humanities Festival welcomes Iowans to explore significant themes through the lens of the academic and public humanities. This year’s theme, "The Elusive Prairie," will be explored from the perspectives of the arts, biology, history, literature, performance, and religion. Presenters from across the state will be featured in the two-day festival.

Presenters from Grinnell are:

Jeremy Chen, assistant professor of art
9:45 a.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave.
In "Taking Sculpture for a Walk: Prairie as Site," Chen will explain how a prairie site has infused his artwork with new meanings, and will share further thoughts on his creative process.
Jonathan Andelson, professor of anthropology
3:15 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at Salisbury House, 4025 Tonawanda Drive
Andelson will present "Metaphor and Meaning in Early French Descriptions of 'La Prairie.' " Andelson, founder of Grinnell's Center for Prairie Studies, has conducted research on the earliest French explorers and missionaries in Iowa and the Upper Mississippi Valley and their views of the prairie landscapes they encountered there. His analysis of the first impressions of these settlers offers an interpretation of what has been lost and gained by the conversion of prairie into farmland.

The Iowa Humanities Festival is a ticketed event. Registration is $10. Information on parking and accessibility at each venue can be found at the venues’ websites. 


Energy & Climate: Breaking the Link

Richard Wolfson, Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of physics at Middlebury College, will give a free public talk, "Energy and Climate: Breaking the Link," at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in Alumni Recitation Hall Room 302.

In his talk, Wolfson will discuss energy consumption, the sources and uses of that energy, and the most recent evidence of its impact on climate. He will conclude the talk by offering suggestions for breaking the energy-climate link, which could lead to a future where Americans can enjoy the benefits of energy without damaging the planet.

Wolfson will also present a  seminar on solar physics, “Wild Sun: A Drama in Three Acts,” at noon Tuesday, April 14 in Noyce Science Center Room 1023. Food will be served.

Wolfson, who teaches Climate Change in Middlebury's Environmental Studies Program, completed his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College, where he majored in physics and philosophy. He also holds a master's degree in environmental studies from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in physics from Dartmouth College. His current research involves the eruptive behavior of the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, as well as terrestrial climate change and the sun–Earth connection.

He is the author of several books, including the college textbook titled Energy, Environment and Climate. He also interprets science for those who are not scientists through his contributions to Scientific American and his books, Nuclear Choices: A Citizen's Guide to Nuclear Technology and Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified.

Both talks are sponsored by the Harold W. ’38 and Jean Ryan ’38 Squire Lectureship in Physics.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. ARH is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator at the south end and accessible restrooms on the third floor. Automatic door operators are located on the southeast and southwest sides of ARH. Several accessible parking spaces are available along Park Street. Accommodation requests may be made to conference operations.


Rosenfield Program Seeking Applications for Student Members

Now is the time to apply for student membership on the Rosenfield Program Committee for 2015-16. All current 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students who have an interest in public affairs, international relations, and human rights are urged to apply. The committee consists of faculty and students. The Rosenfield Program holds two or three major symposia each year, sponsors speakers, and funds summer internships. Membership requires a substantial time commitment in planning programs and hosting visitors.
To apply, please submit a 500-600 word statement to Laureen VanWyk by noon on Friday, April 10.  This statement should include:

  • Your interest in public affairs, international relations, and human rights
  • Your comments on Rosenfield Program events you have attended
  • Ideas for events you would like to attend in the future
  • Your major (if declared)
  • Class year
  • Activities which relate to the purposes of the Rosenfield Program

If you have any questions about being a student member on the Rosenfield Program Committee, please contact the interim director, Ed Cohn at (515) 269-3107.  Or talk to a student committee member – Nipun Basrur ’15, Keaton Cameron-Burr ’15, Roni Finkelstein ’15, Andres Cambronero ’15, David Leitson ’16, Danielle Chorne ’16, Strahinja Matejic ’17, Adriana Zenteno Hopp ’17, or Anesu Gamanya ’17.

The Roman Mosaics of Tunisia

Nejib Ben Lazreg, archaeologist and senior researcher at the National Heritage Institute of Tunisia, will deliver a free public lecture on “The Roman Mosaics of Tunisia” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. Refreshments will be served.

Tunisia has one of the largest collections of Roman mosaics in the world, since it was once a prosperous Roman province. Its collection reflects a high degree of luxury along with a remarkable level of craftsmanship. The mosaics were in effect carpets, made of recycled stones and easily washable. Their subjects were not only decorative but also meant to bring good luck and ward off evil, and at the same time satisfy their patrons’ desire for ostentation. The lecture will discuss the construction, themes, styles, and social context of the mosaics.

Ben Lazreg received a master’s degree in ancient history and a doctorate in archaeology from the Faculty of Letters and Humane Sciences in Tunis. He is the curator of two museums in Tunisia as well as several archaeological sites. His specialty is Tunisia’s Roman and early Christian mosaics, though he has studied many other types of remains in the course of his archaeological surveys and excavations, and he has published extensively on the ancient sites and artifacts of Tunisia. His discoveries include many mosaics as well as a Christian chapel, catacombs, and baptistery. He has also made a lecture tour of the United States under the sponsorship of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Ben Lazreg is teaching a short course this spring under the sponsorship of Grinnell College’s Center for International Studies along with the Department of Classics.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.