Speakers 2010-2011

Hollowing Out the Middle



Author Patrick Carr discussed his book Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain and What it Means for America. Carr and his associate Maria J. Kefalas moved to Iowa in 2001 and investigated the characteristics of "stayers", those who remain in their hometowns; "seekers", those who are pushed out of their hometowns to bigger and better things; and "returners", those who briefly leave to obtain a degree and then stay in their hometowns.

Peace Through Corn

Peace through Corn

Actors Mike Cornelison and John Earl Robinson performed Peace Through Corn, a one-act play by Cynthia Mercati about the friendship between Roswell Garst and Nikita Krushchev.

"Peace Through Corn brings alive the amazing, true relation that developed during the late 1950s between a brash Iowa farmer and a powerful communist dictator...Garst and Khrushchev forged a unique human bond based on their mutual fascination with agricultural innovation, as well as their shared love of a good laugh and a ferocious debate."                                                    -- Humanities Iowa Press Release

Neighboring on the Air




Evelyn Birkby described her experience at Simpson and her life as an author, radio homemaker, and newspaper columnist.  As a newspaper columnist and radio personality for 60 years, Birkby’s voice has been heard throughout the Midwest. She has written ten books, including cookbooks, genealogies, and histories.

Postville, U.S.A




Mark Grey and Michele Devlin, authors of Postville, U.S.A described the unique town of Postville, IA and the raid on its Kosher meat packing plant by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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