'Scrappers' Currently Screening at Siskel Film Center, Receives “Two Thumbs Up”

Directors Ben Kolak, Brian Ashby, and Courtney Prokopas’s documentary film Scrappers has received rave reviews across Chicago, including “two thumbs up” from film critic Roger Ebert as well as awards for “Best Documentary Feature” and the “Audience Award” at the 2010 Chicago Underground Film Festival. Kolak, Ashby, and Prokopas are graduates of the College, and Ashby currently works as a Program Assistant with the South Asia Language and Area Center (SALAC) and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS) within the Division of the Humanities.

From the Chicago Underground Film Festival:

Set in Chicago’s labyrinth of alleys Scrappers is a revealing portrait of Oscar and Otis, two metal scavengers searching for a living with brains, brawn, and battered pickup trucks. Shot in vérité style, the film focuses on work: finding metals, raising children, understanding the city. A close examination of the men’s daily lives raises questions about popular notions of poverty, race-relations, personal self-sufficiency, and urban sustainability. Scrappers tackles the geography of a still-segregated city, the hidden lives of undocumented people, and the far-reaching effects of the 2008 financial collapse.

To read Ebert’s review in its entirety please click here, and to read an interview with directors Ben Kolak, Brian Ashby, and Courtney Prokopas on Gaper’s Block please click here.

Kathy Fox wins 2009 Richman Award

Kathy Fox, Administrative Assistant for the Classics Department, was honored for her commitment to helping students as the winner of the 2009 Marlene F. Richman Award for Excellence and Dedication in Service to Students. The Office of the Vice President for Campus Life writes, ”as evidenced by the swelling campaign by students who have nominated Kathy for this award for several years, she has been and remains a major source of support for students in her department. Kathy is an exceptionally caring, professional, and kind member of our community.”

This is the second year that a member of the Division of Humanities has won the Richman Award. Last year’s winner, Juanita Denson retired shortly after receiving the award following over forty years of service to the University.

Congratulations Kathy!

For more information about Kathy’s work and the award please click here.

Ted Foss weighs in on “I love you” in the 'Chicago Tribune'

Ted Foss, the associate director of the Center for East Asian Studies, was consulted for the Chicago Tribune‘s look at the phrase “I love you” as it is used in Japan. Turns out, the Japanese don’t like to use the phrase, preferring to invent proclamations that better reflect their individual relationships.
From the article:
“There is a verb for love in Japanese,” said Ted Foss, the associate director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. “But you wouldn’t get a card that says, ‘I love you.” It might say, ‘I like you very much’ or ‘You’re all that I need.’”
Click here for news and events from the Center for East Asian Studies.

'Sun-Times' spotlights Project Bamboo, Arno Bosse

Project Bamboo, an 18-month initiative to develop web services for scholarly research, was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times. The article quotes Arno Bosse, senior director of technology for the Humanities Division:
Computers are already good at finding patterns, particularly in text…It would be great if computers could also recognize people and place names in ancient Chinese texts or the types of shots made in a silent movie.
Project Bamboo is an effort to develop software that would expand the abilities of computers to include such tasks. The project, which involves over 100 museums, libraries and schools, is being led by the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley. It is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
For more information, see the Project Bamboo website.