What Do We Mean by Research Now?—Perspectives from National Foundations and the Researchers They Support

Person trying to measure moon with measuring tape

The UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies is delighted to welcome both national leaders of funding bodies and impressive recipients the our second round of “What Do We Mean by Research Now?” So often, when a scholar—especially a junior faculty member—proposes a groundbreaking project outside of traditional project, the response is: “But how we would evaluate that?” However, in the last decade, organizations that have long funded traditional research have become both advocates for and evaluators of revolutionary ways of working, especially in the humanities and social sciences.

Join us for this virtual roundtable to learn about exciting new approaches to assessment rooted in values and institutional mission, to publicly engaged and even embedded scholars, to social and racial justice research, to digital projects and collaborations, and more.

Free and open to all, but registration is required. REGISTER to receive the Zoom link.

John Paul Christy is the Senior Director of Fellowships and Public Programs at the American Council of Learned Societies. He has led pioneering programs at ACLS that are focused on the public dimensions of humanities research through. One of the most exciting is a collaboration, the Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowships, that embeds scholars with public partner organizations.  After receiving in PHD in Classical Studies, he was a Presidential Management Fellow in Washington, DC., where he worked in the areas of public diplomacy and internet anti-censorship.

Kim Gallon is an Associate Professor of History, African American Studies, American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Purdue University. Her work ranges from her book, Pleasure in the News: African American Readership and Sexuality in the Black Press (2020) to digital projects like The Black Press Research Collective and COVID Black: A Taskforce on Black Health and Data. She has designed curriculum for both the Colored Conventions Project (for the Philadelphia school district) and the Armah Institute for Emotional Justice. Her research in multi-media formats has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Spencer Foundation.

Christopher Long is the Foundation Professor, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters, Dean of the MSU Honors College, and Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. He directs the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Humane Metrics Initiative (HuMetricsHSS), a transformative initiative that “creates and supports values-enacted frameworks for understanding and evaluating all aspects of the scholarly life well-lived and for promoting the nurturing of these values in scholarly practice.” He is the author of The Ethics of Ontology (SUNY 2004), Aristotle On the Nature of Truth (Cambridge 2010), Socratic and Platonic Political Philosophy: Practicing a Politics of Reading (Cambridge 2014), and Reiner Schürmann and the Poetics of Politics (Punctum 2018) and founder of the Public Philosophy Journal.

Jason Rhody is the Program Director for Digital Culture, the Media and Democracy program, and the Social Data Initiative, which includes the Social Data Research and Dissertation Fellowship program at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). After receiving a PHD in English, he became Senior Program Officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities in the Office of Digital Humanities, where his collaborations stretched from the UK to Germany to Brazil and connected the NEH, National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Photo credit: Laurent Laveder, www.laurentlaveder.com, from his "Moon games" series. 

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