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UIS Author Festival

Annual celebration of UIS authors.

Author Festival 2019

Here's a look at the featured books and authors from Author Festival 2019.

Dr. Lan Dong

Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of English

Dr. Lan Dong is the Louise Hartman and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and an Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois Springfield where she teaches Asian American Literature, World Literature, and Children’s and Young Adult Literature. 

She is the author or editor of several books: Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States, Reading Amy Tan, Transnationalism and the Asian American Heroine, Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives, and Asian American Culture: From Anime to Tiger Moms

She has a new book forthcoming in 2019: 25 Events That Shaped Asian American History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic.


Dr. Ali M. Nizamuddin

Associate Professor of Political Science

Dr. Ali Nizamuddin earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Ali’s area of specialization is international relations with a focus in Asian studies. Nizamuddin’s research interests include international trade, globalization, and the role of multinational corporations in the developing world.  He recently published his second book on Multi-National Corporations entitled The Patenting of Life, Limiting Liberty and the Corporate Pursuit of Seeds on the global dominance of the world’s food supply. His articles have been published in several journals including Journal of Pacific AffairsAsian Journal of Social ScienceInternational Social Science Review and The Encyclopedia of International Political Economy.


Kerry Poynter

Director, Gender and Sexuality Student Services

Kerry has over fifteen years of experience working with LGBTQIA+ students in higher education at a number of institutions including Duke University, Columbia University, and New York University. He received his M.A. in Administration of College Student Affairs in Counselor Education & Counseling Psychology.  He received a B.G.S. (Bachelor General Studies) from Ball State University in 1996 and is completing a Graduate Certificate in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Illinois Springfield.

His research and writing interests include the development of heterosexual allies of LGBTQ people, the use of technology in multicultural education and LGBTQ people of multiple cultural identities. He is the editor and author of Safe Zones: Training Allies of LGBTQIA+ Young Adults (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017), The first comprehensive resource for developing Safe Zone programs and educational workshops to support LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults. He has articles that appear in About Campus, The Journal of LGBT Youth, The New Directions in Student Services series, and The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work.

Outside of his professional life, Kerry dreams of being a superstar DJ; loves extreme weather and thus would love to chase tornadoes; loves dinosaurs, sci fi, Captain Janeway & Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, and anything Star Wars; and is a bit of a tech geek. Check out his free electronic dance music DJ mixes “Club Kerry NYC” on your fave podcast app.


Dr. Peter S. Wenz

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Peter S. Wenz is one of those aging leftist, feminist, environmentalist vegetarians often seen jogging near universities. He was chosen as a University Scholar of the University of Illinois and is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He has authored more than forty articles as well as eight books, with publishers Oxford University Press, McGraw-Hill, MIT Press, Temple University Press, SUNY Press, and Prometheus Press.

He received his B.A. in philosophy in 1967 from Harpur College of the State University of New York at Binghamton (now Binghamton University) and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point before moving to Springfield. He has also taught at Polytechnic of the South Bank in London, England; at Aberdeen University in Scotland; at Oxford University in England; and three times at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition to England, Scotland and New Zealand, he has given invited lectures overseas in Australia, Ireland, England, France (in French), Spain, Germany, and China. (He seldom turns down a free trip.)  He teaches regularly at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York State and is best known for work in environmental justice, being among those who first coined the term in the mid-1980s.

His most widely reprinted articles are “Just Garbage” (not a description of the article’s content or worth) and “Minimal, Moderate and Extreme Moral Pluralism.” His specialties include environmental ethics, medical ethics, (plain old) ethics, moral issues in the law, political philosophy, and constitutional law. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled: Our Elusive God: Mysteries of Creation, Consciousness and Freedom in Our Corner of Eternity.