UChicago Writers Include University in Cast of Characters

Many University of Chicago alumni who go on to publish fiction—such as Philip Roth, AM'55, Saul Bellow, X’39, Andrew Greeley, AM’61, PhD’62, Sara Paretsky, AM’69, MBA’77, PhD’77 , and Georg Mann, AB’35—find the University irresistible as a source of setting, conflict, or in some situations, character. Authors have chosen to use the University as a backdrop for characters stalled on dissertation work, as a site of social or political progress, and often as a comfort and inspiration to characters looking to live, in Philip Roth's words, a life that is "enormous." These "enormous" lives are fraught with a number of failures and successes, but for alumni, current faculty members, and even non-alumni, the University as a character or setting is a captivating concept. For some authors though, the captivation turns to intrigue as Alzina Stone Dale, AM'57, reveals in her 1995 book Mystery Reader's Walking Guide: Chicago, which weaves readers in and out of the campus and the Hyde Park neighborhood to retrace the paths of fictional sleuths.

If you want to brush up on the fictional happenings at the University, consult this article and read the reflections of twenty-one novelists and poets with connections to the University in An Unsentimental Education: Writers and Chicago, by Molly McQuade, AB'81 For those simply hoping to tour the locations that inspired these authors, a literary map of campus can be found here.

MA Program in the Humanities Launches Digital Publication

The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) recently launched the first issue of its digital magazine, Colloquium, which aims to showcase critical and creative work from current MAPH students as well as alumni and staff. The first issue focuses on the theme of "Chicago," and features fiction, photography, critical essays, creative non-fiction, video, poetry, and more. Through its digital platform, Colloquium hopes to continue to feature multimedia content such as video, sound, and games, as well as writing. Submissions to Colloquium are accepted on an ongoing basis from contributors with ties to the MAPH program. Students, alums, faculty and preceptors past or present are encouraged to submit. For more information about the MAPH program including admissions, courses, and alumni news, click here.

National Prize for Historic Music Awarded to Alumni-Led Ensemble

Schola Antiqua of Chicago, a professional vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of music composed before the year 1600, was recently awarded the 2012 Noah Greenberg Award by the American Musicological Society. The Artistic Director of Schola Antiqua, Michael Alan Anderson, earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in the History and Theory of Music in 2008. About the winning project, "Sounding the Neumatized Sequence," he says, “The year 2012 marks the 1100th anniversary of the death of the most important sequence composer, Notker Balbulus of St. Gall, and scholars of the sequence have turned renewed attention to the curious, widespread musical practice of ‘neumatization’ in particular. Early music ensembles however have scarcely kept pace with these latest developments in medieval music scholarship.”

The Noah Greenberg award aims to "stimulate active cooperation between scholars and performers by recognizing and fostering outstanding contributions to historical performing practices." Schola Antiqua served as an Artist in Residence in the Department of Music in 2006-2007, making this the second consecutive year that an artist connected to the University has won this prestigious award. Last year's winner was the New Budapest Orpheum Society, an Ensemble in Residence in the Division of the Humanities, for their project “Representing the Holocaust, Resounding Terezín.”

Civic Knowledge Project's Winning Words Program Wins Prize for Innovation

The Civic Knowledge Project recently received the Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs for its program Winning Words: Thinking, Speaking, and Acting Philosophically. Winning Words introduces students on Chicago's South Side to philosophical practices such as considered self-expression, reasonable and cooperative conversation, collaborative inquiry, and thoughtful self-examination through sessions with University of Chicago students who bring the program to local schools. By combining these sessions with on-campus opportunities for class discussions and theatrical performances, young students are able not only to expand their philosophical knowledge but also to interact with college students and the campus itself, illustrating the rewards of a college education.

The annual prize, sponsored by the American Philosophical Association and the Philosophy Documentation Center, aims "to recognize programs that risk undertaking new initiatives and do so with excellence and success." The winning institution receives campus-wide online access to a variety of philosophy resources in order to strengthen interest in the program.

For more information on the Civic Knowledge Project and its programs, including how to get involved, please visit the project's website.

To learn more about the types of conversations students participating in Winning Words are having, be sure to read the excellent, in-depth article that appeared in The Core magazine.

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