Faculty

Prof. Martha Nussbaum to Address Animal Rights in Humanities Day Keynote

Martha C. Nussbaum presents the keynote address at Humanities Day, Oct. 17

Prof. Martha C. Nussbaum has built her storied career on championing underdogs. Now, the influential philosopher and humanist is turning her attention toward the entire animal kingdom.

The University of Chicago scholar argues for both an ethical revolution and new legislation to protect animals against mistreatment, including the poaching of elephants and rhinos and the devastation of natural habitat through climate change and human greed. But how do we create a wholly new approach to protect diverse animals?

Nussbaum will further that conversation during her keynote address on Humanities Day, hosted Oct. 17 by UChicago’s Division of the Humanities.

Her address, titled “Animals: Expanding the Humanities,” will be held at 11 a.m. CDT during the first fully virtual celebration of Humanities Day. Now marking its 40th anniversary, Humanities Day highlights the power of art, literature, philosophy, music, linguistics and language—presenting the public with a snapshot of leading humanities research at the University of Chicago.

True or False? What a UChicago Linguist Will Look for During the Presidential Debates

Chris Kennedy

On Sept. 29 in Cleveland, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will face each other on stage for the first time. 

The candidates could face more scrutiny than they have elsewhere on the campaign trail, as moderators, pundits and their opponent may fact-check them in real time. But will fact-checking make a difference in the way audiences receive the candidate’s messages?

That’s a question which University of Chicago linguist Chris Kennedy has thought about for years. The William H. Colvin Professor of Linguistics teaches a course on truth, examining the concept’s relevance in an age of “alternative facts” and “fake news.” In 2018, he also focused on the nature of truth in a keynote speech for Humanities Day, an annual UChicago tradition that began in 1980.

Controversial Classics Spur New Conversations for TCM Hosts

Jacqueline Stewart by Joe Mazza, Brave Lux

Most of the classic films that run on TCM are introduced by a single host. In March, some will require a whole team.

The WarnerMedia outlet on Thursdays this month will seek to put some popular but troublesome films in better context, part of an effort it calls “Reframed.” Teams will ponder cultural issues posed by films such as “Gone With The Wind,” “Psycho,” “The Searchers,” “My Fair Lady” and “Gunga Din,” among others. Some of the hosts hope the initiative will continue beyond the next four weeks.

“We are hearing more and more from audiences about moments they are really puzzling over, if not downright offended by, in light of all of the broader cultural and political conversations we are having,” says Jacqueline Stewart, who became TCM’s first Black host in 2019 and is a cinema-studies professor at the University of Chicago.

ECHO Game Brings Students Together--and Keeps Them Safe

Culminating in an Oct. 30 livestream, ECHO brought together students and other members of the UChicago community through weeks of collaborative play. Photo courtesy of the Fourcast Lab

A portal in the Regenstein Library. A rabbit hole to a mysterious alternate universe. Messages from the beyond—and the 1980s. This might seem like an alternate plot of Back to the Future, but you won’t find Marty McFly combing the library stacks. All of these elements were part of ECHO, the newest game launched by the University of Chicago’s Fourcast Lab.

“Purely educational games tend not to work well,” said Fourcast Lab member Patrick Jagoda, a professor of English Language and Literature and Cinema & Media Studies and director of the Weston Game Lab. “Instead, we wanted to embed safe and healthy behaviors within more engaging or creative quests.”

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