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“Since Iowa professors already have led the way in the study of science fiction and Hollywood musicals, equal attention to comics just follows a solid local tradition.”

Corey Creekmur, associate professor in English and cinema and comparative literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Creekmur discussed how the UI is a pioneer in the study of popular culture as a historical and social phenomenon. Creekmur is involved in an event drawing leading comic artist-authors and scholars to Iowa City Oct. 5-8 for a symposium, “Comics, Creativity and Culture: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” (Iowa City Press-Citizen, Sept. 22)


“Frankly speaking, Iowa is heaven for me. I didn’t like Chicago, New York City, or Washington, D.C., as much as I like Iowa.”

Rajiv Ranjan, a University of Iowa graduate student who came here last year on a Fulbright scholarship from India. The University’s international recruitment efforts are benefiting the state both culturally and economically, attracting more students like Ranjan to the institution, which helps better prepare Iowa students for the increasingly global job market. (The [Cedar Rapids] Gazette, Sept. 20)


“We’re facing some serious ecological changes now. A lot of them have to do with climate, and if we want to understand how living things are going to respond to changes in climate, we need to understand how they responded in the past.”

Christopher Brochu, associate professor of geoscience in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, commenting on a new study appearing Sept. 15 in the journal Palaeontology, where University of Florida researchers describe a new 20-foot extinct species discovered in the same Colombian coal mine with Titanoboa, the world’s largest snake. The findings help scientists better understand the diversity of animals that occupied the oldest known rainforest ecosystem, which had higher temperatures than today, and could be useful for understanding the impacts of a warmer climate in the future. (RedOrbit, Sept. 15)


“There’s no question that the stigma against mental illnesses is greater in Japan. There is a tendency to take an ill family member and get them out of sight and essentially out of mind.”

Nancy Andreasen, the Andrew H. Woods Chair of psychiatry in the Carver College of Medicine. Andreasen commented on differences between how the United States and Japan view those with mental illness in an article exploring how the Japanese government wants to empty 70,000 beds to reduce the highest rate of psychiatric hospitalization among developed nations, lowering its 1.8 trillion yen ($23.5 billion) annual mental-health payments. (San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 14)


“This NBC show seems to signal that we’re reverting to a vision of women that works against all the gains of the last half-century or so. The show, and its celebration of the Playboy bunny, falls in line with every other objectified, one-dimensional, ludicrously hypersexual representation of women out there.”

Meenakshi Gigi Durham, the author of The Lolita Effect and professor of media and gender studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Durham discussed the impact of The Playboy Club, a show set to debut this month on NBC that has stirred controversy. Some are decrying that it objectifies women; former Playboy bunnies, however, say they were empowered, not exploited, by their jobs. (Detroit Free Press, Sept. 11)