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Communication Studies

The Launching of FORTEPAN IOWA: A Public Digital Photo Archive of Iowa's History

FORTEPAN IOWA, a public digital photo archive of Iowa's history developed at the University of Northern Iowa, is the first of its kind in Iowa and the United States, and is unique in that it features curated photos taken by ordinary Iowans over the twentieth century.

Because the photographs of FORTEPAN IOWA will be available for free public download and carry a Creative Commons license, the open-source platform will inspire visitors to engage digitally with the high-quality images—a rare opportunity in a heavily copyrighted age, and a significant contribution to the digital humanities, history education and digital literacy. Unlike other photo archives that arrange images according to collection donor or subject matter, the FORTEPAN interface conveys history chronologically, so it will be easily searchable.  The project has been funded in part by a UNI Capacity Building grant and a Humanities Iowa grant.

The online collection is called FORTEPAN IOWA because it is the first international sister site to the Hungarian FORTEPAN project, founded by Miklós Tamási and András Szepessy in 2009. Bettina Fabos, associate professor of visual communication in the Dept. of Communication Studies, first developed the idea for the project after meeting with FORTEPAN directors in Hungary during her Fulbright fellowship. The name FORTEPAN comes from the name of a well-known Hungarian photographic film that was made from 1922 to 2007. Fabos; Leisl Carr Childers, history dept.; Sergey Golitsynskiy, communication studies; and Noah Doely, art department, are among the UNI faculty working on this project. Those same faculty members are currently working on a NEH Digital Humanities Implementation Grant for the project.

FORTEPAN IOWA is based on the Hungarian FORTEPAN project and will display thousands of photographs along a sliding interactive timeline and invite visitors to horizontally scroll through highly curated, well-documented photographs digitized at tremendously high resolution.  

FORTEPAN IOWA will launch with at least 2,000 photos in the archive. Many of these have been obtained with the assistance of students in UNI's Interactive Digital Studies program. The photos represent the broad span of the twentieth century, and contain images of everyday life from across Iowa: recreation, family gatherings, fairs and festivals, political events, agricultural activities, business and innovation (e.g., the archive has extraordinary photos of the earliest John Deere facilities), education and much more. The archive avoids the typical "great men" version of history, and instead presents Iowa history democratically, from a grassroots perspective.

András Török, managing director of Summa Artium and a representative of the original FORTEPAN project in Budapest, Hungary, will visit and speak at the launch event.

Just another Day in Paradise

UNI Interpreters Theatre presents “Just another Day in Paradise” which focuses on Gypsy and Zig-Zag, two high school students who turn to violence as an answer to their grievances they have against some of their peers, parents, and authority figures. The play takes place in their English classroom, as they confront some of those they feel have wronged them. Gypsy and Zig-Zag take their hostages as they seek their own brand of justice and revenge. This production contains mature language, themes, and situations. It is recommended for mature audiences only. The script was written thanks in part to a 2014 Summer Fellowship awarded to Dr. Siddens by the UNI Graduate College. 

Just another Day in Paradise

UNI Interpreters Theatre presents “Just another Day in Paradise” which focuses on Gypsy and Zig-Zag, two high school students who turn to violence as an answer to their grievances they have against some of their peers, parents, and authority figures. The play takes place in their English classroom, as they confront some of those they feel have wronged them. Gypsy and Zig-Zag take their hostages as they seek their own brand of justice and revenge. This production contains mature language, themes, and situations. It is recommended for mature audiences only.

Just another Day in Paradise

UNI Interpreters Theatre presents “Just another Day in Paradise” which focuses on Gypsy and Zig-Zag, two high school students who turn to violence as an answer to their grievances they have against some of their peers, parents, and authority figures. The play takes place in their English classroom, as they confront some of those they feel have wronged them. Gypsy and Zig-Zag take their hostages as they seek their own brand of justice and revenge. This production contains mature language, themes, and situations. It is recommended for mature audiences only.

Guest Lecture: Google Glass and Democracy: Sensation and Sociability after Wearable Computing

Damien Pfister, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and author of Networked Media, Networked Rhetorics: Attention and Deliberation in the Early Blogosphere, will present a lecture on Google Glass. Google Glass is an augmented reality technology that allows wearers to seamlessly access internetworked media through displays built into the lenses. This kind of "wearable computer," like activity trackers, miniature cameras and smart wristwatches, is on the cusp of ubiquity in intensively networked societies. However, public discussion about the cultural implications of these new technologies is lagging behind their development and diffusion. In the context of Glass, Pfister will pursue one of the most substantive critiques of communication in a networked society: that digital media technologies enable citizens to customize their environments, thus creating "echo chambers" or "filter bubbles" that may curtail the very possibilities for social justice.

Performance! Body! Self!

Internationally-acclaimed solo performer Tim Miller will perform excerpts from his work and speak about the role performance plays in constellating identity. Known for his charged performance work which takes up the most challenging social texts of our time, Miller will share fierce and funny performance material as well as speak about how performance can be used to embolden communities, challenge injustice, and connect people with one another. This event is ponsored by the UNI Interpreters Theatre, SAVE, the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Art and the Department of Theatre.

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