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Chicago Humanities Festival Blog

High Rise Stories
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, S.R. Crown Hall As Chicagoans, we are fortunate to live in one of the great architectural cities in the world. Not only that. It is a city defined, like few others, by one overarching aesthetic and functional principle: modernism. True, there are considerable differences between such masters as Daniel Burnham and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. But like the other architects who have made Chicago what it is (from Frank Lloyd Wright to Skidmore, Owings and Merrill... Continue Reading >>
Our Romance with the American Wilderness
My love affair with nature has only been strengthened by the urban centers in which I’ve lived – Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago. The cars, the construction, the skyscrapers make me all the more fanatical about the idea of a wilderness untouched by human hands. And when I finally visited the Monteverde Cloud Forests of Costa Rica a few years ago, I was enthralled by the feeling of freshness. The sound of motors and human chatter had been replaced by leaf rustles and bird calls. And the smell of... Continue Reading >>
A Civil War Thriller at CHF!
As a graduate student at Northwestern, I have the pleasure of teaching undergraduate courses in American Literature and Culture. Although literary texts are the primary works I usually teach (Edgar Allan Poe and Toni Morrison are often big hits), I try to intersperse these books with historical readings for context and counterpoint.  But sometimes even my outstanding undergraduate students seem a little bored by the portions of history texts I assign to them. I think they find it difficult to... Continue Reading >>
Fall Festival Sneak Peek
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Ever since we announced the theme of "America" for our fall festival, our phones have been ringing off the hook (not true, of course, cell phones don't have hooks...). We've heard from so many of our audience members who are excited about this year's program and the speakers we are bringing. Turns out, there are huge numbers of Adam Gopnik and Charles Mann fans out there – and then there's Grant Achatz, of course. So many of you have told me about... Continue Reading >>

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