In the News
Co-sponsored by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Office of the Vice President for Research, Books Ends—Obermann/OVPR Book Completion Workshop supports University of Iowa faculty from disciplines in which publishing a monograph is required for tenure and promotion. The award is designed to assist UI faculty members with significant research responsibilities turn promising manuscripts into important, field-changing, published books.
Book Ends brings together four senior scholars for a candid, constructive three-hour workshop on a faculty member’s book manuscript. The award provides a $500 honorarium for two external senior scholars ($500 for each). We will also ask two University of Iowa senior faculty members to participate, as an opportunity to learn about and support the work of a colleague. The Director of the Obermann Center or a representative for the Center will work with successful applicants to select the outside reviewers and organize the workshop. Usually, one of the University of Iowa colleagues will act a facilitator, using the guide we have developed for authors and readers. Reviewers will be asked to provide substantive written comments, and the workshop will be recorded for the author’s use during the revision process. Our goal is for each author to leave the workshop with concrete suggestions for revision, advice about appropriate presses, and a timeline that will lead to a revised manuscript ready for presses to review within six months.
We will host workshops for up to four UI faculty members in 2023–24. This project supports faculty members completing first books within a timeframe that aligns with deadlines for tenure review, associate professors on the verge of seeking promotion to full professor, and full professors with mature drafts of monographs.
We thank the Vice President for Research for co-sponsoring this initiative, and we look forward to this exciting opportunity to create new intellectual connections, to enrich scholarly research, and to assist faculty members to advance in their careers.
From previous awardees:
"My Book Ends conference provided me with the feedback necessary to revise my manuscript and land a contract at University of California Press. So grateful for this program! There are so few opportunities for this kind of feedback in the pre-tenure book writing process." —E Cram (Communication Studies & GWSS)
"The workshop was tremendous. What an opportunity to have long-admired senior scholars and brilliant Iowa colleagues come together to discuss my work! The conversation was deeply rich, and I have a wealth of ideas about next steps. It was clear that everyone involved had participated in a similar workshop and knew well the genre. The comments were well pitched for next steps." —Brady G'Sell (Anthropology & GWSS)
"Even though I do not yet have reports back from external readers for [the press with which the book is under contract], I feel I already have a meaningful sense of how I might begin revisions. When the reports do come in, I doubt they will be as richly detailed and supportive as the feedback the Book Ends conference provided." —Christopher Goetz (Cinematic Arts)
Book Ends deadlines, eligibility, and application procedures.
Recipients of the Book Ends award.
Tara Bynum, a Spring 2021 Book Ends awardee, discusses her resulting book, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America (University of Illinois Press, 2023), with Kabria Baumgartner.