What Do We Mean by Research Now?— Perspectives from Academic Podcasters in the US and Canada

Person trying to measure moon with measuring tape

The UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and Humanities for the Public Good are delighted to welcome academic podcasters in the US and Canada for the third round of “What Do We Mean by Research Now?” With the explosion of podcasts across disciplines in the past decade, humanities researchers are finding that podcasts and podcasting can encourage new forms of collaboration, knowledge, and public engagement. But as with any new form of scholarship, podcasts pose challenges for evaluation and assessment, from peer review to tenure and promotion. 

Join us for this virtual roundtable to learn about exciting new approaches to scholarly podcasting, innovative proposals for peer-reviewed podcasts, and national programs offering support for academic podcast creators. 


  • Hannah McGregor is an Assistant Professor of Publishing at Simon Fraser University, where her research focuses on podcasting as scholarly communication, systemic barriers to access in the Canadian publishing industry, and the history of magazines as serial media. She is the co-director of the Amplify Podcast Network, Canada’s first peer-reviewed podcast network, and the creator of the network’s pilot podcast, Secret Feminist Agenda. She is also the co-creator of Witch, Please, a feminist podcast on the Harry Potter world; the host of The SpokenWeb Podcast; and the co-editor of the book Refuse: CanLit in Ruins.
  • Deepthi Murali is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University and received her PhD in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She works on a number of digital history projects including the history podcasts Consolation Prize and Masala History, and is a producer for the Humanities Without Walls podcast PhD Futures Now! about career diversity and other issues of humanities graduate education. She is a big believer in the medium of podcasts and thinking about podcasting and other audiovisual media as a way to practice public-facing humanities. 
  • John Plotz is the Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University and co-host of podcasts Recall This Book and Novel Dialogue. He is the editor of the B-Sides series at Public Books as well as the new collection B-Side Books: Essays on Forgotten Favorites. His books include The Crowd: British Literature and Public Politics, Portable Property: Victorian Culture on the Move, and Semi-Detached: The Aesthetics of Virtual Experience since Dickens. He is among the co-founders of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative. He is also among the founding members of the new Humanities Podcast Network, which just hosted the inaugural Humanities Podcasting Symposium this October.
  • Moderated by Teresa Mangum, Director of the Obermann Center, and Laura Perry, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Scholar with Humanities for the Public Good. In Spring 2021, Humanities for the Public Good also hosted a series of conversations with audio storytellers about the intersections of academia and audio. Those conversations are available online.

Free and open to all, but registration is required: https://uiowa.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwvc-2hrDoqHdN6ueHoMJaJ5LPBjC5nWlcn

About this new series from the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies:

For many faculty members in the last decade the forms of artistic practice, scholarship, and research have undergone a sea change. Empirical methodologists in the social sciences engage with ethnographers. Artists take deep archival dives to prepare for plays and paintings. Engineers collaborate with anthropologists and English professors. Humanities scholars and technologists form international ArcGIS teams. Yet as the Mellon-funded Humane Metrics Initiative in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the American Council of Learned Societies, and other professional organizations frequently point out, our systems of evaluation have not kept pace with these new methodologies and forms. This year, the Obermann Center is hosting a series of conversations across the disciplines to highlight the many experimental, cutting edge, even controversial creations, discoveries, interpretive work, empirical studies, STEM experiments, publicly engaged and interdisciplinary projects that ask us to expand our understanding of research and what it means to be a research university. All discussions will be virtual, free, and open to the public.

Hosted by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies with support from the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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