Monday, November 13, 2023
Who’s your local gravedigger? Do you know? Do you have one? The residents of Cherryfield, Maine, do—and it’s not the dirty, shadow-clad figure you’re picturing. It’s local resident Everard Hall, smiling and ball-capped in a plaid work shirt. There’s a harmonica in his pocket and dancing boots in his pickup. Everard (pronounced “EVer-ard”) is one of the few remaining gravediggers in the U.S. who dig by hand—and he does it year-round across northeastern Maine. Using picks, shovels, chains, and winches to haul out rocks, ice, hardpan, roots, clay, and sand, he insists on doing the job with care and precision. It’s not surprising that UI photography professor Thalassa Raasch feels the exact same way about documenting Everard’s work. Her in-progress collection of photos and essays, In Over My Head, documents the unexpected beauty of Everard’s work as a gravedigger and explores the profound thresholds between solitude and community, life and death.
Thursday, May 4, 2023
For seven years, the Obermann Center has been a partner in the Mellon-funded Humanities Without Walls consortium led by Professor Antoinette Burton at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Our graduate students have attended HWW’s Career Diversity Summer Workshops, and several faculty members have worked with cross-institutional Grand Research Challenge teams. This year, we are delighted that Assistant Professor Louise Seamster (Departments of Sociology & Criminology and African American Studies) was selected as the P.I. of a team focused on "The Flint Water Disaster Public Archive." The ”Flint Water Disaster Public Archive” will re-home public data that has been largely inaccessible to Flint communities—a form of data justice that is of urgent relevance to the history, present, and future of those communities. The project is a collaboration among the University of Iowa, University of Michigan–Flint, and the Flint Democracy Defense League. Below is Obermann Assistant Director Lauren Burrell Cox’s interview with Louise Seamster about the project.
Monday, January 31, 2022
The Books Ends—Obermann/OVPR Book Completion Workshop has provided support for more than a dozen University of Iowa scholars to host working conversations about their manuscripts in process. Intended for faculty from disciplines in which publishing a monograph is required for tenure and promotion, the award brings two senior scholars to campus (or to our virtual campus) for a candid, constructive, half-day workshop on the faculty member’s book manuscript. Two senior faculty members from the UI are also invited to participate as an opportunity to learn about and support the work of a colleague.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Three UI faculty have received Book Ends awards to complete manuscripts. A jointly sponsored opportunity of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Office of the Vice President for Research, Book Ends supports faculty from disciplines in which publishing a monograph is required for tenure and promotion. The award, which is now in its third year, is designed to help faculty members...
Friday, July 13, 2018
Bringing a book to the finish line of publication is one of the most challenging tasks faced by scholars in disciplines where monographs are the main vehicle for sharing discoveries. At the Obermann Center, we hope to smooth the path by helping create an inspiring, supportive audience of experts for authors in they head into the final stretch of completing a book project....