Humanities for the Public Good: An Integrative, Collaborative, Practice-Based Humanities PhD is a program in development that asks how the study of the arts, history, languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and other areas that comprise our strong humanities departments in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences can be combined with experiential, cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral learning experiences to prepare students to center equity, inclusion, and social justice in any career or workspace. The program is funded through a four-year (2018-2022), $1,341,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation via the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, which is in collaboration with the UI Graduate College and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

“While we often hear about the devaluing of the humanities, 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.” – Teresa Mangum, Humanities for the Public Good P.I. and Director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

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.