Monthly Archives: October 2015

Filmmaker Kuwornu will Discuss Immigration Documentary

Independent filmmaker Fred Kudjo Kuwornu will screen his documentary 18 Ius Soli Oct. 29 as part of the “Reel to Real: Directors Discuss” series at Illinois Wesleyan University.

kuwornu-fred-kudjoThe film follows 18 individuals who were born in Italy to immigrant parents, but who are not entitled to Italian citizenship despite living in Italy their entire lives. As a result, they must wait until they are 18 to begin the complicated path towards citizenship, one that does not always end happily.

“I chose this film because it allows for many discussions that parallel discussions about immigration and citizenship in the United States,” said Associate Professor of French & Italian Scott Sheridan, who is also director of the International Studies program, a sponsor of the film. “Even the title of the film is provocative, in that the concept of Ius Soli vs. Ius Sanguinis calls into question the fundamental right to citizenship: is it based on where one is born, or one’s birth heritage?”

Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian activist-producer-writer-director. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and mass media. After college, Kuwornu moved to Rome where he began working as a TV show writer for RAI 1. He has produced several works with his production company, Struggle Filmworks. In 2008, after working with the production crew of Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna (2008), Kuwornu decided to research the unknown story of the 92nd Infantry “Buffalo Soldiers” Division, a World War II African-American segregated combat unit. The resulting film, Inside Buffalo, was awarded “Best Documentary” at the Black Berlin International Cinema Festival, and has been shown at the Pentagon, the Library of Congress, and many other venues.

The showing of 18 Ius Soli will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 in The Ames Library’s Beckman Auditorium. A question and answer session will immediately follow. The event is free and open to the public.

A part of the University’s intellectual theme “Nation(s) Divided?” the event is also sponsored by the International Film Series and co-sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice and the 3D Series.

By Emily Phelps ’19

African Culture Week

African Culture Week will be celebrated beginning Oct. 26 at Illinois Wesleyan University. Events surrounding various aspects of African culture and tradition will include a question and answer session with a “Lost Boy of Sudan” Peter Magai Bul and human rights activist and author Seenaa Jimjimo on Oct. 30 from 9-9:50 a.m. in State Farm Hall 103.

Other events for African Culture Week include a screening of Black Orpheus on Oct. 28; presentations by faculty from Illinois State University, Purdue University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and a presentation entitled “Cannes-Brulee/Canboulay/St. Domingue/New Orleans, 1791-1812” by Professor Emeritus Robert W. Bray on Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. at Hansen Student Center.

At 4pm on Thursday, 29 October, Joseph Jordan, director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture & History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will present  Legacies of Africa Symposium: “Race, the Black Nation(s), and the Gendering of the Black Aesthetic in the Diaspora.”

african-culture-weekThe week culminates with African Culture Night on Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. The evening of food and entertainment is hosted by the African Students Association and features master drummer Moussa Bolokada Conde.

The Lost Boys of Sudan is a moniker used to refer to the 20,000 young boys who were displaced or orphaned as a result of the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 – 2005). Peter Magai Bul was one of these. Displaced from his home in 1991, Bul fled with his mother, but after she experienced a leg injury that made it impossible for her to continue, Bul was soon left to fend for himself. Now 34 years old, Bul now runs the Chicago South Sudanese Community Center.

A native of Ethiopia, Jimjimo saw the injustices committed towards Oromos, an ethnic group of Ethiopia, from a young age, particularly those against women. After coming to the United States as a teenager, Jimjimo devoted her life to helping her people in Oromo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s degree in public health and public administration of University of Illinois Springfield. She is the author of The In-Between – An African-Oromo Woman and the American Experience, and has established the Danboobiduu Foundation, which promotes education for Oromia girls, who are often sent to labor at young ages rather than being educated.

African Culture Week is sponsored by African Studies, African Students Association, the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice, Hispanic Studies, International Studies, Latin American Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, SALSA, and Western European Studies. More information on the week’s events can be obtained from Chair of Sociology/Anthropology Rebecca Gearhart at 556-3921.

By Emily Phelps ’19


Gateway Essay Contest Winners

GW essay contest winnersWe are pleased to announce the winners of the annual Best Gateway Essay Contest from 2014-2015.

Every year, Gateway instructors are invited to nominate up to three student essays from their Gateway sections. The papers submitted by students for the contest were evaluated first by teams of Writing Center tutors; the Writing Committee then reviewed these and selected a winner and a runner-up.  The winner will receive $150.00 and the runner-up will receive $75.00.

This year’s winners are:

Winner:  Megan Sperger, for her essay, “The False Idea of Human Nature’s Duality in Strange Case of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde,”  nominated by Adam Woodis from his Gateway section.

Runner-up: Andrew Pichette, for his essay, “The Rise of Boko Haram: An Analysis of Failed Governance”, nominated by Nawragh Chaulagain from his Gateway section.

The Ides Series – Screening the Battle of Actium: Civil War, Erotic Tragedy and the Birth of an Empire

Wednesday, 21 October – Beckman Auditorium, 4pm

Monica Cyrino Professor of Classics

Monica Cyrino
Professor of Classics

Presented by Monica Cyrino, professor of classics at University of New Mexico.

To historians, the story of Antony & Cleopatra is much more than a love story: These lovers teamed up against Antony’s rival, Octavian, the future Roman emperor Augustus, in the great Battle of Actium fought in 31 BC. In this presentation, Prof. Cyrino will analyze several themes used by filmmakers to represent the battle as the momentous “turning point of history” that gave birth to the Roman Empire.

Sponsored by Greek and Roman Studies; a “Nation(s) Divided?” theme event.

Filmmaker Lee to Screen Environmental Documentary

Director and writer Wendy J.N. Lee will screen her documentary Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey Oct. 21 at Illinois Wesleyan University at 7pm in the CNS C-101. The film follows 700 people as they hike across the Himalayas to communicate a message of environmental awareness in a region devastated by global warming. Village by village, the trekkers spread their message and lead by example. They emerge from the trek with nearly half a ton of plastic litter strapped to their backs.

Wendy J.N. Lee will visit campus to discuss her award-winning documentary.

Wendy J.N. Lee will visit campus to discuss her award-winning documentary.

Pad Yatra is Lee’s feature film debut. The documentary won several awards including the Official Selection of the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2013, as well as Best Documentary at both the Houston Indian Film Festival in 2012 and the Silent River Film Festival in 2013.

The screening will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 101 of the Center for Natural Sciences Building at Illinois Wesleyan, with a discussion with Lee to follow. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by Environmental Studies, Religion, Asian Studies (IS), Development Studies (IS), Sociology and Anthropology, the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice, the Chaplain’s Office at IWU, the Sierra Student Coalition, and the JWP Audubon Society. The event will take place as part of the Nation(s) Divided? intellectual theme at Illinois Wesleyan.

By Lydia Hartlaub ’16

Saying Goodbye to President & Mrs. Wilson

Dr. Richard F. Wilson took office as Illinois Wesleyan's 18th president on July 1, 2004. A native of West Virginia, Wilson earned his B.S. Degree from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia, where he majored in education and mathematics. He pursued advanced degrees at the University of Michigan, where he earned both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Higher Education. In 1978, Wilson began a 26-year tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, having held the positions of Associate Chancellor for Development and Vice President of the University of Illinois Foundation. He is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Beta Phi national honor societies. Photo taken 9 April 2005

Dr. Richard F. Wilson took office as Illinois Wesleyan’s 18th president on July 1, 2004. Photo taken 9 April 2005

Richard F. Wilson has served as President of Illinois Wesleyan University since 2004. Over the last 11 years, Wilson has led two strategic planning efforts, the first completed in 2006 and the second completed in 2014. He also strengthened the University’s financial health over the course of a very challenging decade economically.

These efforts have resulted in progress on many important initiatives, including increased attention to assessment of student learning in academic programs; expansion of efforts related to community engagement, global awareness, and social justice; growth in domestic and international student diversity; and increased commitment to sustainability, including construction of the first LEED certified building on the Illinois Wesleyan campus.

He made the Transforming Lives fund-raising campaign a priority and helped secure more than $141 million toward the campaign’s original goal of $125 million. The results of the campaign included a dramatic increase in support for student scholarships, 20 new endowed professorships for the faculty, and several new facilities on campus, including State Farm Hall, Minor Myers Welcome Center, Joslin Atrium, Egbers Plaza, Tucci Stadium, and Joyce Eichhorn Ames Art Building Rotunda.


The campus community is invited to a farewell reception for Dick and Pat Wilson. There will be remarks at 4 p.m. in the Joslin Atrium on Tuesday, 20 October.

As we prepare to bid President and Mrs. Wilson adieu, let’s take a look back over his presidency, through the eyes of IWU’s historical records, held in The Ames Library.

President Wilson’s inauguration is announced in The Argus…

The Argus welcomes President Wilson…

Find more articles relating to President and Mrs. Wilson through our digital Archives holdings, available in the following.

Wesleyana Yearbooks

The Argus and other student and alumni publications

Historical Photographs

“Beyond the White Negro: Empathy and Anti-Racist Reading”

Beckman Auditorium, Monday, 10/12, 4pm

9780252079948_lgKimberly Davis, associate professor of English at Bridgewater State University, will give a talk related to her recent book,Beyond the White Negro: Empathy and Anti-Racist Reading. The book examines how white readers engage with African American texts (through book clubs, listening to hip hop, watching films) in ways that are both problematic and can potentially lead to genuine self-examination and change. Sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta and The English Society.


From the University of Illinois Press: “Critics often characterize white consumption of African American culture as a form of theft that echoes the fantasies of 1950s-era bohemians, or “White Negroes,” who romanticized black culture as anarchic and sexually potent. InBeyond the White Negro, Kimberly Chabot Davis claims such a view fails to describe the varied politics of racial crossover in the past fifteen years.

Drawing on her background in the study of cross-racial empathy, Kimberly Chabot Davis analyzes how white engagement with African American novels, film narratives, and hip-hop can help encourage anti-racist attitudes that may catalyze social change and racial justice. Though acknowledging the oft-bemoaned failure to establish cross-racial empathy, Davis’s study of ethnographic data from book clubs and college classrooms shows how a combination of engagement with African American culture and informal or formal pedagogical support can lead to the kinds of white self-examination that make empathy possible. The result is a groundbreaking text that challenges the trend of focusing on society’s failures in achieving cross-racial empathy and instead explores possible avenues for change.

“Davis’s book is a timely analysis of the relationship between audience reception and antiracist action. . . . Davis’s argument goes beyond the claim that educating whites in African American history and culture can lead to antiracist reading practices to say that antiracist reading is one part of white engagement with African American culture more broadly.”–Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History

“[Davis’s] readings are astute and innovative. Her study of the cross-racial empathy of white rappers and her comparison/contrast of Do the Right Thing and Crash are especially effective. With a solid scholarly foundation, she takes real risks in her thinking about race.”–Cecilia Konchar Farr, author of Reading Oprah: How Oprah’s Book Club Changed the Way America Reads

Kimberly Chabot Davis is an associate professor of English at Bridgewater State University. She is the author ofPostmodern Texts and Emotional Audiences.”

Titan Green Over Everything!

Titan Green Over Everything! – Homecoming 2015 and beyond

"Pajama Games" Homecoming 1928.

“Pajama Games” Homecoming 1928.

The University Archives contains records of our university history. Among the Unviersity Archives collections are historical photographs, giving us the chance to see how Homecoming has been celebrated through the years. During the 2011 Homecoming, a time capsule that had been sealed in the old Sheean Library during the 1967 Homecoming was opened, with lots of goodies inside. Read here for more contents.

The Archives has selected a small portion of historical materials to digitize. Click to view and search:

Wesleyana Yearbooks

The Argus and other student and alumni publications

Historical Photographs

The IWU Bulletins (1902-1986)

IWU Catalogue of Courses (1851-1954)

We also have a variety of materials in Digital Commons. These include publications (John Wesley Powell Research Conference materials, Honors Projects, meeting minutes and other permanent records of IWU), some of which do not exist physically in the Archives. Student works in Digital Commons are recommended by faculty or through peer reviewed editorial processes.


Homecoming parade floats on Main Street to celebrate IWU Homecoming 1958.

IWU homecoming celebrations (unknown date between 1970 and 1980)

IWU homecoming celebrations (unknown date between 1970 and 1980)


Titan cheerleaders take part in the IWU homecoming celebrations 1971.

Titan cheerleaders take part in the IWU homecoming celebrations 1971.