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Practice-based, cross-disciplinary opportunities for graduate students interested in diverse careers

Humanities for the Public Good is an integrative, collaborative, practice-based graduate Certificate and Master’s degree in development. The goal of the both the Certificate and Master’s degree is to explore ways the study of the arts, history, languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and other areas that comprise our strong humanities departments in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences can be combined with experiential, cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral learning experiences to prepare students to center equity, inclusion, and social justice in any and every career or workspace. We’re genuinely hopeful that the methods, materials, and mindsets of the humanities combined with practical skills and values-driven purpose can be excellent preparation for any number of careers. The program is funded through grant from the Mellon Foundation. The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies is grateful for energetic collaboration with the UI Graduate College and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Faculty: Apply to Transform a Graduate Seminar to a Humanities Lab in Summer '23!

Letters of inquiry due March 7, 2023, by 5:00 p.m.

This year, we’re thrilled that our Mellon Humanities for the Public Good grant is funding four graduate humanities labs that are transforming “on the books” graduate courses in English, Cinematic Arts, Linguistics, and History. Faculty members are reimagining traditional seminars as applied, experiential “labs” that offer graduate students meaningful ways to connect advanced studies in the humanities with both a social challenge and skills valued in multiple career settings. Read about these current and developing courses.

Now, we’re delighted that we can provide funding to develop two additional labs in summer 2023. The $15,000 funding can support a planning team including faculty, staff, graduate students, and/or community partners to work together in summer 2023 to develop the lab. In addition, the host department receives $10,000 to acknowledge their commitment to experimentation and collaboration. The course should be offered in the 2023-24 or 2024-25 academic year. View details and examples of humanities labs across the country, along with a detailed description of the application process.

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Grad Students: Apply for a Summer '23 HPG Internship!

Applications due March 9, 2023, by 5:00 p.m.

Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the Humanities for the Public Good PhD as we create a program centered around the applied humanities. Eight internships are available for summer 2023 for UI PhD students in the humanities or humanities-adjacent disciplines. Interns will spend two summer months working with and for a campus or community partner on a specific project or area of focus. In addition to their work on site, interns also attend weekly cohort meetings and complete assignments that provide professionalizing skills and contextualize the internship experiences.

Interns should expect to work 30 hours a week for eight weeks: June 5 through July 28. This includes approximately three hours each week dedicated to cohort meetings, writing, and other assignments. All work is intended to be completed on-site. Interns receive $5,000 on successful completion of their position. Mileage compensation is available for any positions that entail travel.

Learn more & apply

HPG Updates

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Working to Create Nets: A Humanities for the Public Good Update

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Back when we all traveled regularly to conferences, we did so to share research, to learn from colleagues, and to form new relationships, even friendships, rooted in shared intellectual interests. Conferences help graduate students build skills—capturing complex arguments in short presentations, public speaking, asking helpful rather than grandstanding questions, connecting with fellow experts, and more. In other words, conferences are for networking.
archival materials arranged on a table

Recent Immigrant and PhD Student Thrives on Stories of UI's Latinx History

Friday, September 2, 2022
For Maria Leonor Márquez Ponce, a Humanities for the Public Good internship at the University of Iowa Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives is more than a summer gig—it’s also a way to connect with her own past and to find inspiration for her future. “Sometimes looking back at history can surprise you. You learn so much and you are inspired by it,” Márquez Ponce shared. Considering that she never believed that a college degree would be attainable for her, much less a PhD, she has found a deep connection to this project and the people whose stories she is sharing.
A press pass with a man's face, dated 1986.

HPG Intern Brings Brokaw Press Passes to Life

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
In 2016, journalist Tom Brokaw donated his papers to The University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections and Archives. The collection includes notes and drafts for several of Brokaw's books (including from his best-known work, The Greatest Generation), letters from heads of states and other media figures, photographs, awards, and appointment calendars.

Librarian Liz Riordan spent hours untangling the press passes that arrived in an old Pan-Am bag. Amongst the many boxes of papers was a worn blue Pan-Am bag that had a handwritten note on its side: “Trove of press passes.”
Dominic Dongilli at his internship

Summer Interns at the Halfway Mark: A growing tomato, a gift from Brokaw, and nudity in the archives

Thursday, July 1, 2021
It is around the halfway point of so many projects when the work is most difficult. The newness has worn off; the end is still out of reach, but close enough to give us an uneasy reminder of how much is yet to be completed. This is the experience of the ten UI graduate students who are at the midway point of their Humanities for the Public Good (HPG) internships. For eight weeks, they are working...

Meet the Podcasters! Three UI faculty-podcasters pull back the curtain on their process

Monday, November 30, 2020
Imagine a world without recorded sound. From film soundtracks to car alarms, many of us are so steeped in sound at every moment that we would instantly notice its absence. Since the inception of radio in 1895, we have steadily increased the technology and tools for making and sharing sound. Each step has made it easier and less costly for a person with a microphone and some equipment to capture...

Graduate Students Build Campus-Community Connections, Explore New Careers in Summer Internships

Friday, September 25, 2020
For nine graduate students at the University of Iowa, this was not the summer internship they had anticipated. Unlike summer 2019, this second summer of the Humanities for the Public Good (HPG) internship program came with many unexpected twists and challenges. As the University of Iowa moved to virtual learning, interns joined partner organizations and took on new responsibilities just as many of...