Working Groups

talkingObermann Center Working Groups provide space, structure, and discretionary funding for groups led by faculty that may include advanced graduate students, staff members, and community members with a shared intellectual interest. Groups have used this opportunity to explore new work, to share their own research, to organize a symposium, and to develop grant proposals.

In 2017–18, the Obermann Center hosted 16 Working Groups: Circulating Cultures; Comparative Ethnic Studies; Contemporary Literary & Film Theory; Crossing the Social/Biological Divide; Developing Social Practice & Public Engagement as Course Content; Fossils and Farmland; Modes and Models of Facilitation; Narrative in the Clinic, the Classroom, and the Community; Opera Studies; Performance Studies; Personalization Algorithms and Bias in Social Media; Photovoice as a Tool for Learning, Exchange, and Change; Place-Based Inclusion, Scholarship of Public Engagement; Social Justice in K-12 Educational Contexts; and Translation in the Humanities.


  • Organized the 11th annual Iowa City Darwin Day symposium (Crossing the Social/Biological Divide Working Group)
  • Hosted artist and visiting lecturer Adam Pendleton in April 2018 under the auspices of the Dada Futures project (Performance Studies Working Group)
  • Held “Connecting through Place,” a three-minute speed research presentation and brainstorming session to build a network of people interested in local housing issues and learn from each other (Place-Based Inclusion Working Group)
  • History Corps, a former Obermann Working Group, rolled out its Native Spaces oral history project