What UChicago Faculty and Staff Want You to Read Over Winter Break

Catriona MacLeod, the Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor of Germanic Studies

As 2021 draws to a close, many are looking forward to a well-deserved winter break. It’s a great time to cozy up next to the fire with a book, so we asked University of Chicago scholars and staff what they would recommend reading.

The list includes books that weave together many different threads of human experience—family, history, science, government, nature and more—and one book that explores an intelligent robot’s experience of the human world. From the possibility of transformative justice to the prospect of nature rebounding after a crisis, there is something to match every sensibility.

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.”


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