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.

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HPG Closing Symposium: A Celebration

Where We've Been & Where We're Headed

On March 1 and 2, 2024, we celebrated the exciting outcomes of the HPG grant with a two-day symposium featuring leaders of innovative graduate programs that see the humanities as crucial to the public good. We shared our successes and advanced the work of building a local and national learning community of students, staff, and faculty committed to new possibilities for graduate education in the humanities.

Schedule & presenters
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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.
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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.
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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.”