The Obermann Center works closely with a number of national organizations to support research on campus while also advocating for the importance of research out in the world.
The photo above is from This is Washington Park. This is Milwaukee., a docu-drama performed at this year’s Imagining America conference. It’s told through the eyes of a group of University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee college students who have been assigned to collect oral histories from the people who live, work, and care about the neighborhoods in the Washington Park area.
National Humanities Alliance
The University of Iowa is a member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), the nation’s leading advocacy group for the humanities. In March, Teresa Mangum attended the annual Humanities Advocacy Day, which includes visits to the offices of Iowa legislators in DC. She was joined by an alum from the English Department and the Obermann Graduate Institute, James Lambert, now a professor at Southern Virginia University, and Leanne Hotek, UI director of federal relations, along with colleagues from other Iowa colleges and universities.
Mangum is a member of the National Humanities Alliance Board of Directors and currently serves as the Secretary of the Executive Board.
Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
Through the Obermann Center, the University of Iowa is a member of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. This national consortium of colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations supports publicly engaged arts, design, and scholarship. A large contingent of UI faculty and graduate students attended this year’s national conference in Milwaukee. Our Director, Teresa Mangum, serves on Imagining America’s National Advisory Board and Executive Committee, and a former Obermann Graduate Fellow, Kira Pasquesi, recently joined the board.
Humanities Without Walls
The Obermann Center is one of fifteen Midwestern research universities in this Andrew W. Mellon–funded consortium led by Director and Principal Investigator Antoinette Burton, head of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The grant funds two initiatives: the development of summer workshops for pre-doctoral students in the humanities who intend to pursue careers outside the academy and an initiative that funds cross-institutional teams of faculty and graduate students pursuing research that focuses on a grand challenge: “The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate.” Our graduate students have benefited enormously from the workshop. In summer 2016, the UI students were Anu Thapa, PhD candidate in Cinematic Arts, CLAS, and Angela Toscano, PhD candidate in English, CLAS.
The Dickens Project
The Dickens Project is an international research consortium of over 40 international
universities. In collaboration with the UI English Department, the Obermann Center helps to send a faculty member and two graduate students to The Dickens Universe conference each year. The Iowa contingent joins 50 international faculty, 100 graduate students, and 150–200 readers who simply love the work of Charles Dickens for a week under the redwoods of the University of California at Santa Cruz to discuss a novel by Dickens in all its literary and cultural complexity. Combining keynote lectures, graduate seminars, professionalization sessions, teaching opportunities, and social events, the week is an astounding opportunity for intellectual community-building and international networking. We helped to send UI English graduate students Heidi Renée Aijala and Kate Nesbit to the summer 2016 conference.
Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes
The Obermann Center joins hundreds of other centers from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa in sharing resources and developing collaborative projects that connect scholars around the world through membership in the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), directed by Sara Guyer from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.