Director’s Message: April 2017

Dear Colleagues and Friends of the CEAH,

When last I wrote it was a warm and sunny winter, which has now turned into a cold and dreary spring. But March was a busy month, and I have much to report besides the weather.

Over Iowa State’s spring break I flew to Washington D.C., then in the grips of what we in Iowa would call a light snow flurry but which there amounted to a major weather event that paralyzed the capital. Nevertheless, the National Humanities Alliance’s advocacy day went on as planned. I was joined by Barbara Ching, the chair of English here at ISU, along with Teresa Mangum, director of the University of Iowa’s Obermann Center Advanced Studies, and other colleagues from U of I and Coe College. We met with every representative and senator from the state and advocated strongly on behalf of the NEH, as well as the NEA and other funding sources for arts and humanities. Our focus was not to win money for our universities but to stress the many forms of public humanities – libraries, museums, art events, etc. – that these organizations support in communities all around the Iowa.

A much fuller account of our time in D.C. can be found in this excellent report by Teresa Mangum on the Obermann Center’s webpage.

Back here in Ames, CEAH held its annual Benson Lecture. The speaker was Caroline Bruzelius, Anne M. Cogan Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University. Her talk, “Apps, Maps, and Models: Visualization as Reasoning,” focused on integrating digital technologies into arts and humanities research and teaching. While on campus, she also met with faculty and students from several departments, including Architecture, Art and Visual Culture, History, and World Languages and Cultures, as well as the Virtual Reality Applications Center, creating a number of interdisciplinary connections.

On a smaller scale, but no less important, the Center sponsored a reception for the new Research Exchange on Critical Engagements with Economic Thought. It was well-attended, and the group has already gained a few new members here on the ISU campus. Check out their webpage here.

I hope the model provided by this first Research Exchange will inspire more. If you have any interest in launching such an endeavor via the CEAH, please contact me.


Michael Bailey