A Selection of Events on Campus and in the City

Past Events

Playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner was the featured speaker for the Jean and Harold Gossett Lecture in Memory of Holocaust Victims Martha and Paul Feivel Korngold on April 8, 2010. The event coincided with his participation in the University’s Artspeaks series and the Court Theatre’s production of The Illusion by Pierre Corneille, which Kushner adapted and translated.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, the 2010 Kestnbaum Writer-in-Residence, visited the University on May 10, 2010, to read from her book Unaccustomed Earth.

On Saturday, June 12, 2010, the University of Chicago held its 503rd Convocation. In an effort to unify the University community, the event conferred degrees for all graduates at a single ceremony on the Main Quadrangle. To honor its graduates, the Humanities Division held its own hooding ceremony in Mandel Hall where master’s and PhD candidates received their diplomas from Dean Martha T. Roth.

The 2010 Cathy Heifetz Memorial Concert took place May 29 and 30 in Mandel Hall. The University Symphony Orchestra, University Chorus, Motet Choir, and Women’s Chorus performed Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 4 (“Requiem”) and Johannes Brahms’s “Ein deutsches Requiem” featuring soprano Kimberly E. Jones and baritone Jeffrey Ray.

Page duBois, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego, gave the lecture “In Praise of Polytheism” as part of the Danziger Lectures Series on May 18, 2010. The series is named for Sigmund H. Danziger Jr., AB’37, an inveterate reader and student of the classics. The prestige of this annual event has brought renowned scholars of classical literature to campus, as well as scholars of early modern history and culture, Hindi literature, philosophy, religion, and the history of science.

Upcoming Events

Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan will run from September 30, 2010, to January 16, 2011, at the Smart Museum of Art. Carved into limestone cliffs in the mountains of northern China, the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan were the crowning cultural achievement of the sixth-century Northern Qi dynasty. The caves suffered severe damage in the first half of the twentieth century when their contents were pillaged for sale on the international art market. During the past six years, however, the caves have become the focus of an extraordinary research and reconstruction project based at the University of Chicago. Combining cutting-edge 3D technology with old-fashioned scholarly work, an international team of experts has photographed and scanned the dispersed objects as well as the interior of the caves themselves. The exhibition is organized by the Smart Museum in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer and Sackler Galleries. 

From October 6 to December 1, 2010, the Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture will sponsor its annual fall seminar series, exploring American culture across the disciplines. Lectures by UChicago faculty are free and open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m., with receptions to follow, in Classics 110.

In one of the largest collaborative artistic efforts since the Silk Road Chicago project, 11 of the city’s prominent cultural institutions will join together to present The Soviet Arts Experience, a showcase of works by artists who created under—and in response to—the Politburo of the Soviet Union. Spearheaded by the University of Chicago Presents, the festival of art, dance, music, and theater will feature 48 events in a dozen venues from October 2010 through December 2011. Highlights include performances of Shostakovich by the Pacifica Quartet and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, an exhibit of wartime propaganda posters at the Art Institute of Chicago, and events with faculty experts.

The Fifth Annual Meeting of the Slavic Linguistic Society takes place October 29–31, 2010. A workshop on all aspects of contact and development of the Slavic languages will feature keynote speakers Jouko Lindstedt, Professor of Slavonic Philology, University of Helsinki; Salikoko S. Mufwene, Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor in Linguistics and the College, University of Chicago; and Aleksandr Rusakov, Professor of General Linguistics, University of St. Petersburg, and a researcher in linguistics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. A second workshop on Slavic Linguistics and the wider curriculum will be led by Johanna Nichols, Professor Emeritus, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley.

Visible Speech: Inventions of Writing in the Ancient Middle East opens at the Oriental Institute on September 28, 2010, and runs through March 6, 2011. The exhibit explores how linguists, archaeologists, and scientists are teaming up to study the earliest writing. It also examines writing systems from Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Mesoamerica, which developed independently and at different periods and are represented by artifacts in the exhibit. Other objects include the earliest cuneiform tablets from Uruk (in today’s Iraq), dating from 3200 BC, on loan from the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin and never before exhibited in the United States.