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Chicago Humanities Festival Blog

Deliciousness Abounds: A Brief Guide to Festival Dining near the UIC Forum
Kelsey You probably know by now that the Chicago Humanities Festival is pretty darn great at delivering engaging, thought-provoking programs. But you might not know that we’re also extremely talented in another area – I’m talking about eating. Yes, we tend to demolish in short order any delicious food that makes its way into our office. Leftovers from a lunch meeting at La Madia won’t last more than a minute, and there are at least three people on staff whose baked goods rival any... Continue Reading >>
Kate Harding's Hyde Park Adventure
The fourth annual Hyde Park day was an abject failure in terms of my overachiever's schedule (act surprised), but nevertheless one of the best days I've had in a long time. Since my husband had to take the puppy to obedience class in the car, I made my way to the University of Chicago via public transportation, which took about 90 minutes from my home in Rogers Park. Unfortunately, I had only budgeted slightly more than an hour for the trip, so I missed the presentation on... Continue Reading >>
What Have We Achieved?
Rania Al Malky is the Chief Editor of Daily News Egypt. She publishes a weekly column tackling local political and social issues.This column first appeared in the online edition of Daily News Egypt on September 23, 2011 and appears here courtesy of Rania Al Malky. It’s been nine months to the day since a group of virtual activists made the final tweaks to a planned January 25 protest, a date that will be forever be etched in the memory of this nation. We all know what... Continue Reading >>
Rap is an Art and I’m like Picasso
Dana Horst works for nonprofits, writes things, and turns the bass up. “Even if it’s not laid out in perfect sentences – is any rap? – you’d have to be an idiot to not at least grasp a few things from these songs, or have had no interest in pulling anything from them in the first place.” -Aesop Rock Common “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”, Common says, in his new autobiography,  and between that, the forthcoming album The Dreamer, The Believer, his afterword on The Anthology of Rap (edited, in... Continue Reading >>
Puppies, Lies, and Digital Footprints: Day One
Two weeks ago, my husband, Al, and I brought home a puppy. Important background information: three weeks ago, Al and I did not want anything to do with a puppy. After putting our sweet, old, one-eyed pug/corgi cross, Solomon, to sleep, we planned to adopt another adult mutt. But someone didn't filter his Petfinder.com search to exclude younger dogs, so we soon learned that there were 11-week-old pug/corgi puppies available at a suburban shelter—including one who looked like, as Al put it when he... Continue Reading >>
Big 10 Pep Rally!
You might be surprised to know that football and the humanities go together like coffee and cream.  The Big 10 Conference, formed more than 115 years ago, (now actually comprised of twelve teams) is known as much for its academic prowess as it is for its athletic accomplishments. It was with this in mind that Festival Artistic Director, Matti Bunzl, created the Big 10 initiative for techlknowledgē. We’ve combed the Big 10 universities for the people you’ve never heard of who... Continue Reading >>
Digital Certainties
Taylor Hokanson is an Assistant Professor of Art at Columbia College Chicago. Computers are dumb.  Though they have the ability to store, process and export massive amounts of data, they are fundamentally incapable of distilling meaning from this material.  A computer can pretend to offer insight, but one must never forget that this synthesis is illusory, an echo of the human who taught the device how to operate. Here’s the secret to understanding computing: ... Continue Reading >>
Understanding Origins
Based at the University of Michigan, Gordon Kane is a professor of physics and in the School of Art & Design and is Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. He collaborated with Liz Lerman on "The Matter of Origins."  In addition to our co-presentation of "The Matter of Origins" with the MCA, CHF presents Kane and Lerman in conversation discussing the intersection of art and science. In recent decades age-old questions such as the origin of our universe, and of... Continue Reading >>
Kate Harding's Fall Festival Preview
"I like your ambition, Kate!" That was a Chicago Humanities Festival employee's response after seeing a homemade calendar of events I plan to attend: 29 of them, in all, bookended (ha!) by William Gibson in Evanston on October 16 and Umberto Eco downtown on November 13. The fantastic perk of being a guest blogger is an all-access pass to the festival, and I intend to make the most of it—even if I did clearly hear a quiet "Good luck with that, sport" underlying the comment... Continue Reading >>

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