Humanities Scholar to Receive the Friedrich Katz Prize in History

Larissa Brewer-Garcia photo by Erielle Bakkum

By examining previously untapped sources, Larissa Brewer-García has discovered fresh insights about the lives and culture of enslaved and free Black men and women in 17th-century Latin America. For the rigorous scholarship in her first book Beyond Babel: Translations of Blackness in Colonial Peru and New Granada, she will receive the 2021 Friederich Katz Prize in Latin American and Caribbean History from the American Historical Association on Jan. 6 in New Orleans.

Advancing Innovative East Asian Arts Research Within the Humanities

Hou Beiren with his extensive collection of paint brushes for his artwork

Mark Barnekow (MBA’88) and his wife, Jean Song, are passionate about the arts and Chinese culture and have been deeply inspired by Hou Beiren, the 105-year-old Chinese American artist. They have been so moved by the man and his artistic practice, they recently decided to endow the ‘Hou Beiren Graduate Student Enhancement Fund’ in the Center for the Art of East Asia within the Division of the Humanities.

“We are truly grateful to Mark and Jean for their commitment to East Asian arts in making this significant gift to the Division of the Humanities,” said Anne Walters Robertson, Dean of the Division of the Humanities and the Claire Dux Swift Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music. “This fund recognizes the rigor of the humanities as an indispensable mode of inquiry and the relevance of studying East Asian art at the University of Chicago.”

In Humanities Day Keynote, Wu Hung Explores the Rehabilitation of Damaged Art

Prof. Wu Hung presented the Keynote Session at Humanities Day 2021.

What would it mean to rehabilitate Buddhist artworks pillaged by art dealers from grottoes in China a century ago? And what can art history as a discipline learn from such efforts? Prof. Wu Hung explored these topics in his Humanities Day keynote address on Oct. 16 at the University of Chicago.

An annual tradition at the University, Humanities Day celebrates the research of UChicago humanities scholars through lectures, discussions and performances that are open to the University community and the public.

Music, Poetry by UChicago Faculty Will Welcome President Alivisatos on Oct. 29

Eight hands and two feet are required for the introduction to "Crescat scientia, vita excolutur," Prof. Augusta Read Thomas's carillon composition for President Paul Alivisatos's inauguration. The final chord requires the combined efforts of 12 carillonneurs, an additional four people not pictured. Photo by Jason Smith

As the ringing of the carillon bells subsides, a voice crackles over the walkie talkie: “That sounded great!”

Prof. Augusta Read Thomas is calling up to the belltower of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, where University Carillonneur Joey Brink and his student assistants—fourth-years Emily Kim, Joseph Min and João Francisco Shida—are seated in a row on the carillonneur’s bench, striking large wooden keys with their fists.

They’re practicing a piece that Thomas has composed for the Oct. 29 inauguration of Paul Alivisatos as the 14th president of the University of Chicago. To be played on the University’s 72-bell carillon—a massive instrument suspended within several stories of the tower’s interior scaffolding—the new music is among the works by UChicago faculty that will help set a celebratory tone for the ceremony.


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