About

Humanities for the Public Good: An Integrative, Collaborative, Practice-Based Humanities PhD is a new program focused on creating practice-based, cross-disciplinary opportunities for humanities graduate students interested in diverse careers.

“While we often hear about the devaluing of the humanities,” says Obermann Director Teresa Mangum, “I proposed this grant because I hold the opposite view. Our work these next few years presumes that humanities scholars can contribute much-needed commitment to culture, values, careful research, historically and culturally sensitive practices, and civic dialogue to every sector. Increasingly, businesses as well as political, nonprofit, and cultural organizations see the importance of humanistic values—commitment to equity, inclusion, justice, empathy, and compassion—and humanistic methods and emphases on interpretation, storytelling, and meaning-making.”

In fall 2018, the University of Iowa received a four-year, $1,341,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Obermann Center’s creation of a degree in the Graduate College in collaboration with humanities departments that choose to participate. The goal is to prepare students for diverse careers, specifically in the non-profit sector, public policy, government, libraries, cultural administration, technology, publishing, and institutional education and research. The program will explore benefits of campus-community partnerships, team-taught courses, and funded summer internships and externships. The grant includes funding for postdoctoral fellows, graduate interns, faculty development opportunities, visiting scholars, travel to conferences, and co-learning opportunities for students, staff, faculty members, alumni, and community partners.