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The cartoonists’ guide to law

The D’Angelo Law Library’s new collection of illustrated legal codes offers insight into statutes and society

Lyonette Louis-Jacques examining "Code pénal"

Lyonette Louis-Jacques examining “Code pénal”

At first glance, the cartoon in the French law book on Lyonette Louis-Jacques’ desk in the D’Angelo Law Library seems almost funny, in a banana-peel-pratfall kind of way.

For starters, there’s actually a banana peel in the picture, two slippery slivers making their mischief beneath the foot of a well-dressed redhead. She’s knocking her elbow back protectively as she tumbles—skirt lifting, purse flying—into the man beside her. Like a domino, he’s pitching forward, his hands thrust outward and his chapeau tossed upward.

Comedy, right? Except the scene is meant to depict involontairement un homicide, which means that someone is about to die—and someone else is unintentionally at fault. It seems likely that the man is the one mortally doomed; his lurch has propelled him toward a third pedestrian—and directly into the sharp tip of a walking cane. Worse, the instrument has dislodged his eye, which is now impaled on its tip like a campfire marshmallow.

drawing of a man's eye being poked out by another man's cane and a woman falling

“It took me a while to realize that this guy’s cane was poking through this other guy’s eye,” Louis-Jacques, the D’Angelo Law Library’s foreign and international law librarian, said recently, her finger grazing the page. “There’s so much going on here.”

So much, in fact, that the accident’s cause—and the proper distribution of blame—is unclear, which seems both puzzling and appropriate for a drawing that is accompanied by a French description of involuntary manslaughter and the accompanying criminal penalties.

This, of course, is part of the intrigue.

The book, published in Paris in about 1929, is an illustrated copy of the French criminal code by the early-20th-century cartoonist Joseph Hémard, who was popular at the time—and Louis-Jacques, who was drawn to the visual and humorous mode of interpreting law, had worked particularly hard to find it. It now resides in the D’Angelo’s new and growing collection of illustrated law books. The Code pénal, like other Hémard books that she’s acquired—including the Code civil, an illustrated French civil code published in 1925, and the Code général des impôts directs et taxes assimilées, a lengthy, illustrated French tax code published in 1944—is rife with nuance, social commentary, and a depiction of the law that transcends language and culture.

Title page with drawing of woman with tablets“It’s a way of telling stories about the law and opening up people’s minds,” said Louis-Jacques, who became interested in the genre when she saw a rare books display featuring some of Hémard’s work at a conference. “The illustrations are humorous, and sometimes they’re scandalous, and often they’re thought-provoking.”

She loved the idea that the illustrations might start a conversation or pique a student’s interest in an area of law, and she was intrigued by their ability to express both the happenstance of the human condition and the complexity of law.

Take, for instance, the scene with the skewered eye. Assuming the tumbling man is the one to expire, who bears responsibility for his death? The woman, for clumsily pushing him into the cane? An unknown, or unseen, banana-eater, for dropping the peel? The man with the cane, for brandishing his walking aid so recklessly?

“Look at this guy’s nose,” Louis-Jacques said, pointing to the cane-bearer’s flushed face and reddened nose. “Is he drunk? Is that why he’s unaware? And look at the woman—who’s responsible if she dies?”

And what if the scene is meant to be understood in reverse, with the cane, rather than the peel, setting everything in motion? What if the cane has propelled the injured man backward, into the woman and toward the banana peel? And what if the man with the cane is actually drunk? What if he only appears to be drunk? What if they’re all drunk?

“These illustrations do more than show the code,” Louis-Jacques said. “They take it a bit further; they show an understanding of how complicated the law can be.”

Which is what makes them such a welcome addition to the library’s collection, said D’Angelo Law Library Director Sheri Lewis.

“Understanding the story behind a legal question is essential for interpreting and applying the law,” Lewis said. “While law books are filled with such stories, they very rarely include illustrations that depict the legal situations discussed. These rare books offer a unique and colorful way for a reader to connect with the law. We are delighted to have them in our collection.”

So far, the D’Angelo’s collection of cartoon-illustrated law books is small—there are only about a dozen—because finding them isn’t always easy.

“They aren’t always described in a way we can easily call up,” Louis-Jacques said. “They aren’t usually listed as ‘Cartoon-illustrated law codes.’ There is the subheading ‘Caricatures and cartoons’, but that is rarely added to law books in the library catalog unless expressly requested.”

Law books, she added, aren’t generally illustrated so it’s easy to overlook the illustrations unless they are well integrated into the text, as the Hémard books are.

Drawing of one man chasing another

Right now, the collection is anchored by the Hémard volumes, although Louis-Jacques has also acquired a French traffic code, the Code de la route, and a French tax code, the Code des impôts, both published in the late 1950s and illustrated by Albert Dubout, as well as more recent volumes like Le nouveau code pénal illustré (The New Illustrated Penal Code), which was illustrated by Francis Le Gunehec and published in 1996. There’s also a 1944 volume illustrated by Hémard and authored by the celebrated French writer Honoré de Balzac, titled the Code des gens honnêtes, ou l’art de ne pas être dupe des fripons (roughly translated as the Code of Honest People, or The Art of Not Being Tricked By Swindlers).

 “That’s not a law code—it’s a behavior code aimed at gentlemen of the time,” Louis-Jacques said. “Balzac wrote it in 1845 and then Hémard illustrated it in 1944. There were only 800 copies made and the D’Angelo has one of them.”

There are many others Louis-Jacques hopes to acquire—an illustrated Brazilian penal code and an illustrated French tourism code among them—and she enjoys blending her language and research skills to hunt for the volumes, waiting to see if one ends up listed on a library sale or an estate auction.

Eventually, she hopes to create an exhibit that offers additional context for the volumes, including historical information about the illustrators and the time periods in which they were published. She’s curious whether Hémard’s own biases and prior experiences—and even his lack of legal training—might have influenced his interpretation of the law and his artistic choices.

Drawing of man reaching for woman held back by another woman

The works, she notes, make the law accessible by appealing to universal themes. In the Code civil, there’s a cartoon depicting a woman trying hard to keep a man from running toward another woman; one doesn’t need to read French to recognize the depiction of marital infidelity. In the tax code book—the volume for which Hémard was most famous—a worried-looking man runs from a judge.

“This is tax law in France, but there are the same sort of issues and the same sort of attempts to avoid paying taxes,” Louis-Jacques said with a laugh.

And then there’s simply the ability of the books to lure one into thinking about the law.

Louis-Jacques held up a plain book and a copy of the Code pénal, which features on its cover a colorful cartoon of a man with an axe in his head pointing at a man with a smoking gun who appears to be fleeing winged creatures, one of whom is carrying the scales of justice.

“If I showed you both of these,” she said, displaying both, “which one are you more likely to open?”

Originally published by the University of Chicago Law School

Discovering Chicago’s rare books with Elizabeth Frengel

Elizabeth Frengel holds a rare book

Elizabeth Frengel, curator of rare books (Photo by Eddie Quinones)

In her first year as curator of rare books in the Special Collections Research Center, Elizabeth Frengel has begun discovering the Library’s diverse treasures and identifying opportunities to enhance its holdings. Frengel came to the University of Chicago Library from her position as Head of Research Services at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. At Chicago, she is responsible for building and caring for the collections, as well as engaging faculty, students, and donors with the Special Collections Research Center’s materials, services, and programs.

With 340,000 rare books in Special Collections, Frengel has examined gems of historical importance and surpassing beauty. While delicately turning the pages of one of her favorites, an 1894 Kelmscott edition of The Tale of King Coustans the Emperor, Frengel notes the elegance of its inner design in contrast to the slightly worn condition of its exterior. Acquired with support from the Joseph and Helen Regenstein Rare Book Fund, this particular volume likely functioned as a press room or proof copy, or a remainder held by the press. “Such extra-textual components of the book can inform scholars’ understanding of the production processes of the press,” Frengel explains. Additionally, the work contains a handwritten note by Charles W. Howell on the front free endpaper stating that this copy survived the infamous fire at the Ballantyne Press in 1899. Such a notation further reveals this volume’s history and role as a complex cultural object rather than simply a textual conduit.

A hand points at an Arctic expedition map

A 16th-century Arctic expedition map bequeathed by Eleonora C. Gordon, M.D. (Photo by Eddie Quinones)

From handwritten notes to book illustrations, Frengel observes that extra-textual elements in the rare books collections often infuse works with layers of meaning and rich research value. For instance, Frengel was thrilled to see the Library become the new home of two exquisitely illustrated items documenting 16th century polar explorations, bequeathed by Eleonora C. Gordon, M.D.: a map and an Arctic expedition log supplemented with stunningly clean and detailed engravings depicting the crew’s adventures with a sweeping sense of dynamism.

Since arriving at Chicago, Frengel has also had the opportunity to work with Graham School student Robert S. Connors, who generously donated to the Library nearly 400 rare volumes from the 15th to the 20th centuries. According to Frengel, “Acquisitions such as this are important to scholars studying the transmission of classical texts through time and across cultures.” She is especially grateful to have received eleven incunable titles from the earliest period of European printing, including a 1475 edition of Augustine’s Confessions.

Frengel plans to continue learning as much as possible about the immense collections of rare books at Chicago. She envisions helping to build collections through acquisitions in areas such as classical texts in the early modern period, including Homer in print; Judaica; 19th-century literature; African Americana; and works that illustrate the history of the material text.

The Library looks forward to more energetic years of intellectual curiosity and thoughtful curation of rare books in the future.

Hands hold open a book with text in red and black

This 1894 Kelmscott edition of “The Tale of King Coustans the Emperor” was saved from the fire at Ballantyne Press in 1899. (Photo by Eddie Quinones)

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports online edition now available

We are pleased to announce that the online edition of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1941-1996 is now available to University of Chicago students, staff and faculty.  Fully searchable, this digital edition of the United States’ principal historical record of political open source intelligence for more than half a century provides insights into decades of world history. FBIS monitored and recorded intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories.  Recordings were transcribed and translated into English and are a rich resource for students and scholars in international and area studies, political science and world history.

The online collection features full-text transcripts from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, China, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the Soviet Union. This unique digital collection features individual bibliographic records for each report.

The Library gratefully acknowledges the Estate of Edward A. Allworth for helping to make the acquisition of this resource possible.

 

Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law access over the summer

Your law student accounts for Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law can all be used over the summer, though under different terms for each service.

Westlaw

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

You can use Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, over the summer for non-commercial research. You can turn to these resources to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills, but you cannot use them in situations where you are billing a client. Examples of permissible uses for your academic password include the following:

  • Summer coursework
  • Research assistant assignments
  • Law Review or Journal research
  • Moot Court research
  • Non-Profit work
  • Clinical work
  • Externship sponsored by the school

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduating students have access to Thomson Reuters products, including Westlaw and Practical Law, for six-months after graduation. Your “Grad Elite” access gives you 60-hours of usage on these products per month to gain understanding and build confidence in your research skills. While you cannot use it in situations where you are billing a client, Thomson Reuters encourages you to use these tools to build your knowledge of the law and prepare for your bar exam. In addition, you get access to job searching databases on Westlaw and TWEN for 18-months after graduation for 1-hour a month. Extend access by logging into www.lawschool.westlaw.com or at https://lawschool.westlaw.com/authentication/gradelite.

For help or more information, contact the Law School’s Westlaw Account Manager Elan Kleis at Elan.Kleis@thomsonreuters.com.

Lexis

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Continuing students are welcome to use their Lexis Advance ID for academic or employment purposes during May – August.

Graduating 3Ls:

Graduating students will have their Lexis Advance IDs automatically transitioned to Graduate IDs on July 1, with access through December 31, 2018. Those graduates going to work for a 501(c)(3) can apply for an ASPIRE ID for a full year of access following graduation. Qualifying graduates can apply from this site: https://www.lexisnexis.com/grad-access/

For help or more information, contact our LexisNexis Account Executive, Carter Isham at carter.isham@lexisnexis.com.

Bloomberg Law

Rising 2Ls and 3Ls:

Bloomberg Law provides unlimited and unrestricted access over the summer. There is no need to register, as your student account will remain active and available all summer.

Graduating 3Ls:

Students graduating this spring have unlimited and unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law for six months after graduation.

For help or more information, contact our Bloomberg Law Account Manager, Chrishantha Vedhanayagam at cvedhanayagam@bna.com.

Get to know Sheri Lewis, D’Angelo Law Library Director

How long have you been at the D’Angelo Law Library?

I have been a librarian at D’Angelo since September 2001. I was the Associate Law Librarian for Public Services for nearly 12 years and then moved into my current position in the summer of 2013.  I do have a prior history working here in the 1990s.  I was a student in the masters in library science (what we call MLS) degree program at Rosary College at the time. The D’Angelo librarians first gave me an opportunity to volunteer as a student intern in 1993 and then to work on a temporary project in 1994 after I completed my MLS. I had always hoped to have a permanent position at D’Angelo and was thrilled when that opportunity arose years later. It’s a special place.

What is something that you wish more students knew about our law library?

Well, ideally I wish that they knew about every library service or resource that we offer. But mostly, I hope that they know that we are here to help them and always open to ways to be better at doing so.

In the time you’ve worked in the law library, what is the most memorable event you’ve attended?

Two events stand out for me. The Law School celebrated its centennial in 2002 and Professor David Currie gave an entertaining talk in the auditorium commemorating the event. (Ask one of our librarians to help you find his recitation of an original Law School cheer during these remarks!) The second event was President Barack Obama’s interview with David Strauss in the Green Lounge in April 2016. Our D’Angelo Wilson Reading Room was set up for overflow, ticketed viewing of the event. Imagine having to ask Secret Service personnel to enter your own office!

What activities consume most of your time as a law library director?

Meetings! But more generally, I spend much of my time working and collaborating with colleagues at the Law School and in the University libraries. We are a unique law school library that is integrated into the campus library system. One of my responsibilities is to engage in effective relationships that ensure the smooth and successful operation of our law library.

What are some of your interests outside of law libraries?

My primary interest is spending time with my husband and two daughters, one now in college and another graduating from high school this year. I also enjoy theater, travel, cooking/baking, watching a variety of sports, and long walks along the lake.

What’s the best thing you watched, listened to, and/or read recently?

I have been watching the series, The Americans, and I am now finishing the final (sixth) season (don’t tell me how it ends). It resonates with me as I studied Russian in college in the 1980s and graduated from law school just a few months before the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989. 

Knowledge@UChicago featured work: Migration Stories: A Community Anthology, 2017

April’s featured submission is Migration Stories: A Community Anthology, a collection of stories, essays, poetry, and visual works by individuals at and around the University of Chicago. Edited by Creative Writing Program faculty Rachel Cohen and Rachel DeWoskin, the anthology was produced as a part of the Migration Stories Project, an effort born in 2016 to provide a space to share and experience stories of migration and movement.

Cover of Migration Stories

Cover image by Alejandro Monroy, AM ’17

In the anthology, readers encounter contributions by University of Chicago faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, high school students in the community, and others. Cohen and DeWoskin write, “From the outset, we wanted the project to focus not on a group of people who are called ‘immigrants,’ but on migration, that human activity, motion, across water, land and air, that is natural to us and that comes to every life in different forms. The stories themselves are a part of these movements; they themselves move from one place to another, one person’s memory to another’s” (p. 9-11). Knowledge@UChicago is pleased to preserve and provide access to this important collection.

We invite University of Chicago faculty and students to share research and writing about our community in Knowledge@UChicago and to use the repository as a place to document and preserve project outputs for the long-term. Contact knowledge@lib.uchicago.edu with any questions!


Each month, we’re highlighting an example of research shared in Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s open access digital repository. By spotlighting an item shared each month, we hope to illustrate the variety of research that you can find and that UChicago researchers can make available in the repository. University researchers are invited to log in to Knowledge@UChicago and share articles, book chapters, conference materials, datasets, and other scholarly work.  See more digital scholarship news from the Library, including previous featured research on our news site.     

LexisNexis Digital Library

University of Chicago faculty and students now have access to the LexisNexis Digital Library. This database contains legal treatises from LexisNexis and Matthew Bender in eBook form. Until now, we have not been able to offer online access to these titles to faculty and students outside the Law School. Major treatises available include Moore’s Federal Practice, Nimmer on Copyright, and Collier on Bankruptcy. Also available are banking law handbooks and annotated codes, including the United States Code Service and the Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated.

You can access the LexisNexis Digital Library without signing in, but if you sign in with your CNetID and password, you can download books to read offline, and save your notes and highlighting.

The similarly-named Lexis Library, which contains UK case law and commentary, is still available.

 

Robert G. Schloerb Honorary Exhibit

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, Illinois
Dates: March 5–31, 2019

“I recently had that feeling of power in a man who was working for peace. He has been maligned many times. He has been called a dreamer. His methods of striving for peace may not be right, but he works with a faith that God is working for peace. He believes that selfishness and national greed and hatred are ultimately self-defeating. The universe is against such policies. So, although he suffers and is rejected, he retains power and poise.”

Rolland W. Schloerb, God in Our Lives (New York; London: Harper & Brothers, 1938), 114.

Ten books have been added to the Religion Collection at the University of Chicago Library in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb (JD, ’51) on the occasion of his 95th birthday (March 5, 2019). An exhibit to commemorate Mr. Schloerb is on display in the Fourth Floor Reading Room of the Regenstein Library during March. Patrons will be able to peruse or check out the books added in Mr. Schloerb’s honor. Anne K. Knafl, Bibliographer for Religion, Philosophy, and Jewish Studies, selected these titles to reflect Mr. Schloerb’s exceptional support of the Divinity School, especially its Ministry Program. The books reflect the broad interdenominational and global breadth of the Ministry Program and its commitment to integrating academic rigor and public discourse.

Bookplate in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb

Bookplate in honor of trustee emeritus Robert G. Schloerb

Robert Schloerb and Mary Schloerb have a longstanding partnership with the University and the Divinity School, including decades of generosity and service. Through a generous gift, they created the Rolland Walter Schloerb Ministry Fellowship, in honor of Robert’s father, to support ministry students at the Divinity School. Rolland W. Schloerb (quoted above) served as pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church, now Hyde Park Union Church, from 1928 until his death in 1958. Sara Lytle, the current recipient of the Schloerb Ministry Fellowship, studies Buddhist studies and pastoral care, with particular interests in gender/sexuality, mental health, and death/dying. In addition, Robert and Mary Schloerb contribute to the Divinity School’s Annual Fund and the Baptist Theological Union International Ministry Fellowship. This fellowship supports travel for two Divinity Students, annually. Recent recipient Jair Pinedo traveled to Mexico, where he examined issues of immigration and migration, specifically as relates to children in migrant families. Co-winner Yitzhak Bronstein, studied intentional communities in Israel and how these communities transform the societies they inhabit.

Robert and Mary Schloerb have supported initiatives in the Biological Sciences, the Hospitals, the Law School, the Library, and the Oriental Institute. Robert Schloerb served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1994, and currently is a trustee emeritus. He is a current member of the Baptist Theological Union Board. His and Mary’s youngest son John serves as the current Vice President of the BTU Board. Robert Schloerb is also a life member of the Library Council, Oriental Institute Council, Divinity School Council and Medical Center Council. Mary Schloerb is a current member of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Chicago Lying-In Board. She has served on the Women’s Board and Oriental Institute Council.

We thank Mr. Schloerb and his family for their continued commitment to the University of Chicago community. These books represent that ongoing commitment as they too will support current and future Divinity School students.

Knowledge@UChicago featured research: The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago

February’s featured research is a master’s thesis completed as part of the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH).  Graduating students and alumni interested in raising the visibility of and increasing access to their PhD dissertation, master’s thesis, or BA/BS thesis are invited to share their work in Knowledge@UChicago.

Knowledge@UChicago has served as the open access home for University of Chicago PhD dissertations since 2015 and visitors to the repository will find more than 700 open access dissertations by University of Chicago researchers available. While University of Chicago PhD dissertations are also available in the subscription-based ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database, University of Chicago theses can be more difficult to find and, thereby, to use and reference in other research projects.

We’ve been glad to see recent examples of University of Chicago researchers sharing their master’s theses in Knowledge@UChicago. This month, Jeffrey McMahon, a University of Chicago alumnus, lecturer, and MAPH writing advisor shared the thesis he completed in 2002. In “The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make,” McMahon examines the “symbolic and structural elements” of Algren’s essay and demonstrates the influence that other literary works, particularly Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago,” had on Algren’s text. You can download and read McMahon’s thesis by visiting Knowledge@UChicago.

Figure 5. The Cardiac System: References to the city's heart in "Chicago: City on the Make"

Figure by Jeffrey McMahon, “The Secret Faces of Inscrutable Poets in Nelson Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make,” 2002.

If you are a University of Chicago graduate or current student interested in making your master’s thesis available to the world, visit our site to find more information about Knowledge@UChicago or contact Library staff at knowledge@lib.uchicago.edu. We look forward to reading your work!


Each month, we’re highlighting an example of research shared in Knowledge@UChicago, the University’s open access digital repository. By spotlighting an item shared each month, we hope to illustrate the variety of research that you can find and that UChicago researchers can make available in the repository. University researchers are invited to log in to Knowledge@UChicago and share articles, book chapters, conference materials, datasets, and other scholarly work.  See more digital scholarship news from the Library, including previous featured research on our news site.     

New center fuses media arts, data, and design

A rendering of people workign together in the MADD Center

A rendering of the Media Arts, Data and Design Center, a new collaborative space in the John Crerar Library at the University of Chicago. (Illustration courtesy of Payette Architects )

Partnership across UChicago explores intersection of technology, creativity, and research

The boundaries between art, design, science, and technology are disappearing in a digital world. Today, artists use algorithms, scientists rely on visualization and designers are often focused on helping people navigate new technologies.

At the University of Chicago, the disciplines come together at the Media Arts, Data, and Design (MADD) Center, creating a new collaborative space for experimentation, discovery and impact. The MADD Center will support work by faculty, other academic appointees, students, staff, and community partners through cutting-edge technologies. The 20,000-square-foot center in the John Crerar Library opens February 25.

“Design, as a field, now encompasses the sum of human interactions with the devices, environments, and communities that shape daily life,” said David J. Levin, Senior Advisor to the Provost for Arts. “The MADD Center gives the University of Chicago a space to address these radical changes, assess their wide-ranging consequences, and comprehend the ways that perception, sensation, and experience are being transformed.”

At the MADD Center, there are opportunities to create, study, and learn about critical technologies driving both culture and science, including video games, virtual and augmented reality, data visualization, and digital fabrication. The MADD Center brings together the College, Division of Humanities, Division of Physical Sciences, UChicago Arts and the UChicago Library.

The MADD Center will host five resource labs:

  • An expanded Computer Science Instructional Labs, providing hardware and software for training and education;
  • The Hack Arts Lab, an open-access digital fabrication, prototyping, and visualization facility;
  • The new Weston Game Lab, offering expanded resources for the study, play, and development of analog, electronic, virtual and online games;
  • The Research Computing Center Visualization Lab in the Crerar Library’s Kathleen A. Zar Room, providing new data visualization technology; and,
  • The UChicago Library’s new GIS Hub, enabling geospatial research and learning activities by providing access to geographical information systems software and hardware and an expert GIS and maps librarian who offers consultations and training.

At the MADD Center, classroom and studio spaces support the teaching of Media Arts and Design and Media Aesthetics in the College, electronic music in partnership with CHIME Studios in the Department of Music, and virtual reality and other media courses as part of the new Media Arts and Design minor in Cinema and Media Studies.  In addition, the MADD Center will provide new opportunities for further collaboration with the Logan Center for the Arts, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and many others.

“I am excited about the new opportunities students and faculty in the College and the Humanities will have to work with colleagues in computer science and other areas as we continue to develop new courses in Media Arts and Design and support the many interests of our students and faculty in this area,” said Christopher Wild, Deputy Dean of the College and Humanities Division.

Collaboration Across Creative Forms

The open floorplan and close proximity of MADD Center labs is designed to create opportunities for crossovers and collaboration. Students designing a new board game can create prototypes on the 3D printers at the Hack Arts Lab, while researchers working with the GIS Hub might reveal new insights by visualizing their data on Research Computing Center resources. The MADD Center is located near the new Department of Computer Science offices and laboratories, a science librarians’ research and teaching suite, and the Library’s collections and study spaces at a renovated Crerar Library, creating new, interdisciplinary opportunities across divisions.

“As our world becomes increasingly digital, designers and artists need to become more engaged with technology and technologists need to become more fluent with design, media and the arts,” said Michael J. Franklin, Liew Family Chair of Computer Science. “By co-locating a critical mass of tech-savvy students and faculty with diverse skills and interests across these varied domains, we will facilitate robust dialogue and collaboration as our disciplines continue to co-evolve.”

People working in the Weston Game Lab

The Weston Game Lab will provide a vibrant new space at UChicago for the research and design of games. (Illustration courtesy of Payette Architects)

Gaming, UChicago-Style

The MADD Center is envisioned as a place for a group of students dissecting the structure of a classic Nintendo game, or sketching out the visual design for a new card game that teaches high school students about teen pregnancy. A cornerstone of the new center, the Weston Game Lab will provide a vibrant new space at UChicago for the research and design of the world’s fastest growing cultural and aesthetic form: games.

The Weston Game Lab is supported by a gift from Dr. Shellwyn Weston and Bradford Weston, JD’77. Within the Lab, students, faculty, and staff will collaborate on the research and development of games that produce social impact or experiment with form. Participants will also be able to research the history of games from technical and theoretical perspectives with the Library’s collection of video games and the Logan Center’s collection of consoles, attend workshops that afford new development skills, and organize collaborative groups for game-based experiments.

“Video games in recent years have become an immensely popular medium and multi-billion dollar industry,” said Patrick Jagoda, Associate Professor of English and Cinema & Media Studies and director of the Weston Game Lab. “For cultural, psychological, and sociopolitical reasons, we need rigorous academic study, across both humanistic and social scientific disciplines. I’m interested in growing a culture of thoughtful, ethical, and experimental game design for ends other than entertainment that includes interdisciplinary teams of faculty, staff, and students. I think the University of Chicago can really shine in this space.”