Visiting Scholars

Anthropology | Augustana College

During her residency, Carrie is working on ongoing research that explores midwestern women's decision-making processes regarding the return to work and dimensions of childcare after the birth of their first child. Specifically, she is preparing an article manuscript that analyzes her interviewees’ experiences coupling breastfeeding and post-partum employment and how pumping breast milk at work blurs personal and professional boundaries and identities. Carrie lives in Iowa City and is grateful to have a sabbatical work space at the Obermann Center she can walk to from home.

Slavic Languages & Literatures | University of Kansas

Dr. Renee Perelmutter is an Associate Professor of Slavic and Jewish Studies at the University of Kansas, where she teaches a range of courses on sociolinguistics and culture. As a 2015 Fall Obermann Fellow-in-Residence, Prof. Perelmutter will work on a new project investigating the evolution of discursive norms in conversation, using data from an online community for Russian-speaking women, Prof. Perelmutter will also continue her work on the construction of gendered practices and identities through multi-participant narratives.

Distinguished Obermann Fellow | University of Iowa

Jay Semel, upon his retirement, was named Distinguished Obermann Fellow in recognition of his long service (1980-2010) as Obermann Center Director.  Jay, who also served as the UI Associate VP for Research, helped many faculty members obtain major grants and fellowships and directed his own federal and foundation grant projects.  In retirement, he has continued to serve on NEH review panels and as an external reviewer for humanities centers.  He is writing a book on school.  Contact Jay at, 319-321-2203.

| Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center

Michelle Buhman is a program specialist for the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. She is working toward her Master's in Gerontology at Iowa State University and has a BBA from the UI's Tippee School of Business with a concentration in Management, Non-profit Organizations, and Aging Studies. Michelle is a board member of the Lifetime Education and Renewal Network, a subunit of the American Society on Aging, and chairs the Visibility Action Team, a committee of the Johnson County Livable Community.


Belin-Blank Center | University of Iowa

David Gould served as the Obermann Public Scholar from 2013-2016. He currently coordinates programming for the Belin-Blank Center. Dave was the Associate Director of Professional Student Development in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and developed a number of courses, including Life Design: Building Your Future and Reimagining Downtown. He has won multiple teaching and staff awards. He is passionate about reimagining higher education and improving the lives of young people.

Anthropology | University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Frank Salomon is a Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He currently resides in Iowa City.

As a 2014 Fall Obermann Fellow-in-Residence, Prof. Salomon will work to complete his current book project, which is a detailed study of Rapaz, a community at 4000 meters over sea level, which guards some 263 khipus in a house of traditional ritual from which villagers serve the deified mountains. The project combines close study of these khipus with archaeological, ethnographic, and architectural study of their context. Khipu research bears on questions of "proto-writing," the origin and demise of scripts, and relations between semiosis (sign action) and social complexity.