Faculty Publications

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.

UChicago Writer's Post-Apocalyptic Novel Earns Her Prestigious Honor

Ling Ma by Anjali Pinto

Ling Ma doesn’t feel like an oracle, even as her award-winning debut novel about an epidemic finds new resonance amid the coronavirus outbreak. Published in 2018, Severance was inspired by emergencies of lesser scales: the 2002 SARS epidemic, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2011 snowpocalypse that shut down Chicago businesses and schools.

“I thought about how companies would react when these catastrophes happened,” said Ma, AB’05, an assistant professor of practice in the arts in the University of Chicago’s Program in Creative Writing. “I thought about my jobs, how people interact in the workplace and the power hierarchies. And how the media metabolizes larger-than-life events, trying to create a narrative for us in real time.”

UChicago Infectious Disease Specialist: What We Know About Novel Coronavirus

Assoc. Prof. Emily Landon specializes in infectious disease, and serves as medical director of antimicrobial stewardship and infection control at University of Chicago Medicine.

A contagious respiratory disease that was first detected in China in December 2019 has spread worldwide. The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.

Although health officials here and abroad are working to track and contain the growing epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects widespread transmission of COVID-19 in our country. Landon responds to specific questions about COVID-19.

 

University of Chicago Transitioning to Remote Learning for Spring Quarter

Editor's note: For the latest updates on coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit coronavirusupdates.uchicago.edu.

The following message was sent March 12 to members of the UChicago community:

From: Robert J. Zimmer, President, and Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Transitioning to Remote Learning for Spring Quarter

The University of Chicago is defined, as it has been throughout our history, by a collective commitment to the highest aspirations and standards in research and education and all that this entails. We have a profound sense that our work instantiates the fundamental values and the intellectual life that define a great university. As a community, we now face a significant challenge with the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Over the past month the University and the Medical Center have been closely monitoring and responding to the evolving situation with the coronavirus disease. Our goals have been to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, to remain committed to our distinctive environment for education, research, and impact, and to be responsible participants in the collective global public health challenge.

Two Humanities Faculty Members Receive NEA Creative Writing Fellowships

Ben Hoffman and Ling Ma received NEA Creative Writing Fellowships.

Ling Ma (BA’05) and Ben Hoffman are already acclaimed fiction writers. Ma received the prestigious 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction for her novel Severance (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018), as well as the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Hoffman was honored by the Chicago Tribune’s 2014 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction work for his story “This Will All Be Over Soon,” as well as a Carol Houck Smith Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.

Despite these successes, Ma and Hoffman did not expect to receive the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships. The competition is fierce for these NEA Fellowships of $25,000 each. Biannually, the NEA chooses only 36 Creative Writing Fellowships for prose from approximately 1,700 eligible applications. More significant after receiving NEA Fellowships, many recipients gain wider recognition, such as Anthony Doerr, Louise Erdrich, and Jennifer Egan.

From Cigarettes to Human Hair: Exhibition Uses Materials to Explore Chinese Art

A detailed photo of Xu Bing's "1st Class," which uses cigarettes to mimic a tiger skin rug

A farming scene, drawn intricately with incense ash found in Buddhist temples. A dark metal pillar, acting as a canvas above a pool of water. And at first glance, a 36-foot-long tiger skin rug—an illusion created by hundreds of thousands of carefully placed cigarettes.

These are just a few of the artworks displayed in The Allure of Matter, hosted by the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art and Wrightwood 659. Conceived by Prof. Wu Hung, the new exhibition marks a public introduction to “material art,” or caizhi yishu—a term he coined to distill a four-decade-long trend of artistic development in China.

Experimental Composer Channels The Doors During UChicago Residency

Seth Brodsky (left) and Peter Ablinger Viewing Ablinger's Music's Over at the Gray Center

Constructed by longtime collaborator Winfried Ritsch, Music’s Over was the centerpiece of Ablinger’s nine-day residency at UChicago’s Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. The residency featured a range of talks, discussions, composition seminars and performances—reflecting the Gray Center’s mission as a forum for experimental collaboration between artists and scholars.

The residency inaugurated Gray Sound, a new program conceived by Gray Center director Seth Brodsky, a leading scholar of 20th- and 21st-century musical modernism. Envisioned as a regular performance and discussion series, Gray Sound represents a chance for prominent artists and the UChicago community to tease the boundaries of sound—when it moves from voice to music, from a recognizable tune to noise.

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