Lora Lee Rackstraw Papers, 1960-1996

Collection Overview

Title: Lora Lee Rackstraw Papers, 1960-1996

Record Series: 14/03/02/03

Record Group:

14/03/02 Faculty & Staff Papers

Creator: Rackstraw, Lora Lee

Date: 1960-1996

Extent: 9 boxes (10.5 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

Most materials are open for research. Materials related to the confidentiality of personnel, student, medical, and other legally protected records are CLOSED to researchers for 70 years from the date of creation. Consult the archivist with any questions or concerns.


Technical Access: Some materials was recorded using obsolete technology, such as audiotapes and reel-to-reel tapes. This material has not been transcribed or digitized.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Professor Rackstraw gave the contents of Boxes 1-4 to SC&UA when she retired in 1996 and Boxes 5-8 in February and March 2011.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

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Historical Note

Lora Lee Pugh Wilson Rackstraw was born on June 27, 1931, in Omaha, Nebraska.  She graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1949.  She continued her education at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where, in 1953, she received a B. A. in Psychology.  She also studied Philosophy and English at Grinnell College.  She took graduate work at the Iowa State Teachers College, now the University of Northern Iowa, in 1959 and 1960, but did not complete a degree.  She finished her graduate coursework in 1966 at the University of Iowa and was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in English.

Lora Lee Rackstraw began work at UNI in 1961 as an Information Assistant in the College Relations Office.  She remained in this position until 1964 or 1965.  In 1966,  Professor Rackstraw became a faculty member of the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa, when she was hired as an Instructor of English.  In 1969 she became Assistant Professor of English.  In 1975 she was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.  She retired from the faculty in 1996.

Scope and Content

Professor Rackstraw's papers consist of two groups. 

Boxes 1 through 4 are organized into one alphabetical subject file.  The subjects covered include, among others, the Department of English Language and Literature, course materials in the humanities and creative writing, scholarly research, environmental studies and concerns, and women's issues and studies. 

Boxes 5 through 8 are organized into broad subject areas.  

Professor Rackstraw's papers are strong in her area of special research:  the work of Kurt Vonnegut.  That portion of her papers includes many secondary sources as well as her own research and writing.  Her papers also provide an excellent look at the way in which the university offered the Humanities I course in the General Education sequence in the 1980s and 1990s.



Box 1


Arts and Sciences College--Collegiate Restructuring, 1989

Associated Writing Program Newsletter

Association for Integrated Studies, 1989-1991

Association for Integrative Studies Conference-Miami, 2/84

Bible, 1988

Booklists, Spring 1984

Brain Mind Bulletin, 1982

Brigham, Besmilr

British and American Short Story Course, Spring 1969

Budget Crisis, 1991

Canon Panel

Chalice and the Blade, Study Questions/Answers, 1989

Chapters from Books and Articles from Magazines A-D:

  • Arrowsmith, William - "The Shame of the Graduate Schools: A Plea for a New American Scholar"
  • Berge, William - "That Lovely Green Boat"
  • Bohm, David, PhD - "The Enfolded Order and Consciousness"
  • Bunin, J. - "Gentle Breath"
  • Capra, Fritjof - "The Systems View of Life;" "The Impasse of Economics"
  • Cassill, R.V. - "The Father"
  • Daniel, Glyn - "Megalithic Monuments"
  • Douglas, Mary - "Away from Ritual"
  • Dykeman, Therese B. - "The Physics of Rhetoric"

Chapters from Books and Articles from Magazines E-J:

  • Erenfeld, David - "Misanthropy and the Rejection of Humanism"
  • Fodor, Jerry A. - "The Mind-Body Problem"
  • Fromm, Erich - "Symbolic Language in Myth, Fairy Tale, and Novel"
  • Gray, J. Patrick & Wolfe, Linda D. - "Sociobiology and Creationism: Two Ethnosociologies of American Culture"
  • Gurevich, A.J. - "Time as a Problem of Cultural History"
  • Jantsch, Erich - "Inter- and Transdisciplinary University: A Systems Approach to Education and Innovation"

Chapters from Books and Articles from Magazines K-Z:

  • Layzer, David - "The Arrow of Time"
  • Leakey, Mary D. & Hay, Richard L. - "The Fossil Footprints of Laetoli"
  • Livingston, Robert - "Perception and Commitment"
  • Marin, Peter - "What the Vietnam Vets Can Teach Us"
  • Nochlin, Linda - "The Musee d'Orsay: A Symposium"
  • Reagan, Ronald - "Inaugural Address of President Ronald Reagan"
  • Roszak, Theodore - "Forbidden Games"
  • Roth, Philip - "The Conversion of the Jews"
  • Taylor, A.E. - "Plato: The Man and his Work"
  • Warren, Robert Penn - "Blackberry Winter: A Recollection"
  • Wheeler, John Archibald - "Beyond the Black Hole;" "Genesis and Observership"
  • Wilber, Ken - "Odyssey: A Personal Inquiry into Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology"
  • China Mission Summary Report, 1984
  • Chopin Presentation
  • CLEP-College Level Examination Program
  • Cluster College--General Education Proposal
  • College of Humanities and Fine Arts--PAC
  • Composition I and II Courses
  • Composition I Course--Handouts
  • Computer Grant Application, 1991 & 1994
  • Constitutions--UNI & Department of English
  • Continental Short Story Course, Summer 1969 and Spring 1976
  • Coordinator Job Descriptions--TESOL & Writing
  • Correspondence
  • Creative Writing Course, Spring 1992
  • Couch, Carl J.--Iowa City
  • Craft of Fiction, Fall 1971
  • Creative Writing Course, Summer 1970 and Spring 1993
  • Creative Writing: Fiction, Spring 1994
  • Critical Theory and Practice Group
  • Davidson, William D.
  • deRomilly, Jacqueline, Time in Greek Tragedy 1968
  • Dean's Promotion & Tenure Advisory Committee
  • Department of English: Bylaws; Curriculum Committee, 1990-91; Mission & Planning, 1989-90; Mission and Planning Survey; Senate, 1989-1992; Standing Committees, 1990-91; Strategic Plan, 1989-91
  • Didion, Joan 1979
  • Drafts by Loree Rackstraw
  • Dyadic Encounter
  • Earth Mother and Father Time:1982; Iowa State Press, 1979; Prospectus, abstracts, first chapter

Box 2

Earth Week, 1976

The Ecology of Literature Course, Spring 1975

The Ecology of Literature Course, Spring 1975-Student Project Proposals

Education for Survival: Biographies; Evaluations; Follow-up; News Media; Project Description and Programs; Report to Iowa Board for Public Programs in the Humanities, 1973; Speaker's Schedule, 1973

Einstein, Albert

Elderhostel, 1978

Environmental Conferences, 1973

Environmental Education

Environmental Perceptions Minor

Environmental Perceptions Minor--Self Study, 1994

Environmental Problems Seminar

Environmental Problems--Studies, 1975

Environmental Studies Office (Oregon)

"Excellence in Undergraduate Education: The English Department" Script

Faculty Public Relations

Faculty Recruitment, 1994

Faculty Recruitment Committee, 1991

Faculty Specialties, 1990

Federal Grants-Environmental or Interdisciplinary Studies

Fellowships, Grants, and Professional Development Leave Proposals


Fiction Workshop

Fiction Workshop, Spring 1976

Fiene, Don, 1977

Future Studies

General Education Program--A Curriculum for Survival

Great Gatsby project with Tony McAdams, 1992

Group Discussion Techniques

Hallberg, Fred

Box 3

Hansen, William G. "Social Mythologies & Environmental Education"

A "Happening" Winter 1969

Harlequin Romantic Intrigue

Hemingway, Ernest


Hirsch, E.D., Jr.

Honors Program

Humanities Coordinating Committee, 1992-93

Humanities Faculty, 1993

Humanities Major Review, 1993-95

Illich, Ivan

Individual Studies Program--Prospectuses

"Inner Weather"

Integrated Courses--Maine

Interdisciplinary Seminar

Interdisciplinary Studies: Appendix to Proposal; Committee; Grants, Etc.; President Curris, 1983

Intermediate Writing Course, Fall

Intermediate Writing: Exposition Course

International College--New Natural Philosophy

Introduction to College Writing Course: 1984; Staffing, 1990; Staffing, 1991

Introduction to Literature Course: Summer 1985; Fall 1991; Spring 1996

Iowa Arts Council--Special Day Activities, 1972-1973

Iowa Woman Award Nomination, 1991

Journalism Interest Group, 1991

Jung--Analytical Psychology Club

Klagenfurt, Austria, 1991

Klinkowitz, Jerome


Lang Hall conditions, 1988

Lawrence, D.H.

Lindisfarne Association--William Irwin Thompson

Mailing Lists

Master of Fine Arts Degree

Master of Philosophy Degree, 1987

McCright, Matt

Meeker, Joseph W.--Essays

Minorities Education

Monmouth College, 1982

Mythology Course: Bibliography; Joseph Campbell

Mythology Course: Library Research Paper; Spring 1991; Spring 1992; Study Questions/Answers; Syllabi, 1989-1995

Mythology: Goddess; Greek God Model; History; Mesopotamia; Theories

National Endowment for the Humanities, 1976


Box 4

Night College, 1977


Particle Physics

Peace Institute

Playboy, January 1967

Post-Modern Fiction Course

Post-Modern Seminar, Spring 1991


Postmodernism Forum--"What is Postmodernism?" 1988

Pribam, Karl

Prigogine, Ilya

Probation Policy

Professional Assessment Committee: 1994; English Department; Reform

Professional Development Leave, 1990

Programs, 1978-79

Programs and Resources

Promotion and Tenure, 1991

Promotion Board

"Protein Energy: A Myth for the Future."

Rackstraw Essays

Rackstraw, Richard--Manuscript of Poems

Research Grant Applications, 1979-81


"A Rose for Emily"--Faulkner


Scholes, Robert

Sexist Language

Sexual Harassment

Sheldrake, Rupert,  A New Science of Life..., 1981

Short Novel Course, Spring 1979

Short Story Conference, 1992

Spring 1993

Student papers

Student Recommendation Letters RESTRICTED

TESS Program

UNI-CUE--Student Papers, 1973-74 RESTRICTED

Uses of the Humanities, Fall 1980

Viet Nam (Moratorium)

Visiting Poets, Fall 1991

Visiting Professor, 1991

Vonnegut--Kurt Vonnegut--Seminar in Literature Course

Women, Status of

Women's Studies

World Order Studies

Writing Associates, 1991

Writing Competency

Young Bear, Ray A.--Individual Studies Major Committee

Audio Recordings: Interview with Kurt Vonnegut, August 1973 (7" reel); "Planetary Culture," William Thompson (cassette); "New Connections Among Art, Science, and Technology," Dr. Joseph Meeker, October 10, 1978 (cassette)

Box 5

Notes on books and articles on a broad range of subjects

Form of poetry class notes, fall 1965

Teaching creative writing notes, fall 1972

American novel class notes (Clark Griffith)

Victorian literature class notes

Form of fiction class notes (Cassill)

Children's writing

Curriculum vita and annual faculty activity reports

Department of English Language and Literature, department head matters


Richard Rackstraw manuscripts

Richard Rackstraw correspondence about publication of Only Let There Be Peace anthology, 1971-1973

Correspondence, summer 1982 research

Correspondence, Thomas Remington

Correspondence, North American Review

Harold Taylor

Paul Engle

Short stories and essays by Lora Lee Rackstraw

Mythology course notes, syllabus, and examinations

Capstone course planning notes

Creative writing notes

Box 6

Humanities I syllabus, examinations, teaching materials, and notes

Kurt Vonnegut secondary material; Rackstraw notes and essays; plans for publication of Vonnegut Visions, and fall 1987 Vonnegut Seminar notes

Cedar Arts Forum minutes and notes

"Love Song for Iowa", Bonnie Koloc


Box 7

Professor Rackstraw received press credentials as a representative of the North American Review to the meeting of the 48th International PEN Congress in New York City in 1986.  She took many photographs and collected a great deal of printed information there.  She reported on the meeting in an article in the North American Review.

  • Professor Rackstraw's press credentials
  • News coverage in secondary sources
  • "PEN:  a report from the front."  North American Review, volume 271, number 1, March 1986.  Professor Rackstraw's notes and article on the PEN Congress
  • Meeting arrangements and material
  • Writers' statements
  • Photographs of meeting participants, including many of Kurt Vonnegut

Mementos of Professor Rackstraw's trip to Samoa and Hawaii

"Benign Respect," 1970, essay by Professor Rackstraw)

"Between Sun and Moon," essay by Professor Rackstraw)

Shirley Haupt

Eugene McCarthy campaign, 1968

College Relations Office--material relating to Professor Rackstraw's work in that office

Kurt Vonnegut

  • Secondary material
  • Professor Rackstraw's reviews of Vonnegut's work
  • Donation of Vonnegut drawings to University of Iowa Library
  • Appraisal of Vonnegut books and correspondence
  • The book of Bokonon, edited by Eugene Wallingford
  • Vonnegut postcards by Asa Pieratt
  • Kurt Vonnegut and the Iowa connection (Presentation by Professor Rackstraw)
  • Kurt Vonnegut's cast party (Essay by Professor Jerome Klinkowitz)
  • Quantum leaps in the Vonnegut minefield (Essay by Professor Rackstraw)
  • Kurt Vonnegut Society meeting, 1999
  • Material associated with the writing and publication of Professor Rackstraw's book, Love as Always, Kurt; Vonnegut as I Knew Him

Humanities photographic slides--Professor Rackstraw used these slides in her Humanities I class, and other classes as well.  There are a few commercial slides in this collection, but Professor Rackstraw took most of the images herself during her travels.  Professor Rackstraw's labels and arrangement have been preserved in the slide sheets.

  • Karnak; Mesopotamia; Egypt, 1977
  • Mythology; goddess cultures; Greece
  • Italy, 1964; France, caves
  • Romanesque; Gothic
  • Turkey, Istanbul
  • Crete; Mycenae; Greece
  • Italian Renaissance
  • Greece--Classical
  • Rome
  • Italy; Rome; Greek art and architecture
  • London; Paris; Monet's Giverny
  • Byzantine art
  • Lascaux caves
  • Chartres Cathedral; Bayeaux
  • Selçuk to Tlos
  • Athens; Acropolis
  • Egypt
  • Chartres; Paris
  • Russian Orthodox Church--Millenium of the Baptism of the Rus
  • Notre Dame; Chartres
  • Deauville; Normandy
  • Carnac; Normandy; Poitiers
  • Albi
  • Christ Church, Oxford
  • Dordogne; Lascaux

Box 8

Humanities photographic slides, continued

  • Athens, National Archaeological Museum
  • Aegean Sea
  • Athens
  • Caen (Normandy); St. Etienne (William the Conqueror)
  • Normandy Beach Cemetery
  • Mont St. Michel
  • St. Malo
  • Avignon; Orange
  • St. Tropez; Conque
  • Poros
  • Poros Museum
  • Thera
  • Rouffignac
  • Carnac
  • Poitier; castle of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Quimper
  • Deauville (Normandy)
  • London--Picadilly, Trafalgar, Blomsbury
  • London
  • Stonehenge
  • British Museum
  • Saint-Germain en Laye Museum and Park
  • Chartres
  • Pol Bury show--Paris
  • Rouen churches

Audiovisual material

  • Peter Flessel--Molecular biology and modern physics (audiocassette)
  • Fritjof Capra--Quantum paradoxes and Eastern mysticism (audiocassette)
  • Gregory Bateson--Double binds and levels of context, 1976 (audiocassette)
  • Erich Jantsch (audiocassette)
  • Erich Jantsch, interviewed by Joseph Meeker, 1981 (audiocassette)
  • Karl Pribam--New dimensions of consciousness, 1978 (audiocassette)
  • Jean Houston--New dimensions of consciousness, 1978 (audiocassette)
  • Jean Houston--Of archetypes and exetypes, 1976
  • Samoa (two audiocassettes)
  • Diane McGuinness, interviewed by Joseph Meeker--Male and female perspectives, 1980 (audiocassette)
  • John King--Introductory discussions of quantum theory, 1976 (audiocassette)
  • S. Keen--Energy and imagination, 1976 (audiocassette)
  • Karl Pribam--Holograms of mind and nature (audiocassette)
  • Rollo May and John Perry--Changing American myths (audiocassette)
  • Donald Justice, tape recording for Richard Rackstraw (7 inch reel-to-reel audiotape)

Travel souvenirs

  • Souvenir painting of goddess on leather
  • Modern Egyptian money
  • Souvenir modern painting on Egyptian papyrus

Box 9

Travel souvenirs

  • Souvenir scarab carved in stone
  • Stones collected from Giza Plateau near pyramids

Stereoscopic viewer for commercial images in Humanities slides

Processing Information

Boxes 1 through 4 arranged and finding aid created by Library Assistant Susan Witthoft; January 1997; Boxes 5 through 8 arranged by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, February-April 2011. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, January 2018 and April 2018. Linear feet updated September 13, 2017.