by James Rodger Fleming
JAMES RODGER FLEMING, professor of science, technology, and society at Colby College, examines Iowa’s entry into the space age through the early career of State University of Iowa scientist James Van Allen. Fleming’s telling of the story sheds new light on Van Allen’s discovery and disruption of the near space environment for scientific and military purposes and casts Van Allen in a new light.
by Angie Gumm
Angie Gumm, an independent scholar in Wichita, Kansas, traces the emergence and persistence of the resource recovery plant in Ames, Iowa, from the 1970s to the present, setting its history in the context of environmental and technological debates during those years. Gumm argues that Iowans’ commitment to farmland preservation combined with the city’s acceptance of engineering efforts and goals created a unique situation that has enabled the resource recovery plant to carry on for all of these years.
by Travis E. Nygard
by Ralph Scharnau
Ralph Scharnau, who teaches history at Northeast Iowa Community College, Peosta, describes the emergence of a working class in Dubuque between 1835 and 1855. He focuses on the workplace conditions and living standards of workers especially in lead mining (in the first decade) and later in lumbering. He also addresses the beginnings of organized labor among Dubuque printers.
by Chad W. Timm
Chad W. Timm, assistant professor of education at Grand View University in Des Moines, tells the story of the prisoner of war (POW) camps at Algona and Clarinda during World War II, focusing especially on the employment of POWs on Iowa farms and in local businesses. It is a story, Timm argues, of coming to grips with reality: POW labor enabled Iowans to meet wartime food production goals, see the true face of the enemy, and learn that even amid the terror and destruction of war, humanity prevails.
by Sarah Jane Eikleberry
Sarah Jane Eikleberry, a doctoral candidate in sport studies at the University of Iowa, considers media treatment of American Indian athlete Mayes McLain during his one season as a football player for the University of Iowa in 1928 after an accomplished career at Haskell Institute, a prominent Indian boarding school with a highly successful athletic program. That media treatment, she shows, was shaped by racial attitudes prevalent at the time.
by Gwen Kay
Gwen Kay, associate professor of history at the State University of New York at Oswego, compares the experiences of home economics programs at Iowa’s three Regents institutions, focusing on the threats that they faced during a period of critical change in the 1980s. She shows how internal forces and structures, as well as external pressures, affected how the programs at each institution navigated the challenges of the 1980s.
by Michael S. Hevel
Michael S. Hevel, a doctoral candidate in the higher education program at the University of Iowa, describes the role of literary societies at Cornell College, the State University of Iowa, and the Iowa State Normal School in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He argues that those societies provided opportunities for students to display publicly, in a variety of changing formats over the years, their higher learning. Through their programs, society members demonstrated their educational gains, improved their speaking abilities, and practiced the cultural arts. In addition, society members were instrumental in creating features of campus life that endure to the present.
by Breanne Robertson
Breanne Robertson analyzes Lowell Houser’s entry in the competition to create a mural for the Ames Post Office in 1935. She argues that his choice of Mayan subject matter, drawing on a contemporary fascination with Mexican culture in both subject and style, distinguished his work among a strong pool of applicants in the competition, and the execution of his mural sketch, which adhered to traditional notions of history painting, demonstrated a technical and thematic expertise that fulfilled the lofty aims of the selection committee and ultimately won for him the competition.