Jacki Rand and Phillip Round receive Humanities Without Walls grant

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Jacki Tompson Rand
Jacki Thompson Rand

University of Iowa professors Jacki Rand and Phillip Round have received funding from Humanities Without Walls for a research project related to humanities work in a changing climate.

Professors Rand and Round will serve as collaborators on a three-year project that will bring together interdisciplinary teams of junior and senior scholars from multiple institutions. The project will include a graduate student lab practicum, and culminate with a symposium and edited collections to share research findings with undergraduates and the general public.

The project, coordinated by faculty at Northwestern University, received $138,360 from Humanities Without Walls, a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 15 major research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond.

Phillip Round
Phillip Round

The University of Iowa faculty members in the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program are part of a grant to study the shifting environmental, political, economic, and racial climates that define the Mississippi River’s course, meanings, and relation to Native peoples. The project, “Indigenous Art and Activism in Changing Climates: The Mississippi River Valley, Colonialism, and Environmental Change,” will focus on how Indigenous art and activism maintain intellectual traditions and exert continued rights to homelands, constituting strategies of persistence and resistance.

Jacki Thompson Rand, Associate Professor in History, will create a “climate”-themed exhibit on Midwest Native Spaces (formerly, Iowa Native Spaces), an enduring digital project that indigenizes a post-removal region that includes the Mississippi River. Phillip Round, John C. Gerber Chair in English, will focus on adapting his current blog (The Repatriation Files) to the needs of the consortium’s Graduate Practicum Lab, a public humanities writing project that will chronicle the grant’s outcomes, working to educate members of the community on the “shifting environmental, political, economic, and racial climates that define the Mississippi River’s course, meanings, and relation to Native peoples.”

Institutional partners include Northwestern University (principal investigator), the University of Minnesota (co-principal investigator), and the University of Mississippi. Faculty and graduate student collaborators from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, and University of Maine will also join the project.

Funded by $7.2 million in grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Humanities Without Walls aims to create new avenues for collaborative cross-institutional research, teaching, and scholarship in the humanities.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.