Celebrating Humanities Scholars: Black History Month

Celebrating Humanities Scholars: Black History Month

In celebration of Black History month, we are featuring UChicago Humanities Division scholars and visiting scholars who presented their work during some of our latest public programs: The Berlin Family Lectures and Humanities Day, from 2020 to the present. We featured scholars whose lectures were recorded and are available on our YouTube Channel.


Humanities Day 2022: UChicago English Language and Literature scholar Kaneesha Parsard examines the legacies of slavery and emancipation in the Americas, particularly concerning how gender and sexuality structure race, labor, and capital. Her 2022 Humanities Day lecture was based on Trinidad during the 1920s and 1930s; and stories about working-class women who—amidst a global depression and personal hardship—reject marriage in favor of casual, transactional relationships known as "friending."




Humanities Day 2022 Lecture Recording


Humanities Day 2022: In his Keynote Address, UChicago English Language and Literature scholar Kenneth W. Warren asked how novels mirror society. During his presentation, entitled “Wealth, Inequality, and the Novel,” he discussed examples of recent fiction suggesting that—in our moment of unprecedented inequality—neither character nor society remains intelligible.


Read the UChicago News Story “Prof. Kenneth W. Warren to address how unprecedented income inequality affects literature in Humanities Day keynote.

Humanities Day Keynote Session Recording


Berlin Family Lectures 2022: Through three Berlin Family Lectures focused on the concept of “Meanwhile,” visiting scholar Claudia Rankine extended historian Tina Campt’s theory of “felt sound,” which she defined as “sound that, like a hum, resonates in and as vibration,” into the realm of “felt time.” Rankine used the work of visual artist Jennifer Packer, artist and filmmaker Titus Kaphar, and Harvard scholar Homi K. Bhabha to explore the concept of “Meanwhile.”


Read the UChicago News Story “ Poet Claudia Rankine to explore the meaning of survival in UChicago lecture series.

Berlin Family Lectures 2022

Lecture 1: “Meanwhile in the Work of Artist Jennifer Packer
Lecture 2:”Meanwhile in the Work of Artist and Filmmaker Titus Kaphar
Lecture 3: “Meanwhile: A Work in Process


Humanities Day 2021: UChicago English Language and Literature scholar C. Riley Snorton discussed the narratives about swamp people and swamp things that punctuate the story of the New World, from the maroon communities constituted by Indigenous peoples and formerly enslaved Africans beginning in the early 16th century to the first Asians (Filipinos) to arrive in the U.S., who settled in the swamps surrounding modern-day New Orleans in 1763.


Read the UChicago News Story “Scholar explores overlapping worlds of black and trans communities.

Humanities Day 2021 Lecture Recording


Berlin Family Lecturer 2020: Harvard visiting scholar Danielle Allen delivered a lecture series on “Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus,” describing the coronavirus as “a profound threat to our democracy, comparable to the Great Depression and World War II.”

  Read the UChicago News Story “Danielle Allen to deliver lecture series on ‘Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus.

Berlin Family Lectures 2020:
Lecture 1: “Bulwark of Democracy—Solidarity and Democratic Resilience in Times of Emergency
Lecture 2: “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience
Lecture 3: “Federalism is an Asset
Lecture 4: “A Transformed Peace


Humanities Day 2019 Keynote Speaker: UChicago Cinema and Media Studies scholar Jacqueline Stewart examined how home movies represent the histories of the communities from which they come.


Read the UChicago News Story “Humanities Day keynote to examine how home movies represent cultural history.”

Humanities Day 2019 Keynote Session Recording


February 9, 2023