Humanities Day has become an annual University of Chicago tradition since it began in 1980. On Oct. 21, visitors will have the chance to take part in the free, daylong series of discussions, tours, performances and lectures on topics ranging from crime in ancient Mesopotamia to electronic music in the Cold War era.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to see the range of topics on which colleagues are working, and all of the interesting questions that they are asking,” said Claudia Brittenham, associate professor in the Department of Art History, who will give a talk on Aztec sculpture. “It’s a great opportunity to spark conversation and collaboration, and of course, seeing all the intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for the humanities around the University of Chicago is always inspiring.”
Prof. Larry F. Norman, an expert in 17th- and 18th-century French literature, theater and intellectual history, will deliver the keynote address, “Classicisms: Varieties of an Aesthetic Experience,” at 11 a.m. in Mandel Hall.
Norman, the Frank L. Sulzberger Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies, most recently co-curated the exhibition Classicisms at the Smart Museum of Art.
Other highlights of this year’s Humanities Day include:
- “‘An Eye for an Eye’: Crime and Violence in Ancient Mesopotamia,” presented by Martha Roth, the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Oriental Institute
- A discussion entitled “Classical Utilitarianism Revisited” with Bart Schultz, executive director of the Civic Knowledge Project and senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy
- A discussion with Jessica Baker, assistant professor in the Department of Music, entitled “Can Music be Too Fast? Tempo Perception and Carnival Music in the Postcolonial Caribbean”
- A look at the racial impact of skyscrapers with Adrienne Brown, associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, in “The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race”
- A discussion on the validity of the news today and in post-Soviet Russia in “Media and Power in the Age of Putin and Trump,” delivered by William Nickell, associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
- Stories from Chinese history and culture scholar Youqin Wang, senior lecturer in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, in “1,000 Victims of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: An Unreported History of Persecution, Imprisonment and Murder (1966-1976)”
To register and see a full listing of events, visit the Humanities Day website.