News

Humanities Conversation Centers on Ling Ma's Novel "Severance"

Ling Ma

Ling Ma’s award-winning debut novel about an epidemic, Severance, has found new resonance amid the coronavirus outbreak. In an online conversation anchored by her novel, Ma and Paola Del Toro (AB’20), will discuss “The President Told Us All to Go Shopping” on June 11 at 6 p.m. CDT hosted by the Department of English Language and Literature and the Program in Creative Writing.

 

From Concerts to Museums, UChicago Artists Find New Inspiration Under Quarantine

Fanfare of Hope and Solidarity

What does a pandemic mean for the arts?

The COVID-19 crisis has forced the widespread closures of theaters, concert halls and other cultural institutions, across the United States and beyond. Even the venues that manage to survive a prolonged shutdown might reemerge in a very different world—one that could dramatically reshape interactions between performers and audiences.

Co-Creating Worlds: An Interview with Guggenheim Fellow Patrick Jagoda

The Guggenheim Fellowship is awarded to practitioners in a diverse range of fields—arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences—and recognizes those with significant prior accomplishment and exceptional potential. Through its gifts of time and money, the Guggenheim Foundation enables 175 awardees (winnowed from over 3,000 applicants) to further their scholastic and creative endeavors over the course of a year. This year, the University of Chicago has five recipients, tied with Stanford for the highest number from a single school. We reached out to Professor Patrick Jagoda, an awardee in the arts field, to hear more about his work and plans for the Fellowship.

Humanities Scholar David Wellbery Elected to American Philosophical Society

David Wellbery

Three University of Chicago scholars have been elected to the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States.

Profs. Sidney Nagel, David Tracy and David Wellbery are among the 34 new members honored this year from a wide variety of academic disciplines. Announced May 5, the 2020 class also includes two UChicago alumni: current Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, AM’77, PhD’87; and renowned primatologist Jeanne Altmann, PhD’79.

Danielle Allen to Deliver Lecture Series on "Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus"

Danielle Allen

The United States can become the world leader in virus response—if only the country were able to break the “laws of politics.”

That’s what Danielle Allen wrote in a recent Washington Post column, arguing for the creation of 30 “mega-labs” to test for COVID-19. A few days before that, the Harvard University political theorist helped publish “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience,” a report describing the coronavirus as “a profound threat to our democracy, comparable to the Great Depression and World War II.”

Allen will further that conversation as part of the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Lectures, hosted by the University of Chicago. Registration for the series is free and open to the public.

Six UChicago Scholars Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Maud Ellmann

Six members of the University of Chicago faculty have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. They include Profs. Joy Bergelson, Maud Ellmann, Giulia Galli, William Howell, André Neves and Alexander Razborov.

These scholars have all conducted groundbreaking research in their fields, from predicting the behavior of molecules to examining U.S. presidential power to creating the foundations of new algorithms. They join the 2020 class of 276 individuals, announced April 23, which includes artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. 

UChicago Philosopher Agnes Callard Receives 2020 Lebowitz Prize

Agnes Callard photo by Eddie Quinones

For University of Chicago philosopher Agnes Callard, becoming someone is an extended learning process—a project of self-transformation that hinges not on specific rational decisions, but on aspiring to new values.

She introduced that idea in Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming, a 2018 book that one reviewer called “deep and broad in its philosophical reach.” That reviewer was Laurie Paul, the Yale University scholar with whom Callard now shares the 2020 Lebowitz Prize, awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of philosophy.

'Road Map' to Recovery Report: 20 Million Coronavirus Tests Per Day Needed to Fully Open Economy

Danielle Allen

Political philosopher and historian of political thought Danielle Allen is the lead author of the 'Road Map' to Recovery Report and will be this year's speaker for the Virtual Berlin Family Lecture series about "Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus" to be held on May 12, 13, 19, and 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. CT. During the course of four lectures, she explores the distinctive challenges posed to democracy by the emergency conditions brought by a global pandemic, as well as the specific resources the U.S. Constitutional system has for achieving resilience in the face of this existential threat. Allen will focus on how we can integrate health, economic, ethical, and democratic objectives in our response to COVID-19.

Humanities Professor Receives the AAP Prose Excellence Award in Classics

Book cover of Pindar, Song, and Space

Richard Neer seeks a more holistic approach to scholarship by embracing multiple disciplines. Through the book Pindar, Song, and Space: Towards a Lyric Archaeology (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), which Neer co-authored with Leslie Kurke, the Gladys Rehard Wood Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, the authors integrate poetry, performance, and the built environment in ancient Greece, combining literary and art-historical analysis with archaeological and epigraphic materials. In recognition of their innovative scholarship, Neer and Kurke recently received the Association of American Publishers 2020 Prose Excellence Award in Classics for Pindar, Song, and Space.

How Do We Live Online? Virtual Philosophy Discussion Tackles Big Questions

Agnes Callard photo by Eddie Quinones

For three hours, the usernames flitted up the screen. There were University of Chicago students, as always. But joining them were visitors from Texas and Arizona, from Ireland and Germany and Australia. There were teens, middle-aged men and women—and at least one septuagenarian.

This was the online debut for Night Owls, the popular philosophy discussion series started by Assoc. Prof. Agnes Callard. Since 2017, the UChicago scholar has operated the late-night, on-campus event, gathering hundreds to talk about everything from love and divorce to violence and death.

Five UChicago Scholars Awarded 2020 Guggenheim Fellowships

Photo by Jean Lachat

Guggenheim Fellowships have been awarded this year to five University of Chicago scholars, writers and artists who examine everything from sign language to video games to theater, from medieval Islam to the 20th-century United States.

Four of the five scholars—Prof. Diane Brentari, Prof. Patrick Jagoda, Prof. Tahera Qutbuddin, and Associate Prof. Catherine Sullivan—are from the Division of the Humanities and are among the 175 fellows selected in this year’s class from nearly 3,000 applicants. Since 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowships have been given on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise—granting more than $375 million to over 18,000 individuals.

Alternate Reality Game Sparks Innovative Student Ideas About Climate Change

An alternate reality game called Terrarium, created by UChicago faculty, including Prof. Patrick Jagoda (above), encouraged incoming students to work collaboratively. Photo by Eliana Melmed

As one of their first challenges at the University of Chicago, undergraduate students were given five minutes to tell the world how they planned on saving it. A new 17-minute video showcases UChicago students talking about how the alternate reality game, Terrarium, encouraged them to think critically about climate change.