Teresa Mangum | Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, Departments of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and English
Teresa Mangum is the P.I. of the Humanities for the Public Good project. She is the director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and a professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and English at the University of Iowa. She is the UI representative to the Mellon-funded Humanities Without Walls consortium headed by Antoinette Burton at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century women, aging, and animal studies as well as publicly engaged humanities. She co-founded the Obermann Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy and leads a national working group on experiments in humanities publicly engaged graduate education. Teresa co-edits the University of Iowa Press book series Humanities and Public Life and is a member of the National Humanities Alliance Board of Directors.


Jennifer New | Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
Jennifer is Associate Director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. She oversees the Center’s communications and plays a major role in facilitating the programs, community engagement, and event planning. An accomplished writer, she is the author of three books, Dan Eldon: Safari as a Way of Life (Chronicle Books, 2011) being the most recent. She has curated several exhibits and co-directed two short documentaries. Jennifer is a lifelong student of yoga and teaches locally.

Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar

Ashley Cheyemi McNeil | Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

McNeil earned her bi-national PhD in English from Georgia State University and in American Studies from the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany. As a manager for the Student Innovation Fellowship at Georgia State, she worked with cross-disciplinary teams of students, faculty, and community partners to imagine and implement public-facing projects that leveraged digital tools to display and disseminate stories and research. She focused her efforts on engaging the rich knowledge networks outside of academia, frequently partnering with minority groups in the Atlanta area. McNeil’s scholarly work is grounded in narrative expressions of empathetic humanisms, while her research agenda focuses on practice-based and community-engaged graduate training.

Graduate Research Assistant

color headshot of Torie Burns

Torie Burns | Department of English
Torie is an English PhD candidate studying American literature from 1900 to the present. Her interests include memoirs, food studies, and embodiment. Prior to attending Iowa’s program, she earned a BA in English and Psychology at Duke University and worked at Vanderbilt University’s business school. When she’s not reading, she’s most likely taking pictures, traveling, or taking pictures while traveling.

Advisory Board

The Humanities for the Public Good Advisory Board works in subcommittee groups. For the 2019-20 year, the focus of these groups is Career Exploration, Community Engagement, Dissertations, and Pedagogical Models. Each committee is exploring exciting experiments across the country, such as humanities labs and project-based learning.

Board Members

Aron Aji | Director | Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Aron leads the Translation Workshop; teaches courses on retranslation, poetry and translation, theory, and contemporary Turkish literature; in addition, he is an active translator of Turkish literature.


Stephanie Blalock | Digital Humanities Librarian | Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, UI Libraries

In addition to her work at the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, Stephanie is the Associate Editor of the Walt Whitman Archive and The Vault at Pfaff’s

Luke Borland | PhD Candidate | Department of History

Luke’s work focuses on youth labor service programs in the United States and Nazi Germany during the Great Depression. He examines


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

Caroline Cheung | PhD Candidate | Department of English
Caroline works at the intersections of women of color feminisms, theories of state violence, and political discourses.

Liz Crooks | Director | Pentacrest Museums
Liz has a long administrative career in higher education and holds an MA in museum studies and a Graduate Certificate in Book Arts. 


David Cunning | Professor and Chair | Department of Philosophy
David’s 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.

Kimberly Datchuk | Curator of Learning and Engagement | Stanley Museum

Kim 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. S

Dominic Dongilli

Dominic Dongilli | PhD Candidate | Department of American Studies
Dominic’s research interests include the American environmental imaginary, critical animal studies, sexuality, and bio-politics within American zoos and museum spaces.

Leslie Finer

Leslie Finer | Director of Arts & Humanities | Office of Outreach & Engagement

Leslie works with students, faculty, and staff to partner with communities and organizations across the state on arts and humanities initiatives.


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


Eric Gidal | Professor | Department of English
Eric teaches courses in poetry, aesthetics, and the visual arts, and in 18th-century and romantic-era literature, particularly in reference to media studies, information theory, and environmental concerns. current scholarship continues to explore relations between literature, industrial space, and environmental history.

Sara Hales-Brittain | PhD Candidate | Department of Classics
Sara’s research focuses on the ancient Greek and Latin novels. She is also Scholarly Marketing Assistant at the University of Iowa Press.


Tom Keegan | Director | Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, UI Libraries
In addition to his cross-campus work at The Studio, Tom teaches courses in the departments of Rhetoric and English and works in the areas of digital pedagogy, public engagement, social innovation, and modernist literature.


Joni Kinsey | Professor | School of Art & Art History
Joni’s research specialties include 19th-century landscape painting and art of the American West and Midwest. Her teaching includes 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.  

Brady Krien | PhD Candidate | Department of English and MA Candidate | School of Library & Information Science
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.


Lindsay Mattock | Assistant Professor | School of Library & Information Science
Lindsay’s work focuses on the archival practices of non-institutional archival spaces, such as media collectives and community archives.

Lydia Maunz

Lydia Maunz-Breese | PhD Candidate | Department of English
Lydia’s dissertation focuses on the relationships among bereavement, mourning, and trauma in women’s poetry of the First World War.

Ana Rodríguez-Rodríguez | Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies | Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Ana has published articles on a variety of topics such as Christian-Muslim relations in the Mediterranean, women’s writing, and the Asian Spanish empire, as well as a book exploring Spanish captivity writings.

Steve Silva |Associate Director | 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.

Jennifer Teitle | Assistant Dean |Graduate College
Jennifer organizes and leads seminars and discussions about career preparation, grant writing, and work-life balance. An advocate for graduate education nationally, her work has helped individuals find fulfilling careers in academia, industry, government, and the non-profit sector.

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

Rachel’s work as a researcher and creative scholar is focused on women’s issues, community, art, and people who are incarcerated. She has numerous additional training and certifications, including through Doulas of North America, the Rape Victims Advocate Program, Inside Out through Temple University, and the International Ombudsman Association.

Program Alumni

Graduate Research Assistant (Spring 2019)

Aiden Bettine | Department of History
Aiden M. Bettine is concurrently pursuing a Ph.D. in History and a Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa while focused on producing community-engaged digital history projects that centralize marginalized histories in the U.S. He holds both a Bachelor’s in History and African & Black Diaspora Studies and a Master’s in Critical Ethnic Studies from DePaul University. His public facing doctoral work is grounded in interdisciplinary methodologies with an emphasis on developing local oral history projects and companion archives, most notably through the founding of the Transgender Oral History Project of Iowa. His dissertation research examines the development of community archives cities across the Midwest, wrestling with issues of race, access, preservation, knowledge production, and historical memory.