Advisory Board 2019-2020

Advisory Board

This fall, a new Humanities for the Public Good Advisory Board will plunge into the first year of planning a new interdisciplinary, experiential humanities PhD for students who are pursuing advanced studies in preparation for diverse careers. Working together and in subcommittee groups, the Advisory Board will host alumni visits and workshops; explore exciting experiments across the country, including humanities labs and project-based learning; oversee our new internship program; and more. We’ll share our progress on the HPG website and in a new newsletter.

Board Members

Aron Aji | Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Aron Aji is the Director of MFA in Literary Translation. A native of Turkey, he has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, LatifeTekin, and other Turkish writers, including three book-length works by Karasu: Death in TroyThe Garden of Departed Cats (2004 National Translation Award); and A Long Day’s Evening (NEA Literature Fellowship, and short-listed for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize). He also edited Milan Kundera and the Art of Fiction. Aji leads the Translation Workshop and teaches courses on retranslation, poetry and translation; theory; and contemporary Turkish literature. He is also the vice president of The American Literary Translators Association.


Stephanie Blalock | Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, UI Libraries

Stephanie Blalock is a Digital Humanities Librarian in the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio at the University of Iowa. She is the Associate Editor of the Walt Whitman Archive and The Vault at Pfaff’s. She is the author of Go to Pfaff’s: The History of a Restaurant and Lager Beer Saloon, a peer-reviewed digital edition published by Lehigh University Press and The Vault at Pfaff’s. She is also the author of “‘Tell what I meant by Calamus: Walt Whitman’s Vision of Comradeship from Fred Vaughan to the Fred Gray Association” in Whitman Among the Bohemians, ed. Edward Whitley and Joanna Levin (Iowa, 2014) and the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review‘s special issue 30.4 on Whitman’s fiction (2013). Her research focuses on Walt Whitman and Pfaff’s Beer Cellar and the reprinting and circulation of Whitman’s short fiction.

Luke Borland | Department of History

Luke Borland is a graduate student in the Department of History. He holds BAs in History and International Studies from Miami University. His work focuses on youth labor service programs in the United States and Nazi Germany during the Great Depression. He examines unemployment relief, civic education, and responses to government actions. He utilizes digital humanities methods in an effort to connect the public with his scholarly work. As part of his commitment to education in and out of academia, he spent time in AmeriCorps prior to coming to Iowa.


Corey Creekmur | Departments of Cinematic Arts, English, and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies

Corey K. Creekmur is an associate professor in Cinematic Arts, English, and the Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies. He is also affiliated with the Center for the Book. His teaching and research focus on international popular cinema (especially American and South Asian), cross-cultural film genres, and the way in which such films interact with other media (especially popular music) as well as discourses of race, gender, and sexuality. He also teaches courses derived from the theoretical foundations of cultural studies, Marxism, and psychoanalysis, and on the relation between film stars and fans. His teaching and research in American literature and popular culture deal with popular genres as well, including crime and horror fiction, comics (newspaper strips, comic books, and graphic novels), and popular publication formats. He serves on the editorial advisory board of the journals Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies and Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture and is the Series Editor of the Comics Culture book series for Rutgers University Press.

Caroline Cheung | Department of English

Caroline Cheung works at the intersections of women of color feminisms, theories of state violence, and political discourses. She is an English PhD Candidate and Graduate Instructor at the University of Iowa. She received her B.A. in English: Language, Media and Communication Studies at the University of Rochester in 2015. During her undergraduate time, she became conversant in the very broad scope of language use and its political applications in various spaces of society. Now in graduate school, her research includes examining the use of language in both reaffirming and disrupting patterns of gender, racial, and economic oppressions. Specifically, she investigates the ways transnational literature and multicultural feminism contribute to prison abolitionist movements. Believing that creative and imaginative work–which are the purview of humanities education–serve as revolutionary gestures, Caroline commits herself to publicly engaged scholarship, critical collaboration, and informed activism.

Liz Crooks | Pentacrest Museums

Liz Crooks is the Director at the University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums. Liz holds a MA in museum studies and a Graduate Certificate in Book Arts.  She has a long administrative career in higher education.  Her interests include all things museum, rowing, music, and her family.


David Cunning | Department of Philosophy

David Cunning is Professor and Chair and Collegiate Scholar in the Philosophy Department at the University of Iowa. His research and teaching on early modern philosophy span a number of topics and debates, including free will and determinism, science and religion, the place of minds in the material universe, agency and authority, gender, the origins of morality, philosophical versus scientific method, and rhetoric and audience. He has published primarily on Descartes, Cavendish, Spinoza, and Hume, and is currently working on his sixth book, a monograph on Descartes and the primacy of embodiment. In addition to being Department Chair, Cunning served as the Director of Graduate Studies for Philosophy for six years. As DGS he enjoyed working on a number of initiatives – for example, assisting graduate students in the revision of papers for conference submission or publication, providing guidance on the application of philosophical training to careers outside of academia, and helping students to locate pedagogical resources to excel in the classroom. His university service positions include Faculty Senate Secretary and Co-Chair of the University of Iowa 2016-2021 Strategic Plan Committee. He likes to take the same systematic approach to his administrative life that he takes to his research and teaching, although that continues to be a balancing act and a work in progress. He received his B.A. from UC Berkeley and his Ph.D. from UC Irvine.

Kimberly Datchuk | Stanley Museum

Kimberly Musial Datchuk has a PhD in art history with a specialty in nineteenth-century European art. As the Curator of Learning and Engagement at the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, she connects the museum to campus life. Her research and curatorial interests include institutional critique; and the intersection of art, gender, sexuality, and technology, particularly in fin-de-siècle France. She has presented her research throughout the United States, as well as France, England, and Poland.

Dominic Dongilli

Dominic Dongilli | Department of American Studies

Dominic Dongilli is a second-year graduate student in the Department of American Studies. He is also pursuing a Certificate in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. His research interests include the American environmental imaginary, critical animal studies, sexuality, and bio-politics within American zoos and museum spaces. He firmly believes that writing, research, and craft are the powerful center of a graduate humanities education. Further, these practices enable meaningful opportunities for public engagement and diverse career opportunities. Dominic chose to pursue an advanced humanities degree for these very reasons after receiving his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. He is particularly interested in co-mentoring relationships amongst graduate students, the writing process, and the role of humanities graduates within science-oriented institutions. He is from a family of healthcare practitioners and has previously worked in zoo animal care and conservation education. He hopes to foster awareness amongst institutions of the fruitful and generative collaborations that can take place amongst science organizations and humanities graduates.

Leslie Finer

Leslie Finer | Office of Outreach & Engagement

Leslie Finer is the Director of Arts and Humanities for UI’s Office of Outreach and Engagement. She works with students, faculty, and staff to partner with communities and organizations across the state on arts and humanities initiatives. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a PhD in musicology from the University of Iowa. Before working at the University of Iowa she taught music history and piano at Coe College.


Anna Flaming | Center for Teaching, Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology

As Associate Director of the Center for Teaching, Anna L. Bostwick Flaming leads the faculty development initiatives of the Center for Teaching and provides direct support through one-on-one consultations, workshops, and other programs for instructors across campus. In 2015, Anna launched and continues to direct the Early Career Program at the Center for Teaching, an initiative that supports instructors in their first three years of teaching at The University of Iowa. She has previously directed the annual Course Design Institute (which she launched in 2016), the TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) Program, and The Extraordinary Teaching Project web video series. She is a member of the University of Iowa Provost’s Task Force on First Generation College Students and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Humanities for the Public Good Advisory Board and previously served as a board member for the Obermann Graduate Institute. Anna’s interests include inclusive teaching, active learning, course design, curriculum design, early career faculty, and the Scholarship of Educational Development (SoED).


Eric Gidal | Department of English

Eric Gidal teaches courses in poetry, aesthetics, and the visual arts, and in eighteenth-century and romantic-era literature, particularly in reference to media studies, information theory, and environmental concerns. His recent book Ossianic Unconformities: Bardic Poetry in the Industrial Age (Virginia UP, 2015), explores a modern quest to locate vestiges of ancient poetry in the landscapes of an industrial world. Earlier work includes studies of poetry and museums, melancholy and social theory, romantic climatology, and the writings of Mme de Staël. Eric’s current scholarship continues to explore relations between literature, industrial space, and environmental history.

Sara Hales-Brittain | Department of Classics

Sara Hales-Brittain is a PhD candidate in Classics whose research focuses on the ancient Greek and Latin novels. After graduating from Hendrix College (Conway, AR) in 2014, Sara was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to Italy for the 2014-15 academic year and a Lawler Scholarship to attend the 2017 Summer Seminar at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. She currently serves as Social Media Director for the CAMWS Graduate Student Issues Committee. Sara is also Scholarly Marketing Assistant at the University of Iowa Press and is a former editorial assistant for TAPA (Society for Classical Studies) and managing editor for Syllecta Classica. Sara is an avid knitter, sometime crocheter, and erstwhile oboist.


Tom Keegan | Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, UI Libraries

Tom Keegan directs the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio in the University of Iowa Libraries. The Studio collaborates with faculty, staff, students, and community members on digital scholarly projects and provides support for a range of tools and platforms. The Studio also administers the Iowa Digital Library, Iowa Research Online, and DIY History. Keegan also teaches courses in the departments of Rhetoric and English and serves on the advisory committee the a graduate certificate in Public Digital Humanities. His work addresses digital pedagogy, public engagement, social innovation, and modernist literature. In 2012, Keegan co-founded Iowa Digital Engagement and Learning (IDEAL) with his colleague Matt Gilchrist. IDEAL collaborates with instructors to design digital and publicly-engaged assignments for use in graduate and undergraduate classrooms. He also serves on the advisory committees of the Engaged Social Innovation major track for Honors students.


Joni Kinsey | School of Art & Art History

Joni L. Kinsey received her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 and joined the faculty of the University of Iowa in 1991. She teaches a variety of classes, ranging from surveys of visual culture in the United States to thematic courses on American landscape painting, American print culture, art of the American National Parks, art and regional perspectives on America, and museum theory and practice.  Her research specialties include nineteenth-century landscape painting and art of the American West and Midwest, but her interests and research range widely, from nineteenth-century popular prints to the rise of women artists in the central U.S. In 2014 Professor Kinsey was a Fulbright Fellow in the United Kingdom and she is continuing to work on a book and possible exhibition from that experience, entitled Thomas Moran’s Britain: Transatlantic Visions of “The American Turner.”   

Brady Krien | Department of English

Brady Krien is a doctoral candidate in the English Department and a master’s candidate in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. He has previously served as a co-leader in the Rhetoric Department’s Professional Development Program (PDP), as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Center for Teaching, and as a Teaching-as-Research Mentor in the Center for the Integration of Teaching, Research, and Learning. Currently, Brady works as a graduate assistant in the Graduate College’s Graduate Success Office, where he helps graduate students explore career options, develop their professional portfolios and materials, and apply for nationally competitive grants and fellowships. Brady is also a contributing author at Inside Higher Ed’s GradHacker blog where he writes about issues related to graduate education, professional development, and teaching.

Lindsay Mattock | School of Library & Information Science

Lindsay Mattock is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science. Her work focuses on the archival practices of non-institutional archival spaces, such as media collectives and community archives. Her ongoing digital project, Mapping the Independent Media Community builds from archival resources and traces the historical social networks emerging between independent film and video makers, distributors, media arts centers, and cultural heritage institutions to understand how the historical conditions of the independent and avant-garde have influenced contemporary archival praxis. Her work attempts to break the traditional boundaries between community and academy, recognizing the value of an open dialog between community members, academics, and information professionals to ensure the representation of diverse voices in the archives. Since joining the University of Iowa, Lindsay has had the pleasure of working with graduate students representing a variety of disciplinary homes from across campus and supported students reimagining their career goals and possibilities as they complete their degrees. She is excited to serve on the Humanities for Public Good Advisory Board and looks forward to advancing the dialog regarding doctoral education and exploring community-engaged praxis across the humanities.

Lydia Maunz

Lydia Maunz-Breese | Department of English

Lydia Maunz-Breese is a sixth-year English PhD candidate currently writing her dissertation on the relationships among bereavement, mourning, and trauma in women’s poetry of the First World War. Lydia is a passionate believer in the power and importance of the humanities, as well as the necessity of redefining traditional graduate programs to encompass more diverse possibilities. To these ends, Lydia has had several opportunities to incorporate publicly engaged humanities into her graduate studies including becoming an Obermann Graduate Fellow for the Obermann Center’s Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy. Inspired by her work as a hospice volunteer as well as her dissertation, Lydia developed a poetry project in collaboration with Iowa City Hospice inviting hospice patients, family, and individuals in the larger community to explore and use poetry as a means of approaching grief and engaging in a communal conversation about dying and bereavement. During the summer of 2018, Lydia was the University of Iowa representative in a three-week Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Workshop in Chicago. The workshop engaged in an intense exploration of the possibilities of and opportunities beyond the walls of the academy for publicly engaged humanities. Lydia is excited to apply her knowledge and experience from these two most rewarding experiences of her graduate career to collaborating on the Humanities for the Public Good advisory board.

Ana Rodríguez-Rodríguez | Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Ana M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa. She has published articles on a variety of topics such as Christian-Muslim relations in the Mediterranean, women’s writing, and the Asian Spanish empire. In 2013, she published a book exploring Spanish captivity writings (Letras liberadas. Cautiverio, escritura y subjetividad en el de la época imperial española. Madrid: Visor Libros), and she is currently writing a monograph about the Philippines during Spanish colonial rule of the archipelago. She was Chair of the Faculty Assembly of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2016-2017. In 2015 she received the University of Iowa M.L. Huit Faculty Award.

Steve Silva |Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology

As Associate Director of the Center for Teaching, Steve manages a portfolio of learning technology consulting services and initiatives, including the Student Instructional Technology Assistants (SITA) Program and ongoing investigations of digital course content, among others. He also looks for strategic and emerging opportunities where learning technologies can directly solve faculty instructional goals and support student learning. Steve is interested in the ways that learning technologies impact and change socio-cultural interplay between faculty, students, and University administration. For example, he considers how active learning classrooms can upend the power relationship between instructor and student and how that disruption supports students’ creation and ownership of their academic production.

Jennifer Teitle | Graduate College

Jennifer Teitle is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Career and Professional Development at the University of Iowa. Jen’s seminars and discussions focus on strategies for career preparation, grant writing skills, and work-life balance. Her work has helped individuals find fulfilling careers in academia, industry, government, and the non-profit sector. Jen advocates for graduate education nationally, as part of the ImaginePhD team and through the Graduate Careers Consortium. She holds a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture and has 10 years of experience in Higher Education Administration.

Rachel Williams | Departments of Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies and Art & Art History

Rachel Marie-Crane Williams is an artist and teacher currently employed as an Associate Professor and as a University Ombuds at the University of Iowa. She has a joint appointment between the School of Art and Art History (Intermedia) and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. Her work as a researcher and creative scholar has always been focused on women’s issues, community, art, and people who are incarcerated. She earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing from East Carolina University and an MFA (Studio Art) and a PhD (Art Education) from Florida State University. Since graduating she has pursued additional training and certifications through Doulas of North America, Lamaze International Childbirth Education, the Rape Victims Advocate Program, Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Inside Out through Temple University, the International Ombudsman Association, and mediation training at Johnson County Community College.