Living Through Turbulent Times with Jane Austen

Rachel Cohen

This excerpt published in The New Yorker is drawn from "Austen Years" by Rachel Cohen, which is available for purchase as of July 21 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The author discusses how six unexpectedly far-ranging novels carried her through eight years, two births, one death, and a changing world. Cohen is Professor of Practice in the Arts in the Program of Creative Writing in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago.

Michael Silverstein, Groundbreaking Anthropologist and Linguist, 1945-2020

Michael Silverstein

Prof. Michael Silverstein, a leading University of Chicago anthropologist who made groundbreaking contributions to linguistic anthropology and helped define the field of sociolinguistics, died July 17 in Chicago following a battle with brain cancer. He was 74.

The Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Psychology, Silverstein was known for his highly influential research on language-in-use as a social and cultural practice and for his long-term fieldwork on Native language speakers of the Pacific Northwest and of Aboriginal Australia. Most recently, Silverstein examined the effects of globalization, nationalism, and other social forces on local speech communities.

How an Alternate Reality Game Helped Build Community During the Pandemic

Patrick Jagoda

Interactive media has proven itself to be one of the most powerful forces in today’s world. A group of artists, designers and technicians at the University of Chicago is pushing the boundaries of how this new media can be used to build community and shape our interactions.

This spring, a team of scholars affiliated with the Weston Game Lab and the College developed and presented A Labyrinth, an alternate reality game that utilized the UChicago campus as the playspace for a series of interactive quests. Responding to the need for community as Spring Quarter classes and activities moved online in response to COVID-19, this initiative asks big questions about the future of the arts and media.

How do we relate to each other in this new world? How do we spend time together? How can we help fill the gap left by in-person interaction—and what new ways of interaction can we devise?

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