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Languages and Literature

Final Thursday Reading Series

Season 13 of FTRS kicks off with Julianne Couch, author of Traveling the Power Line: From the Mohave Desert to the Bay of Fundy. Couch is a journalist and essayist whose work also includes Jukeboxes and Jackalopes: A Wyoming Bar Journey and Waking Up Western: Collected Essays. Check out a sample of Traveling the Power Line at:,675636.aspx.

The Final Thursday Reading series is a monthly event that features published authors and gives all creative writers an opportunity to showcase their talent in front of a live, friendly audience. Bring your best five minutes of poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction. Open mic signup starts at 7 p.m. with open mic beginning at 7:15 p.m. Featured reader Julianne Couch takes the stage at 8 p.m. There will be a Q&A session after the reading, time permitting.

The Final Thursday Reading Series is sponsored by Final Thursday Press, The Hearst Center for the Arts, and the University of Northern Iowa College of Humanities, Arts & Sciences.  Coffee is provided by Cup of Joe. 


FTRS returns in September with featured reader Adrianne Finlay.

Final Thursday Reading Series: Jen Percy

The Final Thursday Reading Series of 2012-13 concludes with a reading by Jen Percy, author of Demon Camp: A Soldier’s Exorcism. The book details the story of a Special Ops soldier returned from Afghanistan with PTSD who seeks solace in people who profess to be exorcists. In so doing, it tells a story about the United States in an era of war, exploring the lives of soldiers and widows in the fragile period after the war.

Open mic signup is at 7 p.m. and begins at 7:15 p.m. Share your best five minutes of poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction. Singer/songwriters are welcome and can use of the Hearst Center's grand piano. Percy will take the stage at 8 p.m. followed by Q&A as time allows.

Presentation by Carl Wilkens: “I’m Not Leaving!": Stories of Hope and Healing from the One American Who Stayed Through the Rwandan Genocide

As a humanitarian aid worker, Carl Wilkens moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide that eventually took more 800,000 lives was launched in April 1994, Carl refused to leave, even when urged to do so by close friends, his church and the United States government. Thousands of expatriates were evacuated, and the United Nations pulled out most of its troops. Carl was the only American to remain in the capitol city of Kigali. Venturing out each day into streets crackling with mortars and gunfire, he worked his way through roadblocks of angry, bloodstained soldiers and civilians armed with machetes and assault rifles in order to bring food, water and medicine to groups of orphans trapped around the city. His actions saved the lives of hundreds. For nine years now, Carl has been speaking in schools on nearly every continent about his experiences in Rwanda and how to build bridges with “the other.”

Norman Cohn Family Annual Holocaust Remembrance and Education Lecture

Howard Reich, arts/jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune and the child of Holocaust survivors, will show excerpts from and discuss his film, "Prisoner of Her Past," based on his book The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich (recently republished as Prisoner of Her Past). The film documents his mother's late-onset PTSD resulting from her experiences during the Holocaust and Howard Reich's own journey to learn about his parents' stories of survival. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period and a book-signing and reception. Free and open to the public.

Language Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities

The Department of Languages & Literature will host several speakers. Elaine Tarone, University of Minnesota, will present "Second Language Speaking Activities for Critical Thinking;" John Levis, Iowa State University, will present "Flipping the Classroom: Language Teaching in Hybrid Formats;" Judith Liskin-Gasparro, University of Iowa, will present "Things Teachers Need to Know about Pronunciation;" and Cheryl Roberts, University of Northern Iowa, will present "Native American Language Revival: The Case of Meskwaki."

2013 Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony

For the seventh consecutive year, the entire Cedar Valley community is invited to participate in a Holocaust remembrance ceremony, organized in conjunction with the 2013 National Days of Remembrance (April 7-14).  his year's ceremony, organized by UNI's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education in collaboration with Sons of Jacob Synagogue of Waterloo, the Cedar Valley Interfaith Council, Catholic Parishes of Waterloo and other organizations, will be dedicated to the theme of this years' National Days of Remembrance:  "Never Again:  Heeding the Warning Signs."  This interfaith community event will feature one or more guest speakers, readings, musical performances, candle lighting and other activities.  

Film Screening" "The White Rose"

"The White Rose" (1983), directed by Michael Verhoeven, is about the most important student non-violent resistance effort in Nazi Germany. This film is being shown in conjunction with the "White Rose" traveling exhibit, which is on display at the Grout Museum of  History and Science in Waterloo March 1-May 11, as this year's collaboration between the UNI Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education and the Grout Museum. This film screening is free and open to the public.

Final Thursday Reading Series: Jonathan Stull and Rachel Morgan

March’s Final Thursday Reading Series will feature Jonathan Stull and Rachel Morgan. Stull, a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Upper Iowa University, the University of Northern Iowa and Wartburg College. He has published two books of poetry, Kyrie and Singing the Lake’s Desire. His poetry has also been published in magazines such as The Kansas Quarterly, The North American Review, Christianity and Literature and many others. Rachel Morgan, also a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, lives, teaches and writes in Cedar Falls. Morgan is co-editor of Fire Under the Moon: An Anthology of Slovene Poetry. A chapbook of her poems, Things We Lost in the Fire, was published by Flag Pond Press. Her poems and reviews have been published in Fence, Volt, Denver Quarterly, Hunger Mountain and other journals. Open mic signup is at 7 p.m. and begins at 7:15 p.m. Bring your best five minutes of poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction to share. Singer/songwriters are also welcome and can make use of the Hearst’s grand piano. Stull and Morgan will take the stage at 8 p.m. There will be a brief Q&A as time permits. 

Walt Whitman Live!

As Walt Whitman, re-enactor Bill Koch, adjunct instructor in the Department of Languages and Literatures, performs his multi-media one-man show that explains Whitman's life and times, reciting his poetry. Especially relevant as the country marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War are Whitman's reflections and poetry on the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. Open to the public free of charge.


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