Forum to address immigrant and immigration issues in Iowa
Author Stephen G. Bloom of The Oxford Project to be keynote speaker

For immediate release April 2, 2008


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) –The Iowa Studies Center at Des Moines Area Community College will host the 2008 Iowa Studies Forum: A Celebration of Iowa’s History, Science, Politics, Literature & Art April 11.

With the theme, “The World in Iowa: Immigrants and Immigration,” the forum begins at 8 a.m. in Building 7 on DMACC’s Ankeny campus with an address by Dr. Mark Grey, director of the Iowa Center for Immigration Leadership and Integration. The forum also features breakout sessions about Iowa’s historical, genealogical and archaeological interests regarding immigrants and immigration, and a luncheon with former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.

The forum moves to the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust in Des Moines, for afternoon events, which include a panel discussion about the future of immigration in Iowa, a reception and dinner with keynote speaker, Professor Stephen G. Bloom, author of Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America (2000).

Registration fees are $20 for the morning session, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch; $25 for the afternoon and evening session, which includes dinner; or $40 for both sessions. High school and college students can attend free with registration.

Contact Dr. Lisa Ossian at 515-964-6568 for more information. Visit to register for the 2008 Iowa Studies Forum.

Bloom began his writing career as a journalist for The Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News.

His critically acclaimed book, Postville, was a Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperbacks Book Club selection, and was named a Best Book of the Year by MSNBC, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post.

Bloom is also the author of Inside the Writer’s Mind: Writing Narrative Journalism, a collection of his essays.

Bloom’s latest book, a collaborative effort with photographer Peter Feldstein, is The Oxford Project, to be published this fall by Welcome Books. The Oxford Project intimately examines the lives of 100 residents of the Johnson County city of Oxford, probing how the rural community has evolved over the last 25 years.

The Oxford Project was exhibited at the Des Moines Art Center last year, and exhibitions of the project are scheduled next year for Italy and China. Bloom is also writing a nonfiction global detective story about pearls, entitled Tears of Mermaids, to be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2009.

Bloom has taught narrative journalism at the University of Iowa since 1993.


 The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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