Fields of Opportunity

Fields of Opportunity

Records of African American Excellence

Friday October 21, 2016

3-6pm Iowa City Public Library

The creation of Invisible Hawkeyes: African Americans at the University of Iowa During the Long Civil Rights Era reveals how inspired collaborators can do special things.  Through two panels, “Record of African American Excellence” will clarify the consequences of such collaboration.

The structure of Invisible Hawkeyes combines scholarly chapters and student testimonials.  Echoing that form, this events allows academics and former attendees to offer their perceptions on being black at Iowa circa the 1930s to the 1960s.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies sponsored this program.

About the Contributors

Scholarly Roundtable

richard-breauxRichard M. Breaux is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic and Racial Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. His work has appeared in the Journal of African American History and the History of Education Quarterly.

kathleen-edwardsKathleen A. Edwards is Senior Curator of the University of Iowa Museum of Art. She has curated over 80 exhibitions including Lil Picard and Counterculture New York (2010) and New Forms: The Avant-Garde Meets the American Scene, 1934-1949, (2013).

brian-hallstoosBrian Hallstoos is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Dubuque. He is curator and editor of the exhibition and catalog Racing Past the Color Line: Sol Butler and Paul Robeson in Collegiate Sports (2014) and Ahead of the Curve: The First Century of African American Experiences (2015).  He is also  author and producer of the one-act play Sol & Paul (2014).

lenaLena Hill is Senior Associate to the President and Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Iowa.  She is the author of Visualizing Blackness and the Creation of the African American Literary Tradition (Cambridge, 2014) and the co-author of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: A Reference Guide (Greenwood, 2008).

michaelMichael Hill is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Iowa.  He is the author of The Ethics of Sagger: Prizewinning African American Novels, 1977-1993 (Ohio State University Press, 2013) and the co-author of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: A Reference Guide (Greenwood, 2008).

Student Reflections Roundtable

dora-martin-berryDora Martin Berry worked for twenty-nine years as a licensed social worker in a school district just outside of Princeton, New Jersey.  After that experience, she took a position in a small, private mental health agency.  In 2013, she retired from social work, and since her retirement, she has volunteered with women who are transitioning from addictions.

john-callahanProfessor John Callahan was a close friend of Fanny Ellison, a 1936 UI alumna, and is Literary Executor to the Ralph Ellison Estate.  He is the editor for Ellison’s posthumously released novel, Juneteenth (1999), as well as the fuller version of Ellison’s unfinished second novel, Three Days Before the Shooting (2010).  In addition to his work with Ellison, Callahan has written or edited numerous volumes related to African-American literature, with a particular emphasis on 20th century literature.  Callahan is the Morgan S. Odell Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Lewis & Clark College.

dianna-pennyDianna Penny has retired from her full-time position at the University of Iowa’s Medical School; however, she still works there on a part-time basis.  Away from campus, she finds plenty to keep her busy.  In additon to playing the piano and the organ at Bethel AME Church, she also shares her painting talents at fairs, festivals, and exhibitions throughout Iowa.  Her essay, “One Christmas Eve,” appeared in The Iowa City Press-Citizen on December 25, 2014.

ted-wheelerTed Wheeler coached the University of Iowa track team from 1972 to 1996.  After his retirement, he became a major fundraising force behind what are now known as the Ted Wheeler Scholarships. Through these awards, he continues to mentor and support University of Iowa students.  This support reinforces his belief that individuals should have both a fit body and a fit mind.

About the Book