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Chicago Humanities Festival Blog

The Enchanting Voice of the Whale
Join us on Sunday, Oct 20 for Voice of the Whale. I will never forget the first time I heard Claire Chase play George Crumb's Vox Balanae (Voice of the Whale). It was my freshman year at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where I was a flutist majoring in music performance. I was part of a small studio of 16 flutists, and Claire was a year ahead of me. In a conservatory of accomplished young musicians, she stood out even then. Within the first week or so on campus, I knew that Claire was the one... Continue Reading >>
Family Friendly Programs in the 2013 Fall Festival
CHF began producing a festival for children in 1998, and for years it was called, very straightforwardly, the Chicago Children’s Humanities Festival. In 2008, we rebranded it Stages, Sights & Sounds to reflect the interdisciplinary and performative nature of our international spring festival and to signal that we were not limiting ourselves to children-only programming. In reciprocal fashion, each year in the Fall Festival (which we used to refer to internally as the Adult Festival,... Continue Reading >>
Q & A with Chi-ming Yang
As the proud owner of a pug, I am very excited for our program with Chi-ming Yang on Saturday, Nov. 9, which explores 18th-century England's fascination with China—a craze that extended to both decorations and pets. I asked Chi-ming Yang to share a little background on her research; our conversation follows.  Much of your work addresses Europe's enduring fascination with Asia. What accounts for this persistent trope; and do you see changes in the meanings attributed to Asia... Continue Reading >>
Using Trees to Clean Up Pollution: M. Cristina Negri
Can plants clean up nuclear waste, solve the energy crisis, remediate contaminated land and water, and curb critically high levels of greenhouse gas emissions? Agronomist, soil scientist, and self-described “doctor of the earth,” M. Cristina Negri presented her innovative research on using plants to counteract environmental pollution at the 2011 Chicago Humanities Festival. Ground contamination is difficult to deal with because pollutants disperse finely into soil, seeping into... Continue Reading >>
Temple Grandin: A Sketch of Specificity
Temple Grandin will speak at the 2013 Chicago Humanities Festival on Saturday, Nov 9. In 2009, I sat in the audience at the Chicago Cultural Center to watch Temple Grandin talk. It was perhaps the third time I'd seen her, and she had already changed so much about the way we talk about autism. I sketched her while she talked, enjoying what a striking figure she was; tall, androgynous, and dressed in a Western outfit that might have looked like a costume on anyone less completely self-defined than... Continue Reading >>
Temple Grandin: A Sketch of Specificity
Temple Grandin will speak at the 2013 Chicago Humanities Festival on Saturday, Nov 9. In 2009, I sat in the audience at the Chicago Cultural Center to watch Temple Grandin talk. It was perhaps the third time I'd seen her, and she had already changed so much about the way we talk about autism. I sketched her while she talked, enjoying what a striking figure she was; tall, androgynous, and dressed in a Western outfit that might have looked like a costume on anyone less completely self-defined than... Continue Reading >>

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