Internet, technology the focus of spring 2017 Theme Semester
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The University of Iowa’s spring 2017 Theme Semester, Our Lives Online, is set to explore topics related to the Internet and technology.

Our Lives Online will look at how technological advancements have influenced the way we work and connect with the world around us. Numerous activities available to campus and community members will examine topics related to social media, trends in big data, and new and rapidly-changing technology.

What’s next?

The spring 2018 Theme Semester will focus on sustainability, and we’re looking for activity ideas. The call for themes for 2019 is open as well. Visit the Theme Semester website to learn more.

“Each Theme Semester, we bring together many different colleges, disciplines, and community partners to study and look at a common topic,” says Linda Snetselaar, associate provost for outreach and engagement. “Our Lives Online will provide the opportunity to examine in a unified, holistic approach the ways in which technology has impacted our lives. We are thrilled to have these activities, reflections, and dialogs ongoing on our campus and across the state.”

Theme Semester explores its topic through academic courses, events and activities, and educational opportunities. More than 120 courses related to Our Lives Online have been self-identified by UI faculty and staff, more than 12 marquee events have been curated by the central planning committee, and additional activities will continue to be offered by campus and community partners, adding to the already varied lineup.

Our Lives Online begins in partnership with International Programs’ WorldCanvass from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Voxman Music Building, with a pre-show reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. WorldCanvass participants will explore Our Lives Online topics with host Joan Kjaer. The next day, Jan. 18, author, speaker, and digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi will present a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Human Rights Week.

Other marquee activities of the Our Lives Online Theme Semester include:

  • Feb. 6: Patrisse Cullors, activist and co-creator of the hashtag and movement #BlackLivesMatter, will speak to campus and community members about her work as a
  • Feb. 13: Co-founder of Uber Oscar Salazar will share his telecommunications and engineering expertise.
  • March 3: Both campus and community are invited to participate in the Day of Unplugging, which encourages disconnecting from technology for a day.
  • April 8: a collaboration with Mission Creek Festival’s ALT (Art + Life + Tech) series
  • April 20: Architect and designer Neri Oxman will give a public lecture about the innovation of design.
  • May 4–5: a partnership with EntreFEST, Iowa’s largest entrepreneurship and innovation conference

For a complete list of Theme Semester activities, visit Theme Semester is a program of the Provost’s Office of Outreach and Engagement.