Articles from January 2022

Screenshot of a fantastical world produced in the video game Minecraft.

Book Ends with Chris Goetz

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. 
Abstract image that looks like handwriting in blue and black.

We want to better understand what you need to re-engage in your work.

In a January 19, 2022 Chronicle of Higher Ed opinion piece, “The Great Faculty Disengagement,” Kevin McClure and Alisa Hicklin Fryar observe that in response to the grief, losses, inequities, and violence caused and exposed by COVID, some people are resigning, but many more are disengaging. In their research, they found that “people need to feel safe, valued, and confident that they have the resources to do their jobs.” These are the essential “conditions for people to flourish.” In the absence of these conditions, we see “less creativity, less risk-taking,” fewer “big and bold projects,” and a diversion of passion, energy, and leadership to spaces where people can find meaning in their work.

We have put together the following survey as one method for gathering the ideas and reflections of members of our campus. We hope you’ll find a few moments to share your thoughts with us about the work of the Obermann Center—even as we continue to wrestle with health, environmental, and social justice crises. We promise to pay careful attention to your thoughts about what we as a Center are doing well, and what we can do better to support research on our campus more inclusively and equitably.
A press pass with a man's face, dated 1986.

HPG Intern Brings Brokaw Press Passes to Life

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.”