About Working Groups

The working group concept has been adopted by many research universities as a way to bring faculty from across disciplines together around shared topics of interest. The longest-running working group program at the University of Iowa is offered by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, which provides meeting space in their lovely house, funding for books and speakers, and staff support for event planning and publicity. Groups usually meet once a month during the academic year.

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Translation Across the Humanities

One of Obermann's longest-running groups, Translation Across the Humanities includes scholars from departments ranging from Religion and Anthropology to Theatre and Art History. Meetings usually focus on translated literature and theoretical or craft-scholarship readings, accompanied by interactive presentations by either University of Iowa faculty or visiting translators and scholars on how their translation practices have produced outcomes meaningful to their work, whether literary translation or humanistic research. 

To learn more about this group, please contact its co-directors, Aron Aji (aron-aji@uiowa.edu) and Morten Schlütter (morten-schlutter@uiowa.edu).

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Spanish Heritage Speakers in the Classroom

This group brings together scholars, graduate students, and instructors interested in discussing the particular contextual factors that affect Heritage Language speakers at the University of Iowa (those who grew up speaking Spanish at home or in communities where Spanish is a minority language) and in the broader context of the state of Iowa. We use the approach of Critical Language Awareness, which emphasizes how oppressed groups can critically evaluate their surroundings and seek change through empowering, critiquing and questioning. 

To learn more about this working group, please contact its co-directors, Christine Shea (christine-shea@uiowa.edu) and Becky Gonzalez (rebecca-gonzalez-1@uiowa.edu). 

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Global Media Studies

We are a collaborative research group of scholars in the social sciences and humanities dedicated to issues in global media studies research. We are interested in conducting large-scale projects, including comparative research (exploring research questions in various countries or regions) and research that relies on mixed methodologies and new data collection techniques.

To learn more about this working group, please contact its co-directors, Melissa Tully (melissa-tully@uiowa.edu) and Jiyeon Kang (jiyeon-kang@uiowa.edu).

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Immigrants in Iowa

The complex issues entangled with immigrant resettlement, homebuilding, and community-building demand a multidisciplinary toolkit. This working group seeks to bring together the numerous scholars working on these issues as well as representatives from the community. Our goal is to foster a space for conversation about the shared and divergent threads of working with and for immigrants in Iowa so that we may incubate potential collaborations and identify key areas of mutual support. 

To learn more about this working group, please contact its director, Brady G'sell (brady-gsell@uiowa.edu).