What You Should Read Over Winter Break

Although you can't read in the Mansueto Library right now, find a cozy corner to curl up with a good book recommended by members of the University of Chicago community. Photo by Jason Smith

The end of the year and beginning of the new represent a moment to take a breath and consider the past, present and future. We asked University of Chicago scholars and staff, including Prof. Srikanth Reddy and Asst. Prof. Mitchell S. Jackson in the Department of English Language and Literature, what they’ve read this year that they’d recommend to the campus community: Their list includes subjects ranging from the multigenerational family struggles of Korean immigrants living in Japan, to a treatise on mushrooms and capitalism, to a meditation on what therapy can bring to our lives.

Grant to Support Humanities Scholar's New Novel on Black Cult Leader

Mitchell S. Jackson photo by John Ricard

Asst. Prof. Mitchell S. Jackson is accustomed to pushing the boundaries of artistic creation, both writing and teaching fiction and non-fiction. Now, the University of Chicago scholar has been recognized with a prestigious award—one that will help support a new work of historical fiction.

Jackson recently received a 2021 Creative Capital Grant, which will provide him with up to $50,000 in direct funding as well as additional long-term career development services from a community of diverse artists. Specifically, this grant will fund his project, John of Watts, which is inspired by the rise and fall of the Black cult leader Eldridge Broussard Jr.

How Alternate Reality Games Are Changing the Real World with Patrick Jagoda and Kristen Schlit

Patrick Jagoda

Video games are the most popular form of media. With 2.5 gamers, games are set to be the type of media that most defines our world. Prof. Patrick Jagoda (English Language and Literature) and Kristen Schlit (Sociology) are re-thinking how to leverage Alternate Reality Games in a way to address some of the world's biggest issues, ranging from climate change to public health.

Aught Culture: The Exhibitions That Defined the 2000s

Smart Museum Exhibition: Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China

The illuminating exhibition “Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China,” co-organized by University of Chicago professor Wu Hung and International Center of Photography curator Christopher Phillips (a former senior editor at A.i.A.), the survey comprised 130 works by sixty Chinese artists. It debuted at the International Center of Photography and the Asia Society, both in New York, and toured to six other museums in the United States and abroad, including the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. The vision it delivered was that of a nation utterly transformed both physically and socially. Photographs by Zhang Dali and Sze Tsung Leong showed historic neighborhoods reduced to rubble to make way for soaring modern towers; Rong Rong and Xing Danwen documented the renegade life of their artist friends in the squalor of Beijing’s self-styled East Village; Liu Zheng turned his lens on everyone from professional village mourners to convicts to decadent businessmen; Wang Qingsong staged elaborate scenes melding Chinese history and folklore with contemporary life.

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