Exhibit Honors Campus Veterans through Display of Original Work and Artifacts

A one-day exhibition of poetry, pictures, letters, and donated ephemera from campus veterans at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on Monday, October 12, seeks to encourage discourse among the University community while honoring veterans for their service. When asked to share items that illustrated their experience serving in the armed forces, many veterans added schrapnel, uniforms, and empty cartridges to the exhibition. Josh Cannon, a third-year PhD student in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, assisted fellow veterans in submitting their stories to the exhibit by conducting story-telling workshops in the fall. “The stories are very eclectic,” Cannon said. “They are funny, happy and sad—they should display to the public the diverse ways that people experience their life in the military.”

Associate Provost Aneesah Ali, who organized the exhibition and a luncheon for the vets, explains, “This is the first time that we’re inviting the broader University community to recognize the veterans on campus. The long-term hope of outreach events like this is to attract more talented veterans to join our community.” The exhibition will be in the main lobby of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For the full article, click here. To read more about campus veterans and their work in the Division of the Humanities, click here.

Doctoral Student Discusses Symbolism of Korean Art at Smart Museum

Eleanor Hyun, a PhD candidate in Art History, shared her expertise in Korean and Chinese art during a lecture at the Smart Museum of Art on calligraphy and brush-and-ink painting from Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). The lecture was part of a Smart Museum exhibition titled "From the Land of the Morning Calm." From the article:

While Western artists frequently depicted the human figure, in East Asia calligraphy was considered the highest art form, Hyun said. But calligraphy did incorporate the body: the brush was thought of as an extension of the arm, and the precise strokes were likened to martial arts. Characters were often described in corporal terms, such as “meaty” or “skinny.” Referring to Yi’s calligraphy of a poem by renowned Joseon-dynasty writer Sin Heum, Hyun pointed out the vigorous, semicursive characters: “If anybody here has ever touched ink and brush, you know how easy it is to make a stray mark, a drop here or a drop there.” To achieve the sort of balance and rhythm displayed in Yi’s work required intense concentration and mastery of the discipline.

For more information about the Smart Museum and upcoming exhibitions, click here.

Grant Awarded to UChicago to Preserve Endangered Urdu Periodicals

The University of Chicago recently received a £52,247 grant from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme to preserve sixty rare and endangered Urdu periodicals through digitization. The digital images will be produced at the Mushfiq Khwaja Library and Research Centre in Karachi, Pakistan, and will be available through the University of Chicago Library as well as the British Library. C.M. Naim, Professor Emeritus in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, will participate in the panel of Urdu scholars responsible for selecting the magazines and journals to be archived. “Thanks to the easy technology and low cost of litho printing, the only accepted form for Urdu script texts across South Asia, Urdu weeklies and monthlies began to appear in the 1870s,” Naim explains. “It was in the periodicals that all major modern writers and political and social figures made their debuts and gained popularity. And it is only in the periodicals that we can discover the full extent of many literary and political controversies that are only now beginning to gain the attention of scholars.” To read the full article, click here.

Connection between Magic and Medicine in Ancient World Discussed during Recent Lectures

In October at the Oriental Institute, several professors participated in the lecture series "Medicine and Magic in the Ancient World, A Search for the Cure", which sought to explore the connection between the physical and the psychological aspect of healing within ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. Robert Ritner, Professor in Egyptology, opened the series with his talk titled “The Theory and Practice of Medicine and Magic in Ancient Egypt”, Christopher Faraone, the Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor in the Humanities, and the College, and Elizabeth Asmis, Professor in Classics, presented "Medical Healing in Ancient Greece". Walter Farber, Professor of Assyriology, discussed how people came to understand and fight against contagious diseases in his lecture titled "Diseases and Epidemics in Ancient Mesopotamia: Medical Conceptualization and Responses", while Robert Biggs, Professor Emeritus in Assyriology, focused on Mesopotamian religious practitioners and their approach to illness and misfortune in his talk "Religious and Magical Elements in Babylonian Medical Practice." The series closed on October 27 with a presentation by John Wee, a postdoctoral scholar in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, titled "Mesopotamian Texts and the Knowledge Assumptions of Medical Diagnosis". To find out about upcoming lectures at the Oriental Institute, please visit their Events and Programs web page.

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