Little Resurrections: Laboring to Find Wonder in Our Work — An Obermann Conversation

black and white Ansel Adams photo of field laborers

Join a minister, a dancer, and a religious anthropologist for a conversation about social justice, the body's awe-inspiring movement, and the tension between the mundane and profound qualities of 21st-century labor.  

The past few months have shone an intense light on the demands of different forms of work. Americans are picking lettuce in the midst of nearby forest fires, chasing kindergartners while on Zoom work calls, and caring for COVID patients. Workers deemed "essential" are treated as though they are "dispensable" as the pandemic intensifies long simmering tensions. What kinds of labor do we value? Who gets to stay at home and who must go to work? What are the costs of imagining labor as primarily mental or physical rather than embodied? And can we ever find wonder in our work?

Moving from their own experiences of awe and wonder, David Borger-Germann, Christopher-Rasheem McMillan, and Kristy Nabhan-Warren will reflect on how we might rekindle a relationship with wonder in our daily work, and how doing so could help us to maintain hope and empathy, as well as the energy needed to meet our world's challenges. 

Please join us for this virtual conversation! Register to receive the Zoom link.

About our speakers:

David Borger-Germann is the executive pastor of Sanctuary Community Church in Iowa City. He holds a Master's of Divinity and serves on the Iowa Coordinating Committee of The Poor People's Campaign.

Christopher-Rasheem McMillan is a choreographer and a scholar who holds a joint appointment in Dance and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies. He has a MFA in experimental choreography from TrinityLaban (UK) and a PhD from King’s College, London (UK) in theology and religious studies. He is currently in New Haven, CT, where he is a Fellow of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University.

Kristy Nabhan-Warren is the inaugural the inaugural V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Chair in Catholic Studies; she has joint appointments in Religious Studies and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. She is the author of the forthcoming book with University of North Carolina Press (Fall 2021): "Meat America: The Work of Faith in the Heartland."

Free and open to all.

This event is co-sponsored by the Iowa City Public Library and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at