"Humanities for the Public Good" Launch

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Event Location: 
Iowa City Public Library, Room A
123 S. Linn St.
Iowa City, IA 52240
HPG logo

On November 13 at 4:00 p.m. at the Iowa City Public Library, Teresa Mangum, Director of the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, will share details of a new 4-year program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, "Humanities for the Public Good: An Integrative, Collaborative, Practice-Based Humanities PhD."

Opening remarks
John Keller, Dean of the Graduate College & Interim Vice President for Research & Economic Development

The Future of the Humanities at the University of Iowa—Possibilities
Teresa Mangum, PI, Director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, & Professor of GWSS & English

How We’re Imagining the Future
Panel of current & recent UI humanities graduate students

Unearthing a UI Humanities Ecosystem & Building on Our Strengths
A closing exercise


This event is hosted by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, UI Graduate College, UI College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Humanities Advisory Board. Free and open to the public.

About Humanities for the Public Good:

As of October 1, 2018, an award of $1,341,000 was made by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a degree in the Graduate College in collaboration with humanities departments that choose to participate, such as African American studies, American studies, anthropology, the visual and performing arts, art history, cinematic arts, classics, communication studies, history, languages, literature, philosophy, religious studies, and rhetoric. Campus libraries and museums will also be likely partners.

In advance of writing the grant, PI Teresa Mangum led focus groups involving more than 60 UI faculty members, staff, and graduate students to lay the groundwork for the proposal. The goal is to prepare students for diverse careers, in the non-profit sector, public policy, government, libraries, cultural administration, technology, publishing, and institutional education and research. The program will explore benefits of campus-community partnerships, team-taught courses, and funded summer internships and externships. The Mellon Foundation provided funding for postdoctoral fellows, graduate interns, faculty development opportunities, visiting scholars, travel to conferences, and co-learning opportunities for students, staff, faculty members, alumni, and community partners.

“We are deeply grateful to the Mellon Foundation,” Mangum said. “While we often hear about the devaluing of the humanities, I proposed this grant because I hold the opposite view. Our work these next few years presumes that humanities scholars can contribute much-needed commitment to culture, values, careful research, historically and culturally sensitive practices, and civic dialogue to every sector. Increasingly, businesses, as well as political, nonprofit, and cultural organizations, see the importance of humanistic values— a commitment to equity, inclusion, justice, empathy, and compassion—and humanistic methods and emphases on interpretation, storytelling, and meaning-making.”