The University of Iowa

Call for Participants: Local Heroes Citizen Scholars Literary Research

This summer the University of Iowa Digital Studio for Public Humanities ('The Studio') and the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature Organization will launch the second edition of "Local Heroes Citizen Scholars Literary Research,” a collaborative research project on Iowa City's authors. The Studio is currently seeking eight members of the community to participate the project as researchers, working in groups of three, to conduct research on the work of a local author.

Through this research, you will meet a local author; familiarize yourself with the author’s work; conduct interviews about the author’s experiences as a writer and about the creative process; and develop a digital author biography that will include pictures, writing, and video clips. This research will be published online and featured on the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature (UCOL) mobile application:

In recognition of your participation, you will receive a modest honorarium of $100 and will be hosted to a lunch with your author. As part of the collaborative project, citizen scholars will also be trained in basic interviewing and media production skills. The Studio's hope is to launch the citizen-produced scholarship in October 2014 in conjunction with the Iowa City Book Festival.

At last year’s IC Book Festival, The Studio launched the biographies of Robyn Schiff Larry Baker, and Sarah Prineas -- all of which were written by local community researchers.  

This summer, The Studio looks forward to engaging citizen-researched and written biographies of Kembrew McLeod <>, Laura Crossett <>, and poet Daniel Khalastchi <>.

Please don’t hesitate to contact The Studio if you have questions, through Raquel Baker: If you would like to participate, please let Raquel Baker know by June 30. If you are not able to participate, please let Raquel Baker know if you have recommendations for community members who might be interested. In advance, thanks for your consideration. We know how unique Iowa City’s literary culture is, so we especially appreciate the opportunity to work with you to share that culture with the rest of the global community.


Raquel Baker

Local Heroes coordinator


Jon Winet, project director

Andrew Williams, Local Heroes coordinator