Obermann Reaches Out to the World

The Obermann Center welcomes the opportunity to support events that further our mission—promoting research and creative work, facilitating publicly engaged art and scholarship, and building intellectual community. University of Iowa faculty members may request small, discretionary grants to fund opportunities such as visiting speakers and conferences. 

Thank you to artist Traci Molloy for the above artwork, which is the culmination of a workshop she led with students from United Action for Youth. 

From the nearly three dozen events and opportunities that the Obermann Center co-sponsored in 2015–16, here are a few highlights:

“Inside the Graduate School Mess: A Conversation about Problems and Solutions”

September 3, 2015: Leonard Cassuto, professor of English at Fordham University, discussed his book, which has stirred national debate, The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It (Harvard University Press, 2015).

Deaf Awareness Week

September 20–September 26, 2015: The UI’s American Sign Language & Deaf Studies Program hosted a weeklong series of events, “In Celebration of Deaf Awareness Week.”

“Social Justice after Ferguson” Symposium

October 15–16, 2015: The UI’s Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies Department organized a symposium with partners across campus to explore the intersections of race, class, gender, violence, civil rights, and the criminal justice system in the United States after the events that took place in Ferguson and afterward.

Post*45 Symposium

November 6–7, 2015: Post*45 is an international collective of scholars working on American literature and culture since 1945. A Post*45 event was organized by Loren Glass (English, CLAS) and hosted at the University of Iowa.

“Scientific Books and Their Makers” Symposium

October 16–17, 2015: This symposium, organized by the University of Iowa Center for the Book and the Rare Book School, brought together literary and historical scholars, book artists whose work has been influenced by encounters with historical and modern-day scientific study, and scientists. Events included an exhibition of rare scientific and medical books at the John Martin Rare Book Room at the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, as well as the opening of the exhibit “Micrographia: Book Art Responses to Early Modern Scientific Books” at the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Visit the symposium’s website for more information.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Felicia Rice Events

March 28–31, 2016: An Obermann Working Group brought celebrated performance artist Gómez-Peña and book artist Felicia Rice to campus as Ida Beam Visiting Professors for a series of events, performances, and an exhibit by Rice.

Iowa City Darwin Day

February 18–20, 2016: Iowa City’s annual Darwin Day is a grand celebration of science and its many contributions to humanity. This year’s conference welcomed a slate of world-renowned scientists who shared their research in a series of professional seminars and public talks. Learn more about Darwin Day activities.

Traci Molloy Art Installation

October 1, 2015: Visiting independent artist Traci Molloy, who taught a workshop with students at United Action for Youth in conjunction with the 2014 Obermann Summer Seminar, returned to Iowa City to unveil the public art piece she created with the students. The work was installed on the side of the Wesley Center, the building that houses Public Space One.

Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp through MIT’s Male Math Maze

September 21, 2015: Created in response to former Harvard President Lawrence Summers’s now infamous suggestion that women are less represented in the sciences than men are because of innate gender differences, this one-woman show featured writer/performer and “recovering mathematician” Gioia De Cari.

Su Friedrich Visit

November 2015: Avant-garde filmmaker Su Friedrich gave lectures and held discussions with community members in conjunction with Iowa City’s Witching Hour Festival.

“Coffee, Frogs, and Workers”

October 29, 2015: Paul Robbins, director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, visited the UI and gave a talk.