Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president of the Republic of Maldives, standing on the shore
March 18, 2013

The Island President

6 pm Tuesday, April 9
Champaign Public Library

Come to our free screening and discussion of a documentary that lifts the issue of global warming out of the theoretical and into the personal. President Mohamed Nasheed is trying to prevent 385,000 people from drowning. His nation of 1,200 low-lying islands, the Maldives, is sinking into the Indian Ocean as sea levels rise due to global warming. Watch a preview.


Wonder Women! logo
March 12, 2013

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

6 pm Tuesday, March 12
Champaign Public Library

Come to our free screening and discussion of this film that traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society's anxieties about women's liberation.

Carol Tilley, a U of I assistant professor in the U of I Graduate School of Library and Information Science, whose recent research found that an anti-comics crusading psychiatrist in the 1950s “played fast and loose with the data,” will be part of the discussion panel. Other panelists include Rachel Storm, assistant director of the U of I Women’s Resources Center, and Kevin Hamilton, U of I associate professor of art and design. GMart, a comic book store in Champaign, and the U of Women's Resources Center are partners for the event.

The film goes behind the scenes with TV stars Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) and Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.

Wonder Women! explores the nation’s long-term love affair with comic book superheroes and raises questions about the possibilities and contradictions of heroines within the genre. Reflecting our culture’s deep-seated ambivalence toward powerful women — even in this so called post-feminist era — women may be portrayed as good, or brave, or even featured as “action babes,” but rarely are they seen as heroes at the center of their own journey.

Wonder Women! airs on WILL-TV at 9 pm Monday, April 15.