Dare to Bridge Boundaries

Teresa Mangum


Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
Professor, Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies

College(s): Liberal Arts & Sciences

When most people think about research at a large university, they may imagine women and men in white lab coats studying DNA, physicists calculating the movements of distant planets, or engineers trying to develop alternative energy. The contribution to society and culture of humanities scholarship can be overlooked—something Teresa Mangum is committed to preventing. Mangum works to bridge boundaries across the disciplines as director of the Obermann Center, an intellectual community that supports artists, scholars, and researchers as they unearth the past, explain and engage the present, and invent the future. The center is part of a two-year, $3 million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project launched in 2014 called “Humanities Without Walls,” designed to create new avenues for innovative teaching and scholarship in the humanities. And in early 2015, with Mangum’s help as co-principal investigator, the University of Iowa and Grinnell College received a $1.6 million grant from The Mellon Foundation to develop humanities-centered collaborations that expand the use of digital technology among faculty and students.

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