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Chicago Humanities Festival Blog

The Wondrous Junot Díaz
One of the most memorable events from the 2013 Chicago Humanities Festival was Junot Díaz in conversation with Peter Sagal. We asked Dara E. Goldman, associate professor of Spanish and director of the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to share her insights into what makes Díaz so readable and so memorable. Junot Díaz is arguably the writer who put Dominican Literature on the map. That is, he is probably the... Continue Reading >>
When Science Meets the Humanities or Why You Should Never Sing Wagner at the Zoo
The next time you are caught in a lull in a dinner party conversation, try throwing out this tidbit: “Hey, did you know that spiders masturbate?” You can be sure that once the dropped jaws recover, the conversation will be buzzing again. And, that sexy, spidery fact is just one of numerous startling parallels between human and non-human animal behaviors that cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, and her co-author, Kathryn Bowers, a staff editor at The Atlantic, draw out in their... Continue Reading >>
Animal Studies Takes Center Stage in Academia
The Chicago Humanities Festival’s exciting focus this year on Animal: What Makes Us Human brought together academics, artists, journalists, scientists, public intellectuals, and the wider public to explore how non-human animals come to have meanings in our and other societies. This is a key question, and a crucial one right now. And it is one that several disciplines in academia are newly taking up with a vigorous appetite. Questions about “the animal” currently animate not... Continue Reading >>

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