Symposium Bios

Jenny Barker-Devine
Associate Professor of History,
Illinois College
Jenny Barker-Devine is an Associate Professor of History at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. She earned his PhD at Iowa State University in 2008. She has published numerous articles in women’s history and her book, On Behalf of the Family Farm: Iowa Farm Women’s Activism Since 1945 (University of Iowa Press, 2013), details the emergence of agrarian feminism in the American Midwest. Her current project, American Athena: Cultivating Victorian Womanhood on the Midwestern Frontier, explores community, female education, and women’s activism in the nineteenth century Midwest. Barker-Devine also has an interest in archives and public history. In recognition of her work, in 2014, the NEH awarded Illinois College an NEH Challenge Grant to construct a state-of-the-art archival facility. Email: jenny.barkerdevine@mail.ic.edu
Rekha Basu
Columnist,
Des Moines Register
Rekha Basu is a Des Moines Register opinion columnist whose commentaries are distributed nationally and internationally by Tribune Content Agency. She has worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist at newspapers in New York, Florida and Iowa.

She writes about politics, culture, human rights and social justice, and all issues that concern women. She’s a frequent public speaker and has appeared on national television with NBC’s Tom Brokaw, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, CNN with Carol Costello and Erin Burnett, CNN International with Richard Quest, PBS New hour with Gwen Ifill, C-SPAN Book TV and National Public Radio. She served as moderator for several seasons of the Smart Talk women’s lecture series.

Born in India and raised in New York, New Delhi, Libya and Thailand, Rekha Basu brings a global and multicultural perspective to her columns. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, a master’s in political economy from Goddard-Cambridge Graduate School, and a bachelor’s in sociology from Brandeis University. She got her International Baccalaureate degree from the United Nations International School in New York.

Her columns have earned her a variety of journalism and social justice awards including master columnist from the Iowa Newspaper Association, the Vivian Castleberry award for writings on women’s lives,the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame’s Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice, the Des Moines YWCA’s Mary Louise Smith and woman of the year awards, and awards from One Iowa, Friends of Iowa Civil Rights, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Iowa Interfaith Alliance, the Iowa United Nations Association and the Iowa Farmers Union. She has an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Grinnell College. She has been a Des Moines Business Record Woman of Influence. She served as 2015 grand marshal for the Iowa Pride parade.

She is the author of the book, “Finding Her Voice,” a compilation of columns about women published by The Des Moines Register. Email: rbasu@dmreg.com

John Culshaw
University Librarian,
University of Iowa
John Culshaw has served as the university librarian since 2013 and is responsible for leading the UI Libraries in providing information services, collections, and spaces to the university community and beyond. In addition to his campus duties, Culshaw serves as a director-at-large on the Board of the Association of College and Research Libraries and also as member and Vice Chair/Treasurer of the Board of Governors of the HathiTrust Digital Library.  He received a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and holds an MS in information studies from Drexel University. Email: john-culshaw@uiowa.edu
Catherine Denial
Professor of History,
Knox College
Cate Denial is the Bright Professor of History, Chair of the History department, and director of the Bright Institute at Knox College in Galesburg, IL.  Her current research examines the early nineteenth-century experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing in Upper Midwestern Ojibwe and missionary cultures, with a focus on the politics of Ojibwe resistance to missionary goals, as expressed through the bodies of children.  This research is an outgrowth of Cate’s previous book, Making Marriage, which focused on marriage in Minnesota before 1850, particularly as a means of understanding gender, sexuality, race and nation-building in the region.  Cate has published and consults on pedagogical innovation, was a participant in the 2017 Digital Pedagogy Institute, and is a member of the Educational Advisory Board of the Digital Public Library of America.  She is also a member of the Advisory Board to the Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Iowa.

You can find her blog at catherinedenial.org/blog.  Email: cdenial@knox.edu.

Claire Fox
Professor of English,
University of Iowa
Claire F. Fox is Professor in the Departments of English and Spanish & Portuguese and Chair of English. Her interests include literary and cultural studies of the Americas, Latina/o American literature and culture, Mexican and U.S.-Mexican border arts and culture, visual culture, and cultural policy. She is the author of Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (Minnesota 2013) and The Fence and the River: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (Minnesota 1999). With Omar Valerio-Jiménez and Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez, she edited the Latina/o Midwest Reader (Illinois, Latinos in Chicago and the Midwest series, 2017). Currently she is a co-principal investigator on “Building Sustainable Worlds: Latinx Placemaking in the Midwest,” a project funded by the Humanities Without Walls consortium. Her current research focuses on contemporary art and performance at heritage sites in the Americas. Email: claire-fox@uiowa.edu
John Fry
Professor of History,
Trinity Christian College
John J. Fry is Professor of History, Chair of the Department of History, and an Academic Dean at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois.  He believes that history enables us to listen to the voices of the past. “This is important for a number of reasons: Those voices enable us to trace why the present is the way that it is; listening to those voices helps us to engage people who don’t think the way we do; and people in the past have much to teach us about how to view the world and how to live a meaningful life.” In addition to rural history and the American West, Fry is also interested in the history of print culture, the American Revolution, and how historians approach history from a Christian perspective. His current research project concerns the faith of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House books. Email: john.fry@trnty.edu
Jeannette Gabriel
PhD candidate
(College of Education, University of Iowa)
Graduate Assistant,
Jewish Women in Iowa Project
(Iowa Women’s Archives)
Jeannette Gabriel is a graduate assistant in charge of building the Jewish Women in Iowa Project.  Over the past four years, Jeannette has acquired about 50 collections representing the lives of individual Jewish women as well as religious organizations.   The individual collections represent a wide array of experiences including religious and secular families, urban and rural lifestyles, a range of educational backgrounds and participation in a diverse set of civic and political organizations.  One focus of the project has been to locate Jewish families who lived in very small towns and were often the only Jews in the area and document their experiences of integration and isolation.

Jeannette is a PhD candidate in the department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education.  Her dissertation that builds on long term work training secondary history teachers is titled, “I Can’t See Race: Examining History Teachers’ Use of Images through the Teaching American History (TAH) Grant to Study African-American History.” Email: jeannette-gabriel@uiowa.edu

Matt Gilchrist
Adjunct Lecturer,
Department of Rhetoric,
University of Iowa
Prior to joining the Rhetoric faculty as a lecturer in 2011, Matt served six years as the assistant director of the University of Iowa Writing Center where he served as acting director in 2008 and 2014. He earned his MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 2004. His scholarly interests include writing center pedagogy, online writing instruction, collaborative writing, socio-cultural approaches to literacy education, writing program administration, and creative writing in diverse contexts.Matt focuses on public engagement through his teaching and volunteering.  Students in Matt’s classes have partnered in service-learning projects with the Johnson County Crisis Center, Children of Promise, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, University of Iowa Child Life Services, the Iowa Youth Writing Project, and the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. Matt has led and co-led creative writing workshops for teens in the Iowa City Public Library, for incarcerated men in the Iowa Medical and Classification Center, for people experiencing barriers to stability in the Iowa City Shelter House, and for university students interested in informal writing peer support in the Writing Center.

Matt regularly presents scholarship at regional, national, and international conferences including most recently at the Midwest Writing Centers Association, the International Writing Centers Association, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and Computers and Writing. He is a founding member of the Online Writing Centers Consortium. He recently served on the board of the International Writing Centers Association. Email: matthew-gilchrist@uiowa.edu

Lisa Heineman
Professor of History,
University of Iowa
Lisa Heineman has been at the UI since 1999 and teaches courses on Germany, Europe, gender, and human rights. Her research has examined gender, war, and memory; welfare states in comparative perspective; the significance of marital status for women; the erotica industry; gender and human rights; and pregnancy and infant loss; and the politics of maternal health care.  She currently serves as the Chair of the Department of History. Email: elizabeth-heineman@uiowa.edu
Teresa Mangum
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
Teresa Mangum is a professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and English at the University of Iowa. She directs the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, which supports individual faculty and encourages creative collaborations that connect artists, scholars, and researchers. Mangum’s research includes best practices in publicly engaged scholarship and collaboration, 19th-century British literature, and the power of art and literature to negotiate social conflict and change, in particular regarding our experiences of aging and of human and animal relationships. She edited A Cultural History of Women: Volume 5: The Age of Empire, 1800-1920 and authored Married, Middlebrow, and Militant: Sarah Grand and the New Woman Novel. She co-edits a book series “Humanities and Public Life” for the University of Iowa Press with Anne Valk. Email: teresa-mangum@uiowa.edu
Pilar Marcé
PhD candidate, College of Education,
University of Iowa
Pilar Marcé is a lecturer at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa. She is also a PhD candidate (ABD) at the program of Foreign Language Education at the College of Education (UI). She teaches Translation Workshop: English into Spanish, Business Spanish, Writing in Spanish, and other courses. She has BA in Translation and Interpretation (Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), a MA in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (Purdue University, IN), and a MACI (Conference Interpretation) (MIIS, Monterey, CA). She has worked as a freelance translator in Spain, and as a medical interpreter at the Stanford Hospital and Clinics (Palo Alto, CA). She is the co-author of several textbooks of Spanish for Specific Purposes (Business, Tourism, and Healthcare). Email: pilar-marce@uiowa.edu
Kären Mason
Curator, Iowa Women’s Archives
Kären M. Mason is the Curator of the Louise Noun–Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa Libraries, a position she has held since the establishment of the Archives in 1992. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College, a master’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota, and, in 1991, a PhD in American history with a cognate in archival administration from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation was entitled “Testing the Boundaries: Women, Politics, and Gender Roles in Chicago, 1880-1930.”

Kären is a native Minnesotan but claims Iowa roots by way of three grandparents who grew up in Iowa before heading north.  Before coming to the University of Iowa, she was an archivist at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.  Her involvement with women’s history dates to the late 1970s, when she worked on the pathbreaking Women’s History Sources survey at the University of Minnesota and co-authored a Women’s History Tour of the Twin Cities.  She is the author or co-author of several articles on women’s history and on women’s archives, and is currently writing about the Women’s History Sources survey.   With University Archivist David McCartney, she curated an online exhibit entitled “LGBT Life in Iowa City, Iowa: 1967-2010″ which won honorable mention in an OutHistory.org competition in 2010.

The Iowa Women’s Archives opened in October 1992 with a modest but rich set of collections on the women’s movement and on women in politics originally acquired by Bob McCown for the Special Collections Department.  Since that time, Kären has worked to acquire collections that document the broad range of activities of Iowa women.  She has been particularly concerned with building collections that reflect the history of groups that tend to be underrepresented in archives.  To that end she has overseen projects to preserve the history of Iowa’s African-American women, rural women, and Latinas.   The collections of the Archives have provided rich resources for students, faculty, and the general public, and are the basis for digital collections on a variety of topics including girls’ and women’s sports, women artists, the suffrage movement in Iowa, and African American women students at the University of Iowa. Email: karen-mason@uiowa.edu

Greg Prickman
Head, Special Collections Dept.,
University of Iowa Libraries
As head of Special Collections at the University of Iowa, Greg Prickman is responsible for the administration of a remarkable collection of rare books, manuscripts and archives that document the history of the book from the medieval era to the present and includes a substantial collection of artist books.

Greg’s personal interests run heavily towards the earliest hand printed books. He is the creator of the Atlas of Early Printing a digital project to visualize and map the incunabula era in Europe. Under Greg’s leadership Special Collections has been involved in many of the UI Libraries digital initiatives, such as the DIY History transcription site. He also teaches classes on the History of the Book for the UI Center for the Book, from broad survey-style Introduction classes to more intensive sessions on early printing. Email: greg-prickman@uiowa.edu

Catherine Rymph
Associate Professor of History,
University of Missouri
Catherine Rymph is Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and as a graduate student worked at the Iowa Women’s Archives, processing collections even before the archive opened. That work led her to the subject that become her first book, Republican Women: Feminism and Conservatism from Suffrage through the Rise of the New Right (University of North Carolina Press, 2006).  Her second book, Raising Government Children: A History of Foster Care and the American Welfare State (University of North Carolina Press, 2017) has just been published. Email: rymphc@missouri.edu
Katrina Sanders
Associate Professor,
College of Education,
University of Iowa
Dr. Sanders is a Louisiana native and former public high school teacher. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research examines American race relations, African American education, and Catholic education. Email: katrina-m-sanders@uiowa.edu
Leslie Schwalm
Professor of History,
University of Iowa
Leslie Schwalm is a historian of U.S. women, U.S. slavery, emancipation, Civil War, and Reconstruction.  She holds appointments in both the Department of History and the Department  of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.  Her books include A Hard FIght for We: Women’s Transition From Slavery to Freedom (1997) and Emancipation’s Diaspora: Race and Reconstruction in the Upper Midwest (2009), and her articles have been published in such journals as Slavery and Abolition, the Journal of the Civil War Era, Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Civil War History, the Journal of Women’s History, and the Annals of Iowa.  She is currently a Distinguished Lecturer with the Organization of American Historians, and has received fellowships from the NEH, the New York Public Library, and the State Historical Society of Iowa.  She has been recognized by the University of Iowa as a Collegiate Scholar (2010) and a Faculty Scholar (2000-03). Email: leslie-schwalm@uiowa.edu
Diane Williams
PhD candidate,
American Studies/Sport Studies,
University of Iowa
Diane Williams is a doctoral candidate in American Studies/Sport Studies, with a certificate in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Her dissertation is focused on the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), highlighting the unique contributions of AIAW to intercollegiate sport, women’s history and sport history through an examination of their student-centered philosophy and practices. While at Iowa, Diane has taught Understanding American Cultures and Women, Sport and Culture and has presented her research at annual meetings of the North American Society for Sport History and the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. She has also worked with the Obermann Center Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy, as a Senior Fellow and Advisory Board Member.

Diane has degrees in Exercise and Sport Studies (M.S., Smith College), Social Justice Education (M.Ed., University of Massachusetts, Amherst), and was an Associate Producer on the Media Education Foundation’s documentary, “Not Just a Game: Power, Politics, and American Sports,” based on the work of sports journalist Dave Zirin. A former collegiate athlete and coach, roller derby player, and seventh grade geography teacher, Diane brings an eclectic and interdisciplinary background to her scholarship and teaching. Email: diane-williams@uiowa.edu

Sharon E. Wood
Professor of History,
University of Nebraska-Omaha
Sharon Wood earned a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Iowa. Her award-winning book, The Freedom of the Streets: Work, Citizenship, and Sexuality in a Gilded Age City, studied conflicts over working women’s access to urban space in the late nineteenth century. Examining respectable working women and prostitutes as fellow residents of downtown neighborhoods, the book reveals how working women embraced political activism to shape public policy on issues like rape and prostitution. This led to conflicts with politically powerful men who sought to protect men’s access to prostitutes. Using Davenport, Iowa, as an example of a mid-sized city struggling with these issues, The Freedom of the Streets explores such topics as regulated brothels, the Association for the Advancement of Women, and the reform work of the Catholic Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

Dr. Wood is currently writing a life history of Priscilla Baltimore, a slave who liberated herself and became a leader in the free black community of St. Louis and southern Illinois.

Raised in Virginia and Texas, Dr. Wood now considers herself a Midwesterner. She has been a visiting professor of history at the University of Iowa, the University of Chicago, and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and she spent a year as a resident fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. Email: swood@unomaha.edu