Past Chicago Teachers as Scholars Seminars

Past Seminars

Thursday, October 2, 2014 to Saturday, October 4, 2014
Picturing "The Great War" : Conflict, Representation, and Memory in American Visual Culture

Writing on the eve of “The Great War,” Chicago lawyer, author, and art collector Arthur Jerome Eddy declared: “The world is filled with ferment.” Although the thrust of Eddy’s essay was a critical discussion of innovations in modern art, he equally acknowledged the “ferment of new ideas” in politics, social reform, science, business, and poetry.

Thursday, July 10, 2014
City of the Big Shoulders : Chicago Poetry in the Twentieth Century
Full, wait list only

By the 1920s, the city of Chicago was a hub for the production and circulation of modernist art, music, and literature. The centrality of Chicago and the mobility of its inhabitants generated an aesthetic of openness and experiment that was particularly hospitable to the major writers and artists of the era.

Friday, June 27, 2014
Religion and Secularism in Renaissance Literature : More, Castiglione, and Machiavelli
Full, wait list only

Were the classic Renaissance works of Sir Thomas More (Utopia), Baldassare Castiglione (The Courtier), and Niccolo Machiavelli (The Prince) intended to be handbooks to promote a secular society or did these writers intend their books to express piety and argue on behalf of the role of religion in people’s lives?

Monday, June 23, 2014 to Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Indians in the Archives : Reading Representations of American Indians
Full, wait list only

What do historical images of American Indian peoples tell us about the evolving relationships between Indians and non-Indians? What valuable information about our past and ourselves can we glean from artworks that portray indigenous peoples and also the materials that were used to create them?

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Cultural Patrimony in Latin America

This seminar will discuss the social usage of Latin American Cultural Patrimony. The starting point for discussion will be UNESCO’s World Heritage List (created in 1978), where most of Latin American sites date from the colonial period (1521-1810). We will question: what were the criteria employed for the inclusion of these churches and urban historic centers?

Thursday, March 13, 2014 to Friday, March 14, 2014
The Victorians and the Hidden Self: The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In these two perennially popular, short, and sensational (i.e., teachable!) books, we are confronted with two of literature’s most enduring and chilling tales of a hidden or repressed self. Just what does the painting of Dorian Gray (hidden away in his closet and decaying while Dorian himself remains ageless) represent?

Thursday, February 20, 2014 to Friday, February 21, 2014
The Mexican Revolution – Its Meaning One Century Later

This seminar will take stock of the Mexican Revolution more than a century after its outbreak in 1910. Traditional histories tell a story of rough-hewn revolutionaries like Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata raising armies of peasant warriors to overthrow the dictator Porfirio Díaz in a bid for social justice and national honor.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 to Friday, January 24, 2014
The American Renaissance in Context

The canonical period identified by the label “American Renaissance” has enjoyed a durable place in American literary history. However, its origins and its particular shape are peculiar to say the least. F. O. Matthieson’s book by that title concentrated on a half decade from 1850 to 1855 and on specific texts from five authors whose collective output consists of at least ten times as...

Thursday, December 12, 2013 to Friday, December 13, 2013
The Literature of the American Civil War

In his memoir Specimen Days, Walt Whitman declared, “the real war will never get in the books.” It may be more accurate to say, however, that Civil War literature, including Whitman’s own writings, though written, often still remains largely unread.

Monday, November 18, 2013 to Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Trade and China’s Modern Transformation : CANCELED - Please contact Charlotte Ross for more information.

From very early times China’s encounters with the world beyond its borders involved the commercial exchange of goods. The Chinese attitude has consistently been that trade was desirable but could have unfortunate and unforeseeable consequences unless carefully structured and regulated.

Friday, November 15, 2013
Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North

The Civil War occupies a prominent place in our national collective memory. The war is often portrayed as a battle over the future of slavery, often focusing on Lincoln’s determination to save the Union, or highlighting the brutality of brother fighting against brother.

Monday, November 4, 2013 to Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Jungle: The Real Social Historical Background to an American Classic

One hundred years ago Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle captured the nation’s imagination with its gripping depiction of immigrant workers’ lives in Chicago’s slaughtering and meatpacking industry.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 to Friday, October 25, 2013
History and Story in Don Quixote

Often considered the “first modern novel,” Miguel de Cervantes’s masterpiece is, among other things, a supreme example of how fiction can serve as a testing ground on which to explore the problems of nonfictional representation. In this seminar we will examine how Don Quixote explores the acts of reading and writing history.

Monday, October 21, 2013 to Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Mapping Manifest Destiny: Chicago and the American West

Maps played a crucial role in shaping the American West, literally and figuratively, from the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Explorers, government officials, railroad companies, emigrants, land developers, tourists, and teachers made and used a wide variety of maps to comprehend the West’s geography and exploit its resources.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 to Friday, June 28, 2013
The Great War: Conflict, Representation, and Memory in American Culture
Seminar Full, Wait list only

In this seminar, we will analyze how the war affected conceptions about battle, the human body, identity, nationalism, and collective memory, as revealed through American visual culture. Further, we will explore its profound impact on journalistic and artistic practices through careful readings of objects and primary source documents.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 to Friday, March 15, 2013
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The Great Migration in Art and Visual Culture
Full, Wait List Available

Robert Bone, who launched the study of the what he termed the Chicago Renaissance in a 1986 article, “Richard Wright and the Chicago Renaissance” argued that in the decades from 1930 through 1950 Chicago writers and artists had produced a cultural reawakening rivaling the better known and much-chronicled Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Friday, March 8, 2013
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Discovering Africa in Brazil and the Caribbean
Full, Wait List Available

The presence of African culture in Brazil and in Caribbean countries has long been and remains a fundamental topic in the construction of their national identities. This seminar will examine how Brazilian and Caribbean intellectuals and artists have, in different ways, imagined and celebrated the African heritage of their countries.

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Progressives, Parks, and People

Motivated by concerns about resource scarcity and the quality of urban life, in the early twentieth century conservationists succeeded in creating a national park system and extensive urban parks. This seminar examines this crusade, particularly its unexpected environmental and social impacts.
This seminar is sponsored by Peoples Gas.

Monday, November 5, 2012 to Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Imagining the American West: 1803-1893

The American West has at times functioned as a mythical space as much as a geographic one.  Among the many associations we may have with the West are the conflict between American settlers and various Indian nations, the figure of the cowboy, the notion of Manifest Destiny, and the lore of the frontier.  This seminar will ask us to critically engage these familiar themes that run thro

Thursday, October 25, 2012 to Friday, October 26, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
2012-13 On the Move: Women’s Social and Spatial Mobility in American Culture : Pilot Project Seminar

The American experience has been defined by the promise of mobility, the freedom to go anywhere and become anyone. The two have often been linked: spatial mobility has often been understood as a way to achieve a range of other mobilities, from the social and economic to the psychological and sexual. But how does this promise hold up when women are the ones on the move?

Monday, October 22, 2012 to Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Identity, Authenticity, and Abolition: Olaudah Equiano's Autobiographical "Interesting Narrative" in the late Eighteenth and Early Twenty-first Centuries : 2012-13 Pilot Project Seminar
Full, Wait List Available

“The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African” is an autobiographical chronicle. Initially published in 1789 while debates over the transatlantic slave trade raged, aspects of Equiano’s identity sparked interest and questions first among his contemporaries and again, more recently, among scholars.

Thursday, October 18, 2012 to Friday, October 19, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Shakespeare, Rome and Modernity: Exploring Politics and Ethics in Julius Caesar and Coriolanus : 2012-13 Pilot Project Seminar

Shakespeare’s Roman tragedies Coriolanus and Julius Caesar feature larger than life heroes, both troubled and troubling, whose stories raise political and ethical questions still important today: what are the costs and benefits of charismatic individual leadership? Is political constancy a strength or a liability? What is the virtuous government’s responsibility toward poverty?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Art and Exploration in 19th and Early 20th Century American Culture Follow Up Session

This third session of the Teachers as Scholars seminar, Art and Exporation in 19th and Early 20th Century American Culture will give participants the opportunity to share the lessons and classroom experiences with material from the April session. A stipend will be paid for attendance at this third session.

Thursday, May 17, 2012 to Friday, May 18, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Shakespeare's Dysfuntional Families
Wait List Only

Defiant daughters and wayward sons, domineering dads and absent mothers, scheming sisters and backstabbing brothers—Shakespeare’s plays are filled with all manner of problematic and contentious family relationships.

Thursday, May 10, 2012 to Friday, May 11, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Chicago's Transforming Shoreline
Wait List Only

 Cities represent spatial and temporal transformations of the physical environment. Their location and subsequent patterns of growth are dependent in part on the characteristics of the physical environment.

Thursday, May 3, 2012 to Friday, May 4, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Mark Twain, "Huckleberry Finn," and the Racial Dilemma

In January of 2011, hot on the heels of the Mark Twain centennial celebrations and the 125th anniversary of the publication of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a publisher announced a new edition of the text that would solve the problem of using the book in the classroom by replacing the words that were considered offensive with words that were deemed less so. Problem solved? Not even close.

Monday, April 23, 2012 to Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War

Abraham Lincoln is among the most iconic figures in American history and also among the most complex. This seminar will focus on Lincoln’s views on slavery and racial equality as they evolved from his early days in public life through his wartime presidency. Does Lincoln deserve his reputation as “the Great Emancipator”? Was he racist?

Monday, April 16, 2012 to Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Art and Exploration in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century American Culture

This special, three-day seminar will take advantage of the Newberry’s extraordinarily rich holdings to focus on the art and visual culture of exploration.

Thursday, March 22, 2012 to Friday, March 23, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Revisiting the Era of Good Feelings: The Politcs of the Post-War of 1812 United States

In 2012 Americans will commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, which pitted the United States against Great Britain for the second time in a generation.

Monday, February 6, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Envisioning the Colonial Metropolis in the Early Modern Latin America

This seminar explores the central role played by urbanism and its representations in the Latin American colonial enterprises of Spain from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 to Friday, January 20, 2012
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Confronting the Past : The Literature of Human Rights in South Africa

This Teachers as Scholars seminar will focus on one of the world’s most remarkable ventures in confronting past human rights abuses: the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). We will analyze a variety of nonfiction texts, particularly the poet Antjie Krog’s compelling memoir of covering the TRC as a white South African journalist.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Wives and Wenches, Sinners and Saints: Medieval Women and Women's History
Wait List Only

Medieval Europe is often thought of as a “dark age” when all women were powerless and oppressed.Yet Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine maintained personal control of most of southern France through two marriages, a divorce, and a separation; the peasant girl Joan of Arc led an army and crowned a king; the nun Hildegard of Bingen—who wrote treatises on medicine, science, music, and mystical visions—was...

Monday, December 5, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Chicago Workers in America's Long Gilded Age

In this Teachers as Scholars seminar, participants will explore the variety of backgrounds and experiences of American workers during the heyday of the industrial revolution, the “Long Gilded Age” that stretched from the rail road riots of the 1870s to World War I.

Thursday, December 1, 2011 to Friday, December 2, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Deeper into Film Style and Form

This seminar will offer a crash course in the vocabulary and the interpretive skills involved in making meaning out of film style and form, including lighting, framing, camera angles, editing, and sound. These lessons will be conducted in two specific classroom contexts in which teachers are likely to assign films to their students.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 to Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
TAS: Teaching American Indian History and Culture: Challenges and Strategies
Wait List Only

This Teachers as Scholars seminar will examine how we might effectively include lessons on American Indian history and culture by starting with local history and branching out. We will attend to American Indian cultures as they were before European colonialism and after.

Thursday, May 19, 2011 to Friday, May 20, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Utopias of the European Renaissance

Previous generations of historians often treated the European Renaissance as a cultural utopia: a time of artistic flourishing, economic development, scientific and geographical discovery.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 to Friday, May 13, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Chicago: City on the Lake

The location of cities and their patterns of growth are dependent in part on the characteristics of their physical environment. In this seminar we will explore how Chicago’s physical environment – in particular its geology, geography and hydrology - influenced its founding and subsequent growth from an isolated fur trading outpost on the western frontier into a major commercial metropolis .

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Slavery and Race in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko

Aphra Behn’s brief 1688 prose narrative “Oroonoko” is a key text in histories of slavery, race, and the novel.  Recounted in the first person by a young white British woman (and perhaps partly reliant on Behn’s own experiences), “Oroonoko” tells the tragic story of an African prince and his wife forced to move to Surinam in the West Indies to work as slaves.  In this seminar we will c

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 to Thursday, March 3, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Intellectual and Cultural Impact of WWII

Reflecting in 1949 on the horrors of recent history, exiled philosopher Karl Löwith argued that the image of the universe as one guided by moral order and divine purpose “is now past because it has conscience against it.” Though few Americans shared his bleak assessment of modern moral waywardness, thoughtful observers agreed that the horrors of the “Good War” required Americans’ to reconsider...

Monday, February 28, 2011 to Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Beyond the "Noble Savage": The Enlightenment and the World Outside Europe

The “Age of Enlightenment” in the West has been alternatively praised as the cradle of human rights, religious toleration, and reason, and excoriated as the crucible of scientific racism, immorality, and totalitarianism.   Scholars on both sides of the debate commonly point to eighteenth-century Europeans’ reflections on locales and cultures beyond Europe.

Thursday, February 24, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The FBI in Chicago: COINTELPRO's Campaign Against the Black Panther Party and Other Organizations during the 1960's

In December 1969, the Chicago police raided the apartment of Fred Hampton, the young leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party. Hampton was shot to death; the police claimed he and other Panthers opened fire first. Subsequent investigation by the Chicago-based People’s Law Office, however, proved that the police, using FBI intelligence, killed Hampton without warning.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 to Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Revolutions, Insurgency, and Democratization in Latin America

This seminar will begin examining the effects that the Mexican and Cuban revolutions had on insurgent groups in Latin America.  It will focus on the Zapatistas in Mexico, the Montoneros in Argentina, and the Shinning Path in Peru.

Thursday, January 20, 2011 to Friday, January 21, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Considering "Othello"

Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” is widely consider to be among his greatest plays, in part because the issues at the heart of it remain so compelling to us still.  We will discuss the complex intersection of the themes of race, religious difference, and gender in this play and the challenges we might face in teaching this play.  By exploring the historical context we will become

Monday, January 10, 2011 to Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Chicago Defined: Space and Place, Homes and Journeys

In this seminar, we will read and discuss key texts which attempt to define Chicago in two ways: through deep examination of a known space, and through movement through the urban landscape.  We will read poetry and creative nonfiction by Carl Sandburg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nelson Algren and Tony Fitzpatrick to see how Chicago writers define the city and the way the city shapes the identities

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars

Making sense of the wars for Vietnam has had a long history.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Immigration and American Identity During the Progressive Era

By the dawn of the twentieth century, the United States was regularly described as a “melting pot” of ethnic groups or as a “nation of immigrants.” Yet this description of the nation was contested vigorously during the Progressive Era.

Thursday, October 7, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Toni Morrison’s /Beloved/ and the American Gothic

Although originating in Britain, the gothic has taken root in American literature with fiction that exposes the underbelly of culture by presenting worlds teeming with the (un)buried and the unmentionable. In this seminar, we will consider the usefulness and limitations of  reading Toni Morrison’s novel “Beloved” in relation to the genre of the American gothic.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 to Friday, April 30, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Water in Chicago

In Chicago, as in cities across human history, water has been a central part of everyday life.

Monday, April 19, 2010 to Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching the Civil War

This seminar will allow participants to explore for themselves Walt Whitman’s notion that the “real war will never get in the books.” Was the American Civil War was an event of such enormity and complexity as to prevent it from ever truly being understood by later generations?

Monday, April 12, 2010 to Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The History of Your Students' Lifetimes

Students love, and arguably deserve, having their own lifetimes placed in historical context.  And while some call such attempts to place the current moment in historical context mere journalism, scholars have already done quite sophisticated work on events such as the election of 2000, 9/11, Katrina, and even the financial crisis.  We will explore some of this work, and some of these

Thursday, March 18, 2010 to Friday, March 19, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
A Medieval Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins

In the Middle Ages, priests and poets alike were obsessed with sin, devising a variety of tools to teach their audiences about moral transgressions.  Ecclesiastic and literary authorities formulated a number of different models for defining, representing, categorizing, and cataloguing sin in all of its various manifestations.  The most popular and most long lasting of these models was

Thursday, March 11, 2010 to Friday, March 12, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Mobility and the American Road Narrative Genre

Viewed as everything from an extension of frontier ideology to the expression of counter culture, the American road narrative has been understood as the story of an individual who embraces the geographical freedom and flexibility represented by the automobile to achieve a range of other mobilities—from the psychological and sexual to the spatial, social and economic—seemingly put in motion by...

Thursday, February 25, 2010 to Friday, February 26, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Insurgency and Independence in New Spain (Mexico)

Between 1808 and 1824, the Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain experienced a massive, violent, complicated political and social “revolution” that led to the creation of the Republic of Mexico. Unlike most other Latin American countries, the Mexican wars for “independence” were dominated by popular armies and guerillas—which shaped the resulting nation-state in crucial ways.

Thursday, February 4, 2010 to Friday, February 5, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The Victorians and the Hidden Self: /The Picture of Dorian Gray/ and /The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde/

In these two perennially popular, short, and sensational (i.e., teachable!) books, we are confronted with two of literature’s most enduring and chilling tales of a hidden or repressed self.  Just what does the painting of Dorian Gray (hidden away in his closet and decaying while Dorian himself remains ageless) represent?  And what is the relation of Stevenson’s hideous Mr.

Thursday, January 21, 2010 to Friday, January 22, 2010
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
National Identity in the Caribbean

People in the Caribbean have posed questions of collective identity (“who are we?”) in many ways; because of shared historical experiences such as plantation slavery, migrations and colonial rule, themes of identity and even answers to those questions of collective identity show similarities.  An essay about the meaning of sugar plantations in Cuban life may echo a book about the meaning o

Thursday, December 10, 2009 to Friday, December 11, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The Storm over the /Tempest/

This seminar examines Shakespeare’s popular late romance the /Tempest/ in light of current scholarly and critical debates.  How are we meant to view this play – as a universal meditation on the themes of revenge and reconciliation or as an early critique of England’s nascent imperialism?  For centuries, readers and playgoers alike saw the /Tempest/ as a tale using the romance elements

Monday, December 7, 2009 to Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Making Big Plans for the Centennial of the 1909 /Plan of Chicago/

At the turn of the 20th century, an extraordinary generation of reformers, business leaders, architects, and city planners reimagined American cities. The visionary /Plan of Chicago/, published in 1909 by Chicago architects Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, stood at the heart of this movement.

Monday, November 16, 2009 to Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Exchange Before Orientalism, Europe and Asia 1500 to 1800

Team-taught by two scholars with specialties in Chinese history and French literature respectively, “Exchange before Orientalism” aims to introduce seminar participants to the degree and variety of exchange between Europe and other parts of the world from c.

Friday, November 13, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The American Renaissance in Context

The canonical period identified by the label “American Renaissance” has enjoyed a durable place in American literary  history.  However, its origins and its particular shape are peculiar to say the least.   F. O.

Thursday, October 29, 2009 to Friday, October 30, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Remembering Lincoln at 200

On the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, seminar participants will consider what we choose to remember and what we choose to forget about our sixteenth president. We will consider many topics that influenced Lincoln as a man and a politician, with a special focus on race, slavery, and the Civil War.

Thursday, June 18, 2009 to Friday, June 19, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Sugar and the Transatlantic World

The story of sugar’s transformation from luxury product to ubiquitous commodity in the modern Western diet offers a rich vantage on transatlantic and world history. It also prods students and scholars to deeper consideration of the myriad social, cultural, and economic processes within which even the most seemingly banal substances can be enmeshed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 to Friday, May 15, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Time, History, and Fate in 'Macbeth'

Since Shakespeare’s time it has been recognized that Macbeth is a play about ambition accompanied by ambivalence, and about the intersection between human desires and other forces that might motivate historical events, whether providential or demonic. What relation does the play propose between dramatic action and the self?

Thursday, April 30, 2009 to Friday, May 1, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Graphic Novels in the Language Arts Classroom

In this seminar, we will explore several ways of teaching graphic narratives in the language arts classroom. Some of the most popular graphic narratives in recent years have been memoirs (e.g., Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis), while many more graphic narratives take the form of novels, histories, and journalist pieces.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 to Friday, March 13, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Rebellious Readers in the Middle Ages

Fifteenth-century heretics whose secret reading communities appropriated “authoritative” texts, fourteenth-century peasants who both attacked and manipulated official textual culture, unruly women who challenged the idea of the authorized textual apparatus by creating glosses of their own, and subversive poets who circulated illicit texts- these are some of the figures whose textual...

Thursday, March 5, 2009 to Friday, March 6, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The Melting Pot in American History

The United States is often described as a “melting pot” of ethnic groups or as a “nation of immigrants.” Though most of us could easily find references to the melting pot in popular culture today, few realize that the concept has a long and contested history.

Thursday, February 19, 2009 to Friday, February 20, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The Gilded and Gritty: America, 1870-1912

Constructed around an online “toolbox” of texts and documents collected at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, participants in this seminar will discuss four themes that are central to the Gilded Age: City and Country, focusing on Arcadian mythology, urban realism, and nostalgia, Citizens and Others, especially immigrants, African Americans, and children,...

Thursday, February 5, 2009 to Friday, February 6, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Must We Burn Luther?

While Luther has rightly been credited with leading the first successful reform effort that broke with the institutional church, there is a darker side to Luther’s life and writings that is often suppressed.

Thursday, January 29, 2009 to Friday, January 30, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The Red Summer: America's Race War, 1919

The United States fought in World War I to make the world safe for democracy. After victory, African Americans carried on that mission—at home. But the defenders of white supremacy did not make way for the rights and equalities of African Americans.

Monday, January 26, 2009 to Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Slavery, Anti-Slavery, and Emancipation

The history of slavery, antislavery, and slave emancipation, considering both classic and new scholarly approaches, as well as illustrative primary documents will be the topics explored during this seminar.

Thursday, December 4, 2008 to Friday, December 5, 2008
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Europe, Islam, and the Medieval Mediterranean, 1000-1500 CE

The Medieval Mediterranean world consisted of a complex set of diverse and overlapping religious, linguistic, economic and ethnic communities. Contemporary authors viewed their surrounding world from perspectives bound by those categories and others.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 to Friday, November 21, 2008
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Freedom and Slavery in Brazil

Nineteenth-century Brazil exhibited a wide variety of forms and degrees of freedom in a slave society. By 1872, three quarters of the population of African descent were free, but slavery was intensifying in some regions, and Brazil would only abolish slavery in 1888, the last nation in the Western Hemisphere to do so.

Monday, November 17, 2008 to Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Climate Change and Water Crisis

Planet earth has been experiencing increasing environmental assault from adverse human activities. The consequences of these hazards are already at a critical mass, but if left unchecked, the continual assault on the environment will produce a point of no return. In short, global environmental change will be our main challenge of the twenty-first century.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 to Friday, October 31, 2008
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The Material and Cultural World of Hawthorne

Gingerbread men and ghosts; accordion players and architecture; monkeys and mesmerism; photography and prisons; puritans and politicians. These are just a few aspects of the cultural world of antebellum America that Nathaniel Hawthorne visited in his second novel, The House of the Seven Gables (1852).

Monday, October 20, 2008 to Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Predicting and Explaining Presidential Elections

During the Fall of 2008, we will be coming to the end of the longest, and perhaps the most exciting, presidential campaign in recent American history. Surveys indicate an extraordinarily high level of public interest in this election, especially among younger people. This seminar will provide an overview of what political scientists know about presidential elections.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 to Friday, October 17, 2008
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
Brain, Mind, and Artistic Imagination

Artistic creativity in literature and visual art as it is understood by combining the perspectives of the humanities with those of the sciences will be explored in this seminar. We will consider, for example, ideas about how language originated in humankind, and how literary creativity may arise in individuals.

Thursday, October 9, 2008 to Friday, October 10, 2008
Chicago Teachers as Scholars
The History of Latinos in the United States

This seminar will explore the diversity of Latino experiences in the United States from 1492 to the present. We will examine numerous themes, including early narratives of conquest and exploration, the nature of regional differences, and the identities that stem from locale, race mixture and racial purity in the ideologies of settler elites.