April 12 Humanities Festival will examine how diverse cultures have shaped our state
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

From Bettendorf, Camanche, and Elkader to Jamaica and Rome, far-flung corners of the world have found their way into the names of Iowa cities and towns. At the second annual Iowa Humanities Festival, scholars from across the state will share the connections present between Iowa and the globe.

“A World at Home | A Home in the World,” will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the historic Salisbury House in Des Moines. A closing panel and reception will be held at the Des Moines Art Center.

The Festival is open to the public. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased on the Salisbury House website. The ticket price includes a box lunch, closing reception, and access to all events.

Throughout the day, guests can choose among topics and speakers and join tours of the Salisbury House, a 42-room manor made from treasures that its initial owners gathered from around the world.

Topics include the controversial evolution of a mural in the Cedar Rapids Federal Courthouse, stories from Vietnamese immigrants, and the making of Chai tea, the Indian national drink.

"The Festival offers a wonderful opportunity to share stories about often overlooked communities in Iowa. The presenters have turned up fascinating examples of the diverse cultures that have shaped the history of our state," says Teresa Mangum, University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies director and festival co-organizer.

The Iowa Humanities Festival began in 2013 to bring together Iowa-based scholars, museum directors, librarians, and personal collectors for a public event designed to celebrate the continuing importance of art, literature, libraries, and museums, and to provide thoughtful reflection on the state’s cultural heritage.

Inspired by the long-running Chicago Humanities Festival, this year’s Festival is curated by Barbara Ching (Iowa State University), Jeff Fleming (Des Moines Art Center), Shuchi Kapila (Grinnell College), Mangum (University of Iowa), Craig Owens (Drake University), and Eric Smith (Salisbury House). The event is a collaboration of Drake University, Grinnell College, Iowa State University, the UI, the Des Moines Art Center, and Salisbury House.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Erin Hackathorn at the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at erin-hackathorn@uiowa.edu or 319-335-4034 in advance.