SLIS Graduate Kathrina Litchfield and the Incarcerated in Iowa Symposium

SLIS Graduate Kathrina Litchfield and the Incarcerated in Iowa Symposium

**UPDATE: Link to this Daily Iowan article featured on 09/08/14 reporting on the weekend event!**

Who anticipated that what started as the kernel of an idea whose time had come would grow into a bigger-than-anyone-expected and much-anticipated symposium? Now working to seat overflow attendees in adjacent conference space and live-streaming (as well as archiving) events due to demand, the Incarcerated in Iowa Symposium has attracted the attention of a unique group of attendees – prison librarians traveling to Iowa City from as far away as Massachusetts and Oregon – who have a common interest in prison library service, and who will help extend the conversation around prison librarianship here in Iowa.

Kathrina Litchfield, a joint founder and organizer of the UI Prison Projects Coalition, obtained her MLIS from the University of Iowa last May, is very much invested in this work; her master’s thesis is entitled “A critical impasse: literacy practice in American prisons and the future of transformative reading.” Now a doctoral student in Language, Literacy, & Culture in the College of Education, she still feels strong ties to her SLIS home base.

“I'm the only MLIS in my LLC cohort,” Kathrina notes, “and I center my literacy pedagogy around library service. Some of my ‘students’ failed or were failed by the school system, but librarians have the advantage of supporting literacy engagement without the judgment that comes from grades or a pass/fail system, and have the freedom to encourage beneficial skills for their own sake.”

Explore the links between prisons and communities through this day of lectures and discussions at the University of Iowa.

Incarcerated in Iowa Symposium

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 6 starting at 10 AM. Plus, a free film screening of Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jake Hall, followed by a Q&A with the director, Edgar Barens, Friday, September 5 at 7pm.

DETAILS: Free and open to the public.


See to read about the symposium, view archived recordings of the day's events or to explore related links.

Our featured speakers include John Baldwin, the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections, and Carolyn Colvin, Associate Professor in the College of Education. We are honored to have Dr. Linda Snetselaar, Associate Provost of Outreach & Engagement, provide our welcoming address. Our symposium features presentations from engaged scholars across the campus. Together, we have formed the University of Iowa Prison Projects Coalition, and we look forward to moving together in positive directions for the greater good of our community.

The event, and its accompanying organization, the UI Prison Projects Coalition, aims to forward publicly engaged interdisciplinary scholarship and foster communications and dialogue between the DOC /prison community, the university, and local Iowa communities. It is founded and organized by two graduate students, Gemma Goodale-Sussen, Department of English, and Kathrina Litchfield, College of Education - Language, Literacy, and Culture.