9:30–10:30 A.M.

Guided Tour of Revolution Every Day at the Smart Museum of Art

Presented on the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, this exhibition immerses visitors in the distinct textures and speeds of everyday life that arose—and have lingered stubbornly—in the wake of revolutionary upheaval. 

For more information visit the exhibition's Smart Museum of Art site.

Guided Tour of Mansueto Library

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the University of Chicago’s 55-foot-deep library with over 3.5 million volumes, and learn how the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library uses robotic cranes to deliver books to its users.

**This presentation is full**

Guided Tour of Jennifer Packer: Tenderheaded at the Renaissance Society

Join the Renaissance Society for a guided tour of Tenderheaded—the first solo institutional exhibition by NY-based artist Jennifer Packer. Tenderheaded is a contemplative and intimate look at memory, improvisation and observations through portraiture and funerary bouquets.

For more information on this exhibit, visit the Renaissance Society site.

**This presentation is full**

Beowulf and Its World

As is now well known from films, graphic novels, and other popular adaptations, Beowulf, our most important Old English poem, treats a super-hero's fights against monsters. Often overlooked, however, are its many allusions to events involving pre-English peoples still living in their continental Germanic homelands. We will consider how these allusions contribute to the poem’s meaning. Man can sometimes defeat the monsters, the poem seems to tell us, but his is also a terrifyingly unstable world.

**This presentation is full**

Classical Utilitarianism Revisited

"Classical Utilitarianism," which is best known for arguing that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong," was developed by the radical philosophers, critics, and social reformers William Godwin, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart and Harriet Taylor Mill, and Henry Sidgwick.

"An Eye for an Eye": Crime and Violence in Ancient Mesopotamia

King Hammurabi of Babylonia (r. 1792-50 BC) set up the famous stelae inscribed with his laws to make a public statement about his authority and his selection by the gods as the shepherd of the people “in order that the mighty not wrong the weak, to provide just ways for the waif and widow, … to provide just ways for the wronged.”  To fulfill this mandate, the state employs what Walter Benjamin termed “law-preserving violence”: violence perpetuated by the state upon its own members in order to reify the state’s authority and position.

Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil

We hear a lot these days about how important empathy is not only in national politics but also in the workplace and school, between friends and strangers. But what if we are wrong? What if empathy isn’t what we need, but unsentimentality? This talk draws from my new book, which explores the unsentimental aesthetic, political, and ethical practices developed and defended by some of the late 20th century’s most influential women writers.  

**This presentation is full**

Commemorating the Reformation—in 1617

Although worldwide events this year commemorate Martin Luther's 95 Theses of 1517, the actual celebrations began across Germany on the 100th anniversary, in 1617, at a time when Europe was largely in a fragile—and soon to be shattered—peace. This talk looks at those events and music composed for them by Michael Altenburg and Heinrich Schutz, among others.

**This presentation is full**

Aerial Aesthetics: Artworks and their Environments around 1900

How can we think about the space of an artwork? How do artworks create their own environments and how are they co-constituted by the spaces environing them? This talk explores how at the beginning of the twentieth century the environment of an artwork was conceptualized as a "material articulation of space," specifically, as air and atmosphere. I will trace the transfer of knowledge between notions of “environment” in biology and physics and the literature of art history in the period.

**This presentation is full**

Hidden in Plain Sight: Carving on the Undersides of Aztec Sculpture

What lies underneath Aztec sculpture? A surprising number of monuments are carved on all available surfaces—even the undersides, which are would be impossible to see when the sculpture was in place. We often assume that art is made to be seen, even to be displayed in a context much like a modern museum. But the Aztec examples argue for a different philosophy of artistic creation in the premodern world.

**This presentation is full**