Spring 2012 Fellows

Obermann Center Fellows-in-Residence fully devote themselves to independent research projects within an interdisciplinary community. The program supports seven fellows each semester, including artists, scholars, and researchers during periods when focus and feedback are crucial.

Participant , The University of Iowa , Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies; Anthropology
Ellen Lewin is a cultural anthropologist who holds a joint appointment in the departments of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies and Anthropology at The University of Iowa.  Her past research concerned issues of gender, sexuality, and reproduction, particularly in relation to efforts of sexual minorities in the US to obtain visibility and cultural legitimacy for their families.  She has written three ethnographies:  Lesbian Mothers:  Accounts of Gender in American Culture (1993), Recognizing Ourselves:  Ceremonies of Lesbian and Gay Commitment (1998), and Gay Fatherhood...
Participant , University of Iowa , Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Udaykumar is Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. His research interests have been in the areas of moving boundary problems as they apply to materials processing, biofluid dynamics, and high speed multimaterial flows. He teaches courses on energy at University of Iowa and has taught courses on energy and sustainability at universities in Hong Kong. He is also involved in work in rural India and Africa on figuring out sustainable energy solutions in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.
Participant , University of Iowa , English
Author of Where My Heart Is Turning Ever: Civil War Stories and Constitution Reform, 1861-1876, Dr. Diffley has also edited To Live and Die: Collected Stories of the Civil War, a volume drawn from stories that first circulated in the magazines of the 1860s and 1870s. Both books have been funded by the NEH, and her continuing research has been supported as well by a Howard Foundation Fellowship. She has also edited Witness to Reconstruction, a collection of essays about Constance Fenimore Woolson’s sojourns in the mysterious and ravaged postwar South. Her most recent...
Participant , The University of Iowa , Educational Psychology
Kathy Schuh will write a book documenting a synthesis of a 10-year research strand in which she has studied a specific learning process—student knowledge linking—of upper-elementary students. Her research, including qualitative data from 8 classrooms, has focused on how fifth- and sixth-grade students integrate what they are learning in their classrooms with what they already know. A number of Schuh’s published articles will provide the foundation for many of the book chapters.
Participant , Mount Mercy University , Sociology
Mohammad A. Chaichian is Professor of Sociology and coordinator of Sociology and International Studies programs at Mount Mercy University. He was the recipient of the Feld Chair Award for Excellence in Teaching and Community Service (2008-2010).
Headshot of Rebekah Kowal
Participant , University of Iowa , Dance
Dr. Kowal teaches dance history and theory. Her research explores how moving bodies are compelling agents of social, cultural, and political change. A dancer and scholar, Kowal seeks to forge interdisciplinary connections between dance theory and practice. After completing a BA in English, she danced in New York City with Heidi Henderson, Molly Rabinowitz, Bryan Hayes, and Pat Cremmins. She holds a CMA from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute and a PhD in American Studies from NYU.
Participant , University of Basel , Media Studies
Till A. Heilmann is working on his book on the history of the push button and the digital condition. Combining a historical investigation of the button’s evolution from around 1840 to the present day with a theoretical argument for the inclusion of the hand into a broader concept of digitality, Heilmann argues that the so-called digital age can be described as resulting from the ‘revolution of the button’ and that the ‘digital gesture’ of pushing buttons is the fundamental cultural technique of our time.