American Identity and the 1893 Columbian Exposition: Race, Class, and Gender in Chicago's White and Black Cities

Monday, February 24, 2014

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. Bill Savage, Northwestern University
Full, wait list only
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

In their attempt to assert what we would now call a “world-class” image for Chicago to the rest of the United States, and the world, organizers of the World’s Columbian Exposition had to grapple with issues of identity. Matters of how different nations, and different sorts of Americans, would be represented at the Fair were central to their concerns. In this seminar, we will look at how identity was managed and understood both within the Fair, and in the semi-unofficial Midway, and the totally unofficial city of bars, theatres, and dangerous neighborhoods beyond the Fair. Readings will include primary documents from the era, as well as chapters from Chicago by Day and Night: the Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America, a guidebook published for tourists in 1892.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration opens September 4, 2013.

For registration information please contact Charlotte Wolfe Ross at