Session 1

9:30 to 10:30 a.m. CDT

Presenter: James K. Chandler

(Virtual Session) The Greatest Lyric in English? Reading Wordsworth's Immortality Ode

Virtual
Presenter

This session addresses a single poem, Wordsworth's famous “Intimations of Immortality Ode,” a text that has supplied lines and phrases that reverberate in modern literary culture: "trailing clouds of glory," "Shades of the prison-house," "splendor in the grass," "The Child is father of the Man," and "Thoughts that ... lie too deep for tears." Taken in its entirety, the Immortality Ode is a particularly challenging lyric with complex twists and turns, a work that amply rewards the kind of critical patience and close attention we will be bringing to it.

The Greatest Lyric in English? Reading Wordsworth's Immortality Ode

In-Person
Presenter

This session addresses a single poem, Wordsworth's famous “Intimations of Immortality Ode,” a text that has supplied lines and phrases that reverberate in modern literary culture: "trailing clouds of glory," "Shades of the prison-house," "splendor in the grass," "The Child is father of the Man," and "Thoughts that ... lie too deep for tears." Taken in its entirety, the Immortality Ode is a particularly challenging lyric with complex twists and turns, a work that amply rewards the kind of critical patience and close attention we will be bringing to it.

Presenter: Gerdine Ulysse

A Continuous Battle Between Language Policy and Language Identity in Haiti

In-Person
Presenter

Most Haitians are monolingual in Kreyòl, their native language. However, Kreyòl is not the primary language of education and administration in Haiti. Instead, French remains the main language used in those contexts, which has led to many negative consequences in Haitians’ lives from persistent low literacy levels to stratification in the society. Drawing on empirical data, the presenter will explain the discrepancy between the current language policy and language attitudes and language identity among Haitians. The session also examines an improved language policy, which would prioritize mother tongue literacy and could lead to biliteracy development.

Presenter: Maria Cecilia (Nené) Lozada

Chicago's Spanish-Speaking Neighborhoods: Past and Present Perspectives

In-Person

Spanish has become one of the most useful languages in the U.S. While undergraduate students often search for study-abroad opportunities to practice and improve their Spanish, the interaction with local Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S. has not been explored for this same purpose. In this session, the presenter discusses exploring iconic Spanish-speaking neighborhoods such as Pilsen, La Villita, and Humboldt Park in Chicago and talks about many topics related to their history and status.

Presenter: Ella Karev

Honey-Complexioned: Humanizing the Past Through an Ancient Egyptian Biometric System

In-Person
Presenter

How would you describe how you look to a complete stranger? Today, we would use the familiar metrics of height, weight, and eye color. But in 4th century BC Egypt, these metrics were quite different, defining physical appearance through face shape, hair texture, location of scars on the body, among other characteristics. This session serves three purposes: first, exploring the use of physical descriptors in Egypt during this time  as one of the world's first biometric systems; second, diving into self-perception of the physical form; and lastly, humanizing the past through re-created portraits of ancient people according to the ways they described themselves.

Presenter: Na'ama Rokem

Kafka's Hebrew Notebooks

In-Person
Presenter

Franz Kafka is known for his great modernist prose, his penetrating vision of the human condition, and his absurdist sense of humor. But did you know he was also an avid language learner? Over the course of his adult life, Kafka studied both Yiddish and Hebrew. Focusing on the latter, the presenter shares one of Kafka's Hebrew notebooks, which has only recently become available to researchers at the Israeli National Library in Jerusalem. The reasons for its long years of disappearance are interesting in themselves, and the speaker explains them. Most of the talk, however, will be devoted to thinking about the Hebrew notebook as an object, an archival document, and a biographic resource. Some of the questions the presenter addresses are: how are the materials in the notebook connected to Kafka's literary writing? What does it teach us about his relation to Judaism and to Zionism? What is the relationship between language pedagogy and aesthetics?

Presenter: Niall Atkinson, Carmen Caswell

Mapping the Social Dynamics of Renaissance Florence

In-Person

At a time before the advent of a rationalized system of numbered addresses, people in cities understood the places in which they lived as a network of integrated spatial and social relationships between streets, people, institutions, and activities. This was true in 1427 in the case of the first “modern” tax census carried out in Florence. Known as the catasto, this massive experiment in developing a demographic portrait of the city required each household to declare where they stood, literally, in relation to the state and their immediate neighbor. By processing these relational stems of address, digital technologies now allow us the ability to build a social map of every Florentine household precisely at a moment when it was transforming, experimenting with, and inventing forms of cultural production, economic innovation, and political practices that have had lasting effects on the history of the West. The visualization of this map will help us to understand the way in which Florentines understood their collective identity, who they were, as a function of where they were: where they lived, where they worked, where they prayed, and even where they died.

Presenter: Sophie Salvo

The Sex of Language

In-Person
Presenter

Grammatical gender—a system of classifying nouns as masculine, feminine, or neuter—has long been the bane of language learners. That in German “a young lady has no sex, but a turnip has” led Mark Twain to lament “the awful German language.” But for 19th-century German linguists, grammatical gender was not capricious or irrational, but rather a deeply meaningful structure that provided insight into cultural norms and primitive forefathers. This session provides an overview of theories of grammatical gender from this period and explores how they centered on a fundamental question: Is it possible to imagine “the human” as unsexed?

Keynote Address

11 a.m. to noon CDT

Presenter: Kenneth W. Warren

(Virtual Session) Wealth, Inequality, and the Novel

Virtual
Presenter

At least since the 18th century, novelists have wrestled with the question of whether the very idea of character—both as a moral quality and a representation of individuality—can withstand the pressure exerted by extreme wealth. To a great extent, however, this question has been raised only to assuage us with an assurance that the integrity of character can survive the erasure of social limits, and restraint made possible by extraordinary riches. This presentation discusses some recent fiction suggesting that in our moment of unprecedented inequality neither character nor society remain intelligible.

Wealth, Inequality, and the Novel

In-Person
Presenter

At least since the 18th century, novelists have wrestled with the question of whether the very idea of character—both as a moral quality and a representation of individuality—can withstand the pressure exerted by extreme wealth. To a great extent, however, this question has been raised only to assuage us with an assurance that the integrity of character can survive the erasure of social limits, and restraint made possible by extraordinary riches. This presentation discusses some recent fiction suggesting that in our moment of unprecedented inequality neither character nor society remain intelligible.

Midday Sessions

12:15 to 1:15 p.m. CDT

Presenter: Kiersten Neumann

Guided Tour of Making Sense of Marbles: Roman Sculpture at the OI

In-Person
Presenter

Come learn about the new special exhibition, Making Sense of Marbles: Roman Sculpture at the OI, co-curated by Kiersten Neumann, OI Museum interim chief curator, and Roko Rumora, PhD candidate, Department of Art History, University of Chicago. This exhibit brings together a group of Roman sculptures from the OI’s collection and presents them on view as a group for the first time, including two life-size marble sculptures. Kiersten Neumann will highlight how we can make sense of marbles with divergent histories while examining the fundamental importance of archaeological context in telling an object’s story.

***THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT***

Presenter: University Staff

Guided Tour of Monochrome Multitudes

In-Person
Presenter

Explore the global resonance and creative possibilities of “the monochrome” during this guided tour of Monochrome Multitudes at the Smart Museum led by UChicago graduate students. This exhibition offers an expanded history of 20th and 21st century art through more than 100 monochromatic works.

This tour will be led by graduate student Mary Huber (MAPH 2022)

Presenter: Tasha Vorderstrasse

Guided tour of OI Museum galleries from Mesopotamia to Ancient Egypt

In-Person

The Oriental Institute (OI) is the University of Chicago’s—and one of the world’s—very first interdisciplinary institutes and a world-renowned museum, housing some 350,000 artifacts, excavated mainly by OI archaeologists. Together, the OI Museum collections comprise one of the best resources in the world for the ancient Middle East and North Africa, allowing us to understand, reveal, and protect the past. The OI Museum displays objects in permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the Levant, as well as rotating special exhibitions.

***THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT***

Presenter: University Staff

Guided Tour of Passing Through: Artists from DoVA 2012–2021

In-Person
Presenter

The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, opened in 2012, is a multidisciplinary arts center at the University of Chicago. Designed by renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the building integrates classroom, performance, and exhibition spaces to create a dynamic collaborative environment for arts and scholarship. It is a space for academic and artistic work by UChicago students, faculty, visiting artists and scholars, professional organizations, and community partners. Logan Center Exhibitions celebrates 10 years of former students with its Fall 2022 DoVA Alumni Exhibition titled Passing Through: Artists from DoVA 2012–2021. This broad survey gathers recent works by artists who have passed through UChicago’s Department of Visual Arts. The exhibition is organized by guest curator Scott Wolniak.

Presenter: Mark Sorkin

Guided Tour of Slavs and Tatars: MERZbau

In-Person
Presenter

MERCZbau features a custom-designed line of merchandise by the Berlin-based art collective Slavs and Tatars. The exhibition at the Neubauer Collegium offers a timely reflection on East/West divides, made so much more poignant by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The artists have imagined a Department of Oriental Studies in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, as if age-old traditions of scholarship about “the East” had survived the Polish population’s forcible westward journey after World War II. All proceeds from the sale of the merchandise will be donated to the Scholars at Risk organization.

***THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT***

 

Session 2

1:30 to 2:30 p.m. CDT

Presenter: Kaneesha Parsard

(Virtual Session) The Friending Plot

Virtual
Presenter

Was the marriage plot of 18th- and 19th-century English literature, which saw women characters stake their futures to domesticity, universal? What were the colonies' plotlines? In Triniday during the 1920s and 1930s, a group of writers penned short stories about working-class women who—amidst a global depression and personal hardship—reject marriage in favor of casual, transactional relationships known as "friending." This session offers the friending plot, in which subsistence, giving and receiving care, and pleasure in the present are the order of the day.

The Friending Plot

In-Person
Presenter

Was the marriage plot of 18th- and 19th-century English literature, which saw women characters stake their futures to domesticity, universal? What were the colonies' plotlines? In Trinidad during the 1920s and 1930s, a group of writers penned short stories about working-class women who—amidst a global depression and personal hardship—reject marriage in favor of casual, transactional relationships known as "friending." This session offers the friending plot, in which subsistence, giving and receiving care, and pleasure in the present are the order of the day.

Presenter: Haun Saussy

Exile and Chinese Poetry

In-Person
Presenter

Exile was a standard professional risk for poets in dynastic China, who were almost always officials and administrators required to speak out on matters of public concern. Incurring the displeasure of the emperor or his court meant having to spend a period of years—conceivably the rest of one's lifetime—in a remote region of the empire, dealing with inhospitable climates, diseases, predators, and native peoples resistant to being converted to the Chinese way. How different poets responded to these challenges, as reflected in their verse and letters home, tells us a great deal about their personalities, and about the range of imaginative possibilities available to Chinese literati between the Tang and Qing dynasties, i.e., the 8th to 19th centuries.

Presenter: Kiersten Neumann

Guided Tour of Making Sense of Marbles: Roman Sculpture at the OI

In-Person
Presenter

Come learn about the new special exhibition, Making Sense of Marbles: Roman Sculpture at the OI, co-curated by Kiersten Neumann, OI Museum interim chief curator, and Roko Rumora, PhD candidate, Department of Art History, University of Chicago. This exhibit brings together a group of Roman sculptures from the OI’s collection and presents them on view as a group for the first time, including two life-size marble sculptures. Kiersten Neumann will highlight how we can make sense of marbles with divergent histories while examining the fundamental importance of archaeological context in telling an object’s story.

***THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT***

Presenter: University Staff

Guided Tour of Monochrome Multitudes

In-Person
Presenter

Explore the global resonance and creative possibilities of “the monochrome” during this guided tour of Monochrome Multitudes at the Smart Museum led by UChicago graduate students. This exhibition offers an expanded history of 20th and 21st century art through more than 100 monochromatic works.

This tour will be led by graduate student Claire Rich (MAPH 2023)

Presenter: Tasha Vorderstrasse

Guided tour of OI Museum galleries from Mesopotamia to Ancient Egypt

In-Person

The Oriental Institute (OI) is the University of Chicago’s—and one of the world’s—very first interdisciplinary institutes and a world-renowned museum, housing some 350,000 artifacts, excavated mainly by OI archaeologists. Together, the OI Museum collections comprise one of the best resources in the world for the ancient Middle East and North Africa, allowing us to understand, reveal, and protect the past. The OI Museum displays objects in permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the Levant, as well as rotating special exhibitions.

Presenter: University Staff

Guided Tour of Passing Through: Artists from DoVA 2012–2021

In-Person
Presenter

The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, opened in 2012, is a multidisciplinary arts center at the University of Chicago. Designed by renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the building integrates classroom, performance, and exhibition spaces to create a dynamic collaborative environment for arts and scholarship. It is a space for academic and artistic work by UChicago students, faculty, visiting artists and scholars, professional organizations, and community partners. Logan Center Exhibitions celebrates 10 years of former students with its Fall 2022 DoVA Alumni Exhibition titled Passing Through: Artists from DoVA 20122021. This broad survey gathers recent works by artists who have passed through UChicago’s Department of Visual Arts. The exhibition is organized by guest curator Scott Wolniak.

Presenter: Claudia Quevedo-Webb, Juliano Saccomani

Implementing Virtual Reality in Spanish and Portuguese Courses

In-Person

This presentation showcases examples of the technological and pedagogical virtual reality materials that the presenters have created, designed, and implemented in intermediate Portuguese and Spanish language classes in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. The presenters will provide information about the Virtual Reality (VR) and Language teaching project funded by the College Curricular Innovation Fund and the Exploratory Teaching Groups at the UChicago. This collaborative project aims to provide an innovative form of instruction through the design of VR materials for language instruction. The presenters also talk about current partnerships and future plans for the project.

Presenter: William Nickell

Russian Media at War

In-Person
Presenter

Russian state media have presented an entirely different picture of the war in Ukraine to their viewers. The presenter looks closely at footage from early days of the invasion and at key moments in the spring such as Easter, when the Russian campaign was depicted as a righteous struggle to preserve sacred values and the Victory Day celebration, which highlighted the Immortal Battalion movement in linking the events of today to those of the fight against Nazi Germany. The talk closes with consideration of problems in media representation of the war on both sides of the conflict.

Presenter: Helma Dik

Tools for Serious Readers: Logeion and PhiloLogic

In-Person
Presenter

Classics scholars and casual readers have many options on the internet to find their favorite texts, ranging from large-scale projects to smaller niche sites. This is as true today as it was a decade ago. So why jump in and learn a whole new set of skills to build your own? In this session, the presenter gives a brief tour of the projects developed in collaboration with her students during the past decade, and how they can support scholars and teachers, but also casual readers of Greek and Latin.

Presenter: Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy, Edgar Garcia, Augustus Rose, Jennifer Scappettone, Rachel DeWoskin

Watersheds—Writing Environmental, Political, and Cultural Change for a World in Transition

In-Person

From wildfires on the West Coast to Supreme Court decisions on the Eastern Seaboard, ours is a "watershed moment" in environmental, political, and cultural history. How can novelists, poets, and essayists address our watershed moment to imagine and shape emergent futures through literary practice? In this session, writers on the University of Chicago's Creative Writing faculty consider the ways that urgent questions of race, gender, class, and environmental justice have transformed the literary arts in contemporary American society.

Session 3

3:00 to 4:00 p.m. CDT

Presenter: Ahmed El Shamsy

(Virtual Session) How Muslims Disposed of Books

Virtual
Presenter

Destroying books has a very strong symbolic power. However, sometimes an individual just has to dispose of a text—even a sacred one—so what is one to do in that situation? This presentation provides a window into Muslim practices and debates on the question of what the acceptable ways are by which to retire, recycle, or destroy a sacred text, and trace these practices from the beginning of Islam to today and compare them to similar ones among Jews.

How Muslims Disposed of Books

In-Person
Presenter

Destroying books has a very strong symbolic power. However, sometimes an individual just has to dispose of a text—even a sacred one—so what is one to do in that situation? This presentation provides a window into Muslim practices and debates on the question of what the acceptable ways are by which to retire, recycle, or destroy a sacred text, and trace these practices from the beginning of Islam to today and compare them to similar ones among Jews.

Presenter: Kağan Arık

Healers, Musicians, and Epic Poets of Central Asia

In-Person
Presenter

Traditional Kazakh culture displays a richness of oral literature and musical performance, all of which is directly linked to the art of the Kazakh baqsy, who were originally pre-Islamic healers, poets, and sound artists. The place of the baqsy (healer) and of their offshoots the zhyrau (epic singer) and the küyshi (sound artist) remains central to Kazakh cultural identity to this day. The presentation covers the origins and role of these figures in Kazakh culture and examines the connections between them in the context of the world view of the ancient Turkic peoples and their modern Kazakh descendants.

Presenter: Catherine C. Baumann, Nicole Burgoyne, Ahmet Dursun, Darcy Lear, Veronica Moraga, Colin Shelton

Innovative Language Course Design for the 21st Century Learner

In-Person

Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) is a pedagogical approach that addresses immediate needs of learners who use languages in specialized settings related to their education, training, or job. Conducting a domain analysis—a research framework designed to describe the language used in a real-world context, such as a hospital, courtroom, or financial institution—lays the groundwork for assessing language learning, which makes it possible to reverse engineer the course design. This session introduces domain analysis and shows examples of proficiency assessments. Instructors in various languages comment on their experiences with domain analysis, assessment design, and curriculum development.

Presenter: Christine Mehring, Orianna Cacchione, Jessica Stockholder

Monochrome Multitudes: Art Historic, Curator, and Artist Perspectives

In-Person

Monochrome Multitudes, an exhibition at the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, September 22, 2022–January 8, 2023, revisits a notoriously hermetic art to reveal its creative possibilities and conceive pedagogical strategies that make abstraction accessible from multiple perspectives. The exhibition aims to expand existing histories of “the monochrome” in three ways: articulating cultural, social, political, racial, or gendered meanings of monochrome art; emphasizing the hermeneutic significance of materials and media; and engaging North American art in a global dialogue. This session reflects on the exhibition through art historical, curatorial, and artistic points of view.

Presenter: Michael Allemana

Music, Race, and Love: The Life and Work of Dr. Mildred Bryant Jones

In-Person
Presenter

This session focuses on the life of Mildred Bryant-Jones, an African American woman who taught music at two South Side high schools from 1920 to 1945. She taught theory, composition, and voice to many young African American students who became historically important performers in several Black music genres such as Von Freeman, Johnny Hartman, and Roberta Martin. Incredibly and, unfortunately, typically. she is another African American woman who has been erased from African American cultural historiography. This presentation reviews Bryant-Jones's manifold contributions to South Side and broader African American culture and explores her personal life, particularly her three-decade friendship and romance with W. E. B. Du Bois.

Presenter: Anastasia Giannakidou

The Hellenic Legacy and the Humanities

In-Person

In this session, the presenter discusses some central ideas of the Hellenic tradition—such as logos, paideia (or, education), truth, examined life, and the good—with the aim to highlight their diachronic character in shaping humanistic thought. The presenter argues that the way these concepts are understood and studied in Plato and Aristotle offers a useful framework for analyzing contemporary contexts and problems, specifically by acknowledging the universality of reason and the potential of education to improve human life. The lecturer also addresses some apparent challenges in Hellenic Studies in the U.S. and shows them to be based on naive understandings and, to a certain degree misappropriations, of the Hellenic ideas.

 

Presenter: Christopher Faraone

Trampling Magic in the Eastern Mediterranean World

In-Person

At the start of the 20th century, archaeologists digging in Meröe, the ancient capital due of Nubia discovered a bronze head of Caesar Augustus, which had been hacked off a statue “of heroic or monumental size” and then deliberately buried in a pocket of clear sand under the steps of the temple of Victory, one of the chief buildings of the royal palace. This great hall is decorated with frescos showing the Nubian king and queen in scenes of ceremony and triumph. More than a half millennium later, during the renovations of a synagogue in the northern Galilee, a man named Yose, inscribed a bronze tablet in Hebrew and Aramaic with a plea to Jahweh to “suppress” the inhabitants of the town, and he placed this tablet under the new threshold of the synagogue. How does one explain these two bronze items buried before or under the thresholds of important public buildings and dating roughly 600 years apart? As the presenter explains the answer lies in a centuries old tradition that begins in Pharaonic Egypt and aims at magically surpassing one’s enemies by burying images of them or their names beneath or before a threshold, where the constant foot traffic in and out of the building will trample the effigy or names of the victims and keep them continually underfoot.