9:30 am to 12:30 pm
How did Chicagoans interpret the rise of the city in the half-century after the Civil War through their five senses? What might the evidence of the sensory past teach us about their perspectives on the major issues of the day including public health, industrial pollution, the conflict between labor and capital, and political radicalism? In this seminar, we will explore these questions, and more, by reading primary source documents in Chicago history from roughly the Civil War through World War I. We will consider the primary source evidence in light of the emerging historical scholarship on the five senses to discuss the benefits, and potential pitfalls, of using sensory history to teach students about the rise of the metropolis and to enliven their interest in the study of the past more generally.