University of Iowa

Theme Semester 2019: "American Dream"

Call for Themes: Spring 2021 Theme Semester

The spring 2021 Call for Proposals applications opens in January 2019. 

Timeline for Call for Themes for Spring 2021

  • January 3, 2019: Theme Semester proposal opens
  • May 4, 2019: Theme Semester proposal deadline
  • Summer 2019: Proposed topics are reviewed by the Theme Semester Advisory Board
  • Fall 2019: Theme Semester spring 2021 decision notification

Theme Semester 2019: "American Dream"

As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, recent events and long-term trends force us to pose fundamental questions about the American dream. What do Americans desire? How can we imagine an American dream that embodies the values and aspirations of all Americans? How do we insure that all Americans have an equitable say, that all exert agency over their lives, that we treat everyone with compassion and respect? How do we imagine a dream that replaces exclusion with inclusion?

The United States can create a dream that takes better account of the diversity of people who live here, the billions of human beings affected by our actions, and of the fragility of the earth we live on. Public universities like ours have a duty to articulate questions that all Americans have to answer together.

Theme Semester Spring 2018: Climate for Change

Climate for Change, the Spring 2018 Theme Semester, explored aspects of sustainability in our world, including the important issues of climate change, social sustainability, and the changing world around us.

  • 60 marquee activities curated for Climate for Change
  • More than 150 related activities tagged on the UI events calendar
  • 185 classes identified with connection to the theme

Theme Semester Spring 2017: Our Lives Online

Our Lives Online, the Spring 2017 Theme Semester on the Internet, explored the global system of connectedness, networks, and collaboration discovered in our past and emerging in our distant future.

  • 25 marquee activities curated for Our Lives Online
  • More than 300 related activities tagged on the UI events calendar
  • 53 courses identified with connection to the theme

Theme Semester Spring 2016: Just Living

Just living, the 2016 Theme Semester, explored social justice. Throughout the academic year, there were:

  • 30 marquee activities curated for Just Living
  • 466 related activities tagged on the UI events calendar
  • 96 courses identified with connection to the theme

Theme Semester Spring 2015: Food for Thought

Food for Thought was the university's first annual Theme Semester. Throughout the academic year, there were:

  • 17 marquee activities curated for Food for Thought
  • 406 related activities tagged to the UI events calendar
  • 18 courses identified with connection to the theme