Creative Matters Lecture Series

The Creative Matters lecture series seeks to demonstrate that creativity is not only at the core of all research and discovery, but also central to our human experience. The exciting lineup of invited speakers includes artists, thinkers, builders, and doers who challenge conventional thinking about creativity, science, and artistic expression, and borrow from a range of influences and disciplines in their work.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon, writer


Friday, October 16, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT
Online Event
Co-sponsored by the Carver College of Medicine and the Non-Fiction Writing Program


“Power and Bodies of Art”

Join award-winning author Kiese Laymon in a conversation with child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Catharyn Turner, moderated by writer Darius Stewart, as they consider the intersection of story and power, and what it means for our bodies.

In the words of Viet Thanh Nguyen, “Literature and power cannot be separated.” Story and power cannot be separated. If equity is our pursuit, we must also strive to understand how power relates to the stories that are told about us, the stories we tell about ourselves, and the consequences in the world, including access to humane, equitable healthcare. This has never been more urgent at this moment of converging public health crises, a global pandemic and an antiracist reckoning.

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times.

This event is co-sponsored by Creative Matters and the Carver College of Medicine. It is a part of the Art and the Pursuit of Social Justice series.

Michael Dinwiddie

Michael Dinwiddie, playwright


Friday, February 19, 2021
5:30 PM CDT
Online Event


“Castoff Treasures: The Artist/Scholar Model in the 21st Century”

Register for the virtual event: https://uiowa.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6_dL0GrUS9KsSbAyUs01XQ

Scholars share knowledge and explore new ways of thinking through books, articles, lectures and monographs.  Artists likewise illuminate pathways into our humanity with the visual and performing arts. What is the artist/scholar model and where was it developed?  Is such a configuration necessary in modern society?  What is lost or gained with a bifurcation of these roles?  And how does the artist/scholar model help us discern value and worth in social action and activism?

Michael D. Dinwiddie is a playwright and associate professor in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.  A dramatist and composer whose works have been produced in New York, regional, and educational theater, he has served as playwright-in-residence at Michigan State University, Florida A&M University, St. Louis University and La Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and a Walt Disney Fellowship at Touchstone Pictures, among others.  In 2018 Michael was inducted into the College of Fellows at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Black Theatre Network.

This event is a part of the Art and the Pursuit of Social Justice series.

photo courtesy of D’Ambrose Boyd

Find resources associated with Michael Dinwiddie’s lecture here.