In 2005, the Chicago Humanities Festival examined, through the arts and humanities, notions of place and belonging, of movement and wandering; our desire for rootedness and our urge for beyond. Near and far…hither and yon…Home and Away.
Audiences heard from an array of distinguished travel writers, plus authors whose work elevates setting and “place” to near-character status. Leading historians, social scientists, and policy makers traced the movements of entire peoples and considered the social impact of immigration and diaspora—domestically and worldwide, past and present. Experts examined the home—as both an idea and physical structure—along with its seemingly unsolvable opposites: human exile, displacement, and homelessness. Programs explored the American urge to roam and, paradoxically, the nation’s newfound notion of “homeland;” and how the experience of foreign warfare affects the individuals involved, both those on the battlefield and those “back home.” Scholars and linguists considered different languages and dialects, and what is lost in translation.