Tag Archives: SCRC Kiosk

Place of Protest: Chicago’s Legacy of Dissent, Declaration, and Disruption

How have protesters in Chicago occupied space with their bodies, voices, and possessions? What do their strategies reveal about a protest’s purpose and message?

A large group of people with signs protesting

Strikers and sympathizers gather at Republic Steel rally, Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 1937. Source: Chicago History Museum.

Explore fifteen case studies of protest in Chicago spanning nearly 150 years of the city’s history in the Chicago Collections Consortium’s new digital exhibit, Place of Protest: Chicago’s Legacy of Dissent, Declaration, and Disruption, curated by Rachel Boyle, PhD.

From a makeshift bomb hurled into a crowd of police officers and laborers in Haymarket Square to a city-wide boycott of Chicago Public Schools in protest of continued segregation, the exhibit tells the stories of dissent among labor, civil rights, and antiwar protesters through archival images, documents, and oral histories curated from libraries and cultural institutions around Chicago. The interactive exhibit encourages navigation though a timeline of events as well as an interactive map that reveals how local declarations uniquely expressed national tensions and the ways in which memories of protest shape Chicagoans’ responses to urban conflict.

The University of Chicago Library contributed scans of items in its ACT UP Chicago collection to the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 1991 page of the web exhibit, which explores the ways the LGBTQ community asserted its needs outside a convention of medical professionals.

Protesters at Chicago HIlton and Towers, 1991

Nightlines Weekly, July 3, 1991. Source: ACT UP Chicago Records 1969 – 1996, University of Chicago.

About Chicago Collections and the University of Chicago Library

Chicago Collections is a consortium of libraries, museums, and other institutions with archives that collaborate to preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region.  The University of Chicago is a governing member of the consortium, and the University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center has contributed 356 archival finding aids describing collections that document Chicago urban history and 1078 digital images from its collections that depict Chicago urban settings and events in the city.

Censorship and Information Control

Censorship and Information Control: A Global History from the Inquisition to the Internet

The cover of the "Complete Unabridged" edition of George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" with the title and author's name blacked out

In 2002 Penguin released this commemorative edition of “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” with the title and Orwell’s name blacked out as if censored, as a tribute to the book’s unique contributions to discourse about censorship. George Orwell. “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” New York: Penguin, 2002. On loan from Ada Palmer.

Exhibition Dates: September 17 – December 14, 2018
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Associated website: voices.uchicago.edu/censorship

Why do people censor? For ambition? Religion? Profit? Power? Fear? This global history of attempts to control or silence information, from antiquity’s earliest written records to our new digital world, examines how censorship has worked, thrived, or failed in different times and places, and shows how real censorship movements tend to be very different from the centralized, methodical, top-down censorship depicted in Orwell’s 1984, which so dominates how we imagine censorship today. From indexes of forbidden books, to manuscripts with passages inked out by Church Inquisitors, to comics and pornography, to self-censorship and the subtle censorship of manipulating translations or teaching biased histories, the banned and challenged materials in this exhibit will challenge you to answer: how do you define what is and isn’t censorship?

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., and, when University of Chicago classes are in session, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Curator

Ada Palmer, Associate Professor History, The University of Chicago

Ada Palmer is a historian and novelist, who works on transmission of radical ideas in hostile intellectual environments. She specializes in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, but also looks from antiquity to modernity for patterns in the ways societies respond to unwelcome ideas.  Her publications include work on Lucretius and atomism in the Renaissance, on revivals of Platonism, Pythagoreanism, stoicism, and heterodox ideas about the soul and afterlife, and censorship of comic books in Japan after World War II.  She is also the author of the science fiction series Terra Ignota, which imagines censorship’s evolution into the 25th century.

Related Events

A public dialogue series brings together scholars of print revolutions past and present with practitioners working on the frontiers of today’s information revolution.  Eight dialogues will unite historians, editors, novelists, poets, and activists, and will be filmed and shared online, to let the public enjoy and continue the discussions.

Sessions are open to the public, and will take place Fridays from 1:30 to 4:20 pm on the University of Chicago Campus, in Kent Room 107, on October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, and 30.

Visit voices.uchicago.edu/censorship/dialogueseries/ for more information.

 

Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download to members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.

For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Story of historic African-American fraternity told through University Archives

The University of Chicago’s Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is celebrating its centennial this year. Established on February 9, 1918, the African-American fraternity initiated members who went on to high achievement in law, education, medicine, politics, and more.

Members of Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, pictured in the 1957 Cap and Gown yearbook

Kappa Alpha Psi member Aaron Williams published a history of Iota Chapter in the Winter 2017 issue of the fraternity’s Journal, chronicling Iota Chapter’s struggles with campus housing and restrictive covenants, and its exclusion from the Interfraternity Council (IFC). Williams also writes about Iota Chapter’s residence at 4752 South Ellis, its repeated win of the IFC Sing cup, and the academic experiences and distinguished careers of 54 of its members.

Williams drew upon archival resources at the University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center, as well the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection at the Chicago Public Library, the fraternity’s archive, and interviews with alumni. The article cites archival issues of The Chicago Maroon and The Cap and Gown, and highlights photographs from the University of Chicago Photographic Archive that feature members of Iota Chapter.

1949 Inter-Fraternity Sing featuring members of Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. (University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf4-01433)

 

 

 

1930 University of Chicago Track Team. Kappa Alpha Psi member, Truman K. Gibson, Jr., is pictured in the front row, far right. Gibson went on to be an attorney and advisor to President Harry S. Truman. He was instrumental in the desegregation of the U.S. armed forces. (University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf5-03829)

Mr. Williams’ article is an excellent example of the use of archives to remember and retell stories of underrepresented communities. Read the full article.

Roundup of new guides to archives and manuscripts collections

Archivists in the Special Collections Research Center were hard at work arranging and describing archival collections this past fiscal year. 38 collections comprising 1,064 linear feet of material – that’s the length of more than 3.5 football fields! – are now available for research. 475 linear feet of collections (approximately 1.5 football fields of material) were also reviewed and their online guides updated.

You are invited to explore the following new guides and visit us to see the collections in person. The Special Collections Research Center is open to anyone – students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

Amberg, Alan. Gay History Collection

The materials in this collection were gathered by Alan Amberg as well as his partner, the late Jerry Cohen. Materials cover a wide range of gay and lesbian subject matter, including the beginnings of the Gay Pride Movement in Chicago in the early 1970s.

Bachner, Rudolph. Papers

Rudolph Bachner (1905-1997) was a German-born writer and chemist. The collection contains three typescripts of Bachner’s work, including two novels and an unpublished memoir.

Baily, Walter. Papers

Walter Lewis Baily Jr. (1930-2013) was a mathematician and professor at The University of Chicago. During his career, Baily made numerous contributions to algebraic geometry, the most important of which is known as the Baily-Borel Compactification.

Baptist Divinity House. Records

The Baptist Divinity House assisted with funding, housing, career placement and other means of support for students pursing Baptist ministry at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Bill, Charles A. Collection of Yousuf Karsh. Photographs

This collection contains photographs by Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), collected by Charles Anton Bill. Yousuf Karsh, is best known for his portrait photographs of significant cultural and political figures. This collection contains Karsh’s silver gelatin prints of Winston Churchill, Pope John XXIII, and John F. Kennedy.

Brannen, Noah S. Papers

Noah Samuel Brannen (1924-2013) was an ordained minister, missionary, translator, and professor. The collection contains correspondence, notes, drafts, manuscripts, and publications pertaining to Brannen’s translations of and writings on the works of various Japanese authors, especially Rinzo Shiina.

Braude, Lee. Papers

Lee Braude, sociologist, University of Chicago A.M. 1954, PhD, 1964.

Camp Farr Collection

Camp Farr was a fresh-air children’s summer camp near Chesterton, Indiana, established by the University of Chicago Settlement League.

Chandrasekhar, S. Papers (Addenda)

The Special Collections Research Center’s collection of Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar‘s personal papers has more than doubled in size.

Elshtain, Jean Bethke. Papers

Jean Bethke Elshtain (1941-2013) was a political theorist, ethicist, author, and public intellectual. She was the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics with joint appointments at the Divinity School, the Department of Political Science, and the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago.

Hamilton, Alfred Starr. Papers

Alfred Starr Hamilton (1914-2005) poet. The collection contains biographical information, personal belongings, correspondence, , book reviews, newspaper clippings with interviews and biographies, poetry journals and magazines, books, and Hamilton’s unpublished poetry manuscripts.

Historical Manuscripts Collection (Addenda)

The Historical Manuscripts Collections contains correspondence and other brief manuscripts documenting personal, scholarly, business, government, and religious affairs, written by an array of authors, primarily from North America and Western Europe. The manuscripts date from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Irene Tufts Mead, Collection of Alice Boughton. Photographs

Alice Boughton was a member of the Photo-Secession movement. All of the images date to 1904. Subjects include George Herbert Mead, Alice Chipman Dewey, Lucy Dewey, Evelyn Dewey, and Sabino Dewey.

Isaacs, Roger, Collection of Bud Freeman Papers

Lawrence “Bud” Freeman (1906-1991) was a jazz tenor saxophonist from Chicago, Illinois, who lived and played all over the world. Freeman was a leader of the “Chicago style” of jazz.

Kraus, Paul. Papers

Paul Kraus (1904-1944) was a scholar of Semitic languages and medieval Islamic science and philosophy.

Landahl, Karen. Papers

Karen Landahl (1951-2003) was a linguist who taught at the University of Chicago, in the Department of Linguistics, from 1982 to 2003. She was also the Academic Director of the Language Labs and Archives and the Language Faculty Resource Center, and the Associate Dean for Computing and Language Technologies at the University.

Language Laboratories and Archives. Records

The Language Laboratories and Archives at the University of Chicago, and its current iteration, the Center for the Study of Language, provide language learning services and facilities for both faculty and students. This collection contains records of the various iterations of the lab, from 1952 to 2006.

Leites, Nathan. Papers

Nathan Leites (1912-1987) was a political scientist who applied the tools of psychoanalysis to the study of culture and politics, with particular specialization in the Soviet politburo.

Maloof, John. Collection of Vivian Maier

This collection contains photographic prints, ephemera, and artifacts belonging to photographer Vivian Maier. It includes black-and-white and color prints taken by Maier, most of which are street photographs of Chicago and New York City from the 1950s-1970s.

Maser, Edward. Papers

Edward Andrew Maser (1923-1988) was an Art Historian, a museum curator, and an art collector. From 1961 to 1964, he served as the chairman of the University of Chicago’s Department of Art History, and in 1974 he became the inaugural director of the Smart Museum.

Mason, Max. Papers

Charles Max Mason (1877-1961) mathematician, President of the University of Chicago (1925-1928), and President of the Rockefeller Foundation (1929-1936). The collection primarily documents Mason’s work for the National Research Council during World War One, where he developed a submarine detection device that was in regular use on destroyers by the summer of 1918. The device was a precursor to the sonar devices of the 1940s.

McQuown, Norman. Papers

Norman A. McQuown (1914-2005) was an anthropologist and linguist best known for his efforts to document and study indigenous languages in Mexico and Central America and for his work in the field of non-verbal communication.

Mirsky, Marvin. Papers

Marvin Mirsky (1923-1914) was a scholar of literature and longtime faculty member at the University of Chicago.

Moore, Carl R. Papers

Carl Richard Moore (1892-1955) was a Professor of Zoology and endocrinologist. Moore made significant contributions to the field of mammalian endocrinology; he was part of the team of University of Chicago researchers that first isolated testosterone in 1920. With fellow researcher Dorothy Price, he theorized the “push-pull” interactions between the pituitary gland and sex glands, which provided insight into the complexities of fertility in mammals.

Perlberg, Mark. Papers

Mark Perlberg (1929- 2008) was a poet, journalist, editor, and educator. In 1968, he co-founded the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Perrin, Norman. Papers

Norman Horace Perrin (1920-1976) was an associate professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Chicago.

Roman Weil Collection of Boris Artzybasheff

This collection contains illustrations by the Russian-American artist Boris Artzybasheff (1899-1965) produced from 1929 to 1965, and collected by Roman Weil. The material in the collection ranges from magazine covers, industrial advertisements, a map, large advertising poster prints, and a woodblock print. The images describe foreign leaders, American political leaders, anthropomorphized machinery, descriptive maps, technological innovations, political satire, and poetic figurations.

Sherer, Albert. Papers

Albert Sherer (1884-1973) was a senior student at the University of Chicago who was shot near campus in 1905. The collection contains a letter from University President William Rainey Harper to Sherer, Sherer’s police reports, newspaper accounts, a record of the 1934 University of Chicago’s Board of Trustees, and the bullets that were extracted from Mr. Sherer.

Silbert, Layle. Papers (Addenda)

Layle Silbert (1913-2003) was a photographer and writer. Noted for her portraits of authors, Silbert also wrote poetry, essays and fiction.

Swerdlow, Noel. Papers

Noel M. Swerdlow (1941-) emeritus professor in the Departments of History and Astronomy and Astrophysics. The collection includes documents collected by Swerdlow related to the non-reappointment of sociology professor Marlene Dixon, and the subsequent student sit-ins in 1969.

Teichmann, Emil. Papers

Emil Teichmann (1845-1924) was a British fur trader sent to investigate possible illicit Russian fur trade in North America in 1868. The collection contains his original journal from 1868, correspondence, sketches, contracts, photographs, notes, and other memorabilia. The papers primarily document his trading negotiations, and photographic and illustrated scenes of landscape and cities like San Francisco and Sitka, Alaska.

University of Chicago. Dept of Anthropology. Chiapas Project. Records

The Department of Anthropology Chiapas Project records document the University of Chicago Department of Anthropology’s research projects in the Mexican state of Chiapas in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The projects aimed to investigate the language, culture, environment, and history of local Maya communities.

University of Chicago. Department of History. Records

This collection contains records from the Department of History at the University of Chicago. The collections contains correspondence, memoranda, minutes, letters of recommendation, examinations, reports, proposals, student lists and student evaluations.

University of Chicago. Department. of Sociology. Records

The Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago was founded in 1892 and was the first academic department of sociology in the United States. This collection contains materials related to the administration of the Department such as meeting minutes, student rosters, examinations, materials relating to the passing of Louis Wirth, and materials relating to the non-reappointment of sociology professor, Marlene Dixon. It also contains programs, brochures, and photographs related to the Centennial Conference, 1892-1992 as well as a map depicting East and West Garfield Park (1924).

University of Chicago. Midway Studios. Records

Midway Studios has been the fine arts studios of the Art Department at the University of Chicago since the mid-1940s, and was founded by sculptor Lorado Taft in 1906. This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, drawings, photographs, academic journals, notes, brochures, and exhibit signs. Materials document Taft’s work and legacy, and the later history of the studio, particularly the work of Director Harold Haydon.

Worner, Ruby K. Papers

Ruby Kathryn Worner (1900-1995) was a chemist who specialized in the textile industry. Worner studied at the University of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry (1921, 1922, and 1925). Worner worked for the United States Bureau of Home Economics as well as Southern Regional Laboratories, making numerous advancements in textile production.

New guide to papers of Quincy Wright, pioneer in international law and international relations

A new guide to the personal papers of Quincy Wright (1890-1970) is now available online. Wright was a political scientist and University of Chicago professor known for his work on war, international relations, and international law.

Wright joined the political science faculty at the University of Chicago in 1923, and was a professor of international law at the University from 1931 to 1956. He guest lectured at universities all over the world, and consulted for the government of the United States, including the U.S. Navy Department and the Department of State. He was also a technical advisor to the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in 1945, and a consultant to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in 1949. In addition to his teaching and consulting responsibilities, Wright authored dozens of books and hundreds of articles, among them A Study of War (1942) and The Study of International Relations (1955).

The papers document Wright’s interests in war, international law, world organization, and international cooperation, as well as the numerous organizations with which he was associated.

Large addition to papers of Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar now available for research

The Special Collections Research Center’s collection of Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar‘s personal papers has more than doubled in size. Organization of the additional material has recently been completed by archivist Allyson Smally, and a new guide to the collection is available online.

The newly-opened portion of the collection contains writings – including handwritten notes and drafts – personal and professional correspondence, and a significant number of photographs. The additional material is described in the Addenda portion of the online guide.

A notebook from Chandrasekhar’s first year at Cambridge University, later dedicated to his wife Lalitha. Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan. Papers, Box 208, Folder 5, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Chandra and Lalitha, 1940
Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan. Papers, Box 255, Folder 47, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Congratulatory letter from University of Chicago President Hanna Holborn Gray, 1983. Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan. Papers, Box 194, Folder 2, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910-1995) was a faculty member at the University of Chicago for nearly 60 years. He made significant contributions to theoretical astrophysics, and is best known for his mathematical theory of black holes.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar pictured in 1936. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf6-01301, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

War, Trauma, Memory

Soldier in front of flag on cover of the Anzac Book

Cover, The Anzac Book. 1916. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition Dates: April 30 – August 31, 2018
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

It seems an understatement to note that war is traumatic to those who experience it in any way, shape or form. The pieces in this exhibition reflect their creators’ experiences in wars from the 16th century through the present day. Each was published or made public by their creators; by that action the creator invites us into the captured moment. We see, not a moment of trauma itself but a time after that moment, whether that be seconds or years. In this exhibition, the trauma of war is represented by that very absence of trauma, through the experience creators share with viewers, listeners or readers.

Here, photographs by soldiers or journalists at the scene share space with expressions of the effect of war created at a greater remove. Events are recounted at a personal, intimate level as in portraits of families or on a grand scale: the destruction of Dresden. Over time, images retain their power but may no longer serve the purpose for which they were made. For example, some of the items were created to be propaganda and here are displayed as art or as a curiosity. At times an overt intent of the creator or bias of the image is evident, and at others we need to remind ourselves that creators may have emotions hidden even from themselves. With images of war, in particular, the observer’s relationships to the conflict will affect the ways in which the object is understood. How many recall the stakes of the 30 Years War?

Drawing of soldiers

Jean Louis Forain. Le Poilu psychologue, [1918]. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Anchoring the exhibition is Francisco Goya’s Los desastres de la guerra, a book of prints etched in the early 19th century, left unpublished until 1863 for fear of censorship. The suite of plates Goya created in response to suffering he witnessed during the Napoleonic wars is considered to contain the first eyewitness images of war reporting. The book is opened to Plate 44 “Yo lo vi” (I saw it).

Indeed “Yo lo vi”: the images, sculpture, poetry, and music here are haunted by the very absence of violence and the persistence of memory.

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., and, when University of Chicago classes are in session, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Yo lo vi

Francisco Goya. Plate 44, “Yo lo vi,” Los desastres de la guerra, 1893. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Related Event

In the Wake of the Bombs: Germany, 1945

May 14, 5 p.m.
Regenstein Library, Room 122

Professor Françoise Meltzer will speak about the book she is currently completing on the bombing of Germany in World War II: Through a Lens, Darkly. The talk is based on a series of photographs of the ruins taken by her mother in 1945.

Meltzer is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Professor in the Divinity School and the College, and Chair of Comparative Literature.

Cost: Free

Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download by members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.

For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Students, scholars explore African-American archives in Chicago

(From left) Black Metropolis Research Consortium fellows Sonja Williams, James West and Douglas Williams discuss their research at a community presentation event at the Stony Island Arts Bank. (Photo by Jean Lachat)

UChicago serves as host institution for Black Metropolis Research Consortium

Second-year College student Megan Naylor spent the past summer as an intern in the Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University, organizing a new collection of materials from Carol Moseley Braun, the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

The internship was part of a program offered by the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, a Chicago-based association of libraries, universities and archival institutions, including the University of Chicago. The consortium members hold collections related to African-American and African diasporic culture, history and politics, with a special focus on materials relating to Chicago.

Naylor hadn’t considered a career in archival research before the internship, but she now sees herself as possibly entering the field. She recently was selected for a second internship with the archives at the Chicago History Museum, which is a member of the consortium.

“I really like the internship program because I think it’s important getting young African-American students into a field where they are underrepresented,” Naylor said. “It’s also doing good work preserving history and giving people access to it.”

Megan Naylor and Melanie Chambliss

UChicago student Megan Naylor (left) stands next to former BMRC fellow Melanie Chambliss with materials from the Carol Moseley Braun Collection.

UChicago is the host institution for the consortium, which was founded in 2006 by then Dean of the Humanities Danielle Allen. Brenda Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian, said it is an important part of civic engagement initiatives for the Library and the University.

“It gives us the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in the Chicago region, to forge stronger connections with the Chicago community, and to offer unique research and internship opportunities to undergraduate students, graduate students and scholars from University of Chicago and around the world,” Johnson said.

In addition to preserving and preparing historical materials related to African-Americans for research, the consortium is focused on training new archivists through their Archie Motley Archival Internship Program, designed to address the underrepresentation of people of color in the field.

“We are seeking to diversify the profession and really provide exposure to students,” said Andrea Jackson, the executive director for the consortium and former head of the Archives Research Center at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. “We want students of color to go into fields like archives or library science or museum studies.”

Jackson hopes to build upon the success of the consortium, while offering new opportunities for future archivists by extending the internship program.

“Right now we are working with undergrads, but we’re hoping to grow the program and work with graduate students, as well as reaching out to high school-level students to share what we do as archivists within the profession.”

Summer fellowship program brings researchers to Chicago

Ida B. Wells with her children

Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her children, 1909, 13.7 x 9.5 cm. Ida B. Papers, Box 10, Folder 1, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

For more than a decade, the consortium has worked to preserve the archives of the African-American experience in Chicago while extending opportunities in the field for undergraduate and graduate students and offering research opportunities to scholars from around the world.

Researchers also can take advantage of the wealth of collections available at the consortium’s member institutions through a summer program that has supported 95 fellowships since 2008. Among the valuable resources held by consortium members are the Ida B. Wells Papers at the Special Collections Research Center at UChicago Library and the Harold Washington and Timuel D. Black Jr. papers at the Chicago Public Library.

One of this year’s fellows was Sonja Williams, a professor of communications at Howard University. Twenty years ago she produced a documentary for NPR on affirmative action in higher education, using UChicago as a case study. This past summer, she conducted archival research at UChicago on student experiences in the 1960s and 1970s when affirmative action policies were instituted at the University.

Williams said she benefited from the resources of several member institutions, including Special Collections at UChicago Library.

“Resource-wise it’s rich being able to have access and utilizing the minds of the archivists at the institutions,” Williams said. “Being able to collaborate and hear about projects from scholars and other fellows was fantastic.”

A University of Chicago news release

Explore Mexican indigenous languages in McQuown papers

Norman McQuown

The papers of anthropologist, linguist, and University of Chicago professor Norman A. McQuown are now available to researchers at the Special Collections Research Center. A new guide is also available for the records of the Department of Anthropology’s Chiapas Project, which McQuown was heavily involved in.

Norman McQuown was best known for his efforts to document and study indigenous languages in Mexico and Central America and for his work in the field of non-verbal communication. He studied, conducted field and archival research, taught, and wrote on a wide range of languages, including Huastec, Quiche Maya, Yucatec Maya, Nahuatl, Totonac, Turkish, Russian, and Esperanto. He published in English, Spanish, and German, was comfortable writing and conversing in a large number of additional languages, and wrote frequently on the process of language teaching and learning. His papers document his research, writing, teaching, and administrative work.

The Chiapas Project records document the University of Chicago Department of Anthropology’s research projects in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas from 1956-1964. The projects aimed to investigate the language, culture, environment, and history of local Maya communities. The records contain administrative and financial material, project reports, and photographs. The McQuown Papers contain a significant amount of additional material from the Chiapas Project.

Norman A. McQuown was born in Peoria, Illinois on January 30, 1914. He received his AB in 1935 and MA in 1936, both in German, from the University of Illinois. He earned his PhD in linguistics from Yale University in 1940, where he studied under Edward Sapir and Leonard Bloomfield and wrote his thesis on the Totonac language. From 1939-1942 he taught in Mexico and worked on a Turkish Language project for the American Council of Learned Societies. McQuown continued in this area during World War II, where he served as a Turkish specialist and editorial supervisor for the Language Section of the Army Service Forces.

After teaching briefly at Hunter College in New York City from 1945-1946, McQuown came to the University of Chicago in 1946 and remained there for the rest of his career, spending time as chair of both the anthropology and linguistics departments. Throughout his career, teaching and creating resources to help others learn remained important to him, and he edited, compiled, or translated a significant number of instructional texts for language learning.

McQuown was involved in a wide range of research activities. He made numerous trips to Mexico and Guatemala to conduct field work for the Man in Nature project, Chiapas project, and other work. He conducted archival research at libraries in Europe and the Americas and compiled catalogs of sources available on indigenous languages at various institutions. McQuown was also an early user of computers to document and study languages.

In addition to his work on indigenous languages, McQuown was a core contributor to The Natural History of an Interview, a project in which he and colleagues conducted an in-depth microanalysis of a personal interview and related family interactions, covering both verbal and nonverbal communication. The manuscript was never published in English, but their work in the area of nonverbal communication was considered particularly groundbreaking.

McQuown was dedicated to preserving research and fieldwork, both his own and that of others. He did significant work to organize and provide access to the papers of Manuel Andrade, a professor of anthropology and linguist who passed away unexpectedly shortly before McQuown arrived at Chicago. McQuown was also the Founding Director of the University of Chicago’s Language Laboratory and Archives, now the Digital Media Archive, and established and made numerous contributions to what is now known as the Microfilm Collection of Manuscripts on Cultural Anthropology at the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library.

Norman McQuown married Dolores Elrine Milleville on November 7, 1942. They had two daughters, Kathryn Ann and Patricia Ellen. Patricia predeceased him. Norman McQuown died in Chicago on September 7, 2005.

 

Papers of political theorist Jean Bethke Elshtain now open to researchers

The personal papers of political theorist, ethicist, author, and professor, Jean Bethke Elshtain are now available for research in the Special Collections Research Center. The papers primarily document Elshtain’s career in academia and her activities as a public intellectual called upon to address issues related to feminism, war, and political ethics. They reveal the remarkable breadth and depth of her work on subjects as wide-ranging as bioethics and Jane Addams.

Headshot of Jean Bethke Elshtain

Jean Bethke Elshtain

Jean Bethke Elshtain (1941-2013) grew up in Tinmath, Colorado, a small farming community outside of Fort Collins. At the age of 10, Jean contracted polio and was moved to Denver for treatment. Her mother obtained a job at the hospital in order to be near to her daughter, and eventually Jean was brought home to recuperate and learn to walk again.

Jean went on to earn an A.B. in history at Colorado State University, an M.A. in history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a second M.A. in history at the University of Colorado, and a Ph.D. in Political Science at Brandeis University. Elshtain held teaching positions at Colorado State University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Chicago where she was the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics in the Divinity School, Political Science, and the Committee on International Relations for 18 years.

In addition to her active teaching career, Elshtain was a prolific writer and public speaker. She authored more than 500 scholarly articles, occasional and opinion pieces, and reviews in a wide range of publications. Elshtain authored more than a dozen books.

She maintained a rigorous public speaking schedule and was invited to lecture or comment upon topics related to feminism, bioethics, political ethics, the place of religion in modern society and in democracy, and war. A devout Christian, Elshtain was unafraid to incorporate theology and the history of religion into her discussions of contemporary events and politics.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, her writings on St. Augustine and the Just War doctrine prompted the George W. Bush administration to include her among a group of scholars and religious figures invited to the White House to meet with the President. The Just War doctrine was later used to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and Elshtain was a public supporter of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, Elshtain was appointed to the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities (2006-2013) and to the President’s Council on Bioethics (2008). She also served on the board of the National Humanities Center (1996-2013), the board of the National Endowment for Democracy (2003-2011), and the Scholars Council of the Library of Congress (2001-2013).

Elshtain received many prestigious appointments, fellowships, and awards throughout her lifetime, including nine honorary degrees. She co-directed the PEW Forum on Religious and Public Life (2001-2004), and was on the boards of the Institute for Advanced Study (1994-1996) and the Institute for American Values (1994-2008). She was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1996), and a Guggenheim Fellow (1991-1992). She held the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library of Congress (2003), and was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar (1997-1998). In 2002 Elshtain was given the Frank J. Goodnow Award by the American Political Science Association, the highest honor bestowed by that organization. She delivered the esteemed Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in 2005-2006, which led to her final major work, Sovereignty: God, State, and Self.

Jean Bethke Elshtain died in Nashville, Tennessee on August 11, 2013.

The Jean Bethke Elshtain Papers were processed and preserved with generous support from the McDonald Agape Foundation.