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.

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