Exhibits

When Fascism Wins: 80 Years from the Spanish Anti-Fascist Exile

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Third Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 1 – June 15, 2019

Photograph of María Teresa León

María Teresa León, 1938 (Source: Archivo Isabel Clara Ángeles Alarcón, Barcelona)

Curated by Collegiate Assistant Professor Miguel Caballero, with a selection of poems and prose translated into English by Maya Osman-Krinsky (Class of 2021)

In the spring of 1939, General Francisco Franco and his allied Nazi and Fascist forces took Madrid and Catalonia. After three years of war, the Spanish Republic eventually collapsed. Hundreds of thousands died or went into exile, among them dozens of writers and artists. Many fled to Europe, which was on the cusp of the Second World War. Many others moved to Latin America, the Soviet Union and even the United States, where they spent decades, as Franco’s military dictatorship continued in Spain.

The Regenstein Library has a rich collection of works by these authors who died fighting fascism or had to flee Spain. Some never came back. This exhibition, on the 80th anniversary of the beginning of their mass exile, is a homage to their political commitment and literary endeavors. Curated by Collegiate Assistant Professor Miguel Caballero, with a selection of poems and prose translated into English by Maya Osman-Krinsky (Class of 2021), it presents a selection of works written in the 1930s or during exile organized around three themes: uprooting and death; domestic epics; and self-sufficiency and power.

“A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago”: Sources

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor
Exhibit Dates: April 25 – June 30, 2019

Old University of Chicago Library bookplate alongside gift recognition bookplate from the current University of Chicago Library

Old University of Chicago Library bookplate alongside gift recognition bookplate from the current University of Chicago Library

“The origin narrative of the University of Chicago does not begin with John D. Rockefeller in 1890. It does not even begin in the city of Chicago. It actually begins on a 3,000-acre cotton plantation in Lawrence County, Mississippi. Hundreds of enslaved African American men, women, and children lived and died on that plantation to make the University of Chicago, and its $7 billion endowment, possible. The University of Chicago refuses to acknowledge this part of its heritage.”

(Caine Jordan, Guy Emerson Mount, and Kai Perry Parker. “‘A Disgrace to all slave-holders’: The University of Chicago’s Founding Ties to Slavery and the Path to Reparations.” The Journal of African American History 103, no.1-2 [2018]: 163-178)

In 2017, members of the Reparations at UChicago Working Group (RAUC) published “A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago,” in Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society. RAUC argued that there are inextricable ties between UChicago and the Old University of Chicago, which was founded in 1856 on land donated by Stephen A. Douglas, owner of a slave plantation in Mississippi.

This exhibit presents original manuscripts, publications, and legal documents that trace the connections and continuities between the Old University of Chicago and the new University, founded in 1890.  In this first case, we highlight the primary sources used by RAUC to establish the University of Chicago’s ties to slavery. The adjacent case brings together materials documenting the interconnectedness of the two institutions with evidence drawn from early university and seminary catalogs, and books with rarely-seen bookplates and inscriptions from Regenstein Library’s circulating collection.

Stone from Douglas Hall in Old University of Chicago as part of current University building

This stone from Douglas Hall at the Old University of Chicago, named after the University’s benefactor Stephen A. Douglas, is part of the Classics building in the Hyde Park campus of the University of Chicago

This two-case exhibit is presented in conjunction with the (U)Chicago Reparations Summit taking place on campus April 26, 2019. Learn more @TheRAUC on Twitter. Visitors without a UChicago ID can enter to see the exhibit by obtaining a day pass from the ID and Privileges Office in Regenstein Library during its hours.

Independent Nations Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Second Floor
Exhibit Dates: March 28 – June 27, 2019

Map of Baltic States

The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have long and complex histories.  They have rarely been allowed independence or any individuality. Now in the 21st century, each nation finds itself creating its own path, as an independent country.

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.

Food cultures of the Middle East and Asia

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fifth Floor
Exhibit Dates: October 1 – December 31, 2018

For their second joint exhibit, five area-studies librarians on the fifth floor of the Joseph Regenstein Library celebrate the diversity of food cultures from across their areas of expertise.

Collage of paintings with food being served

Jee-Young Park on Korean cuisine

With a rich and long history, Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and cultural change. From royal court cuisine to the food of commoners and regional specialties, the main ingredients of Korean food are constant: rice, meat, seafood and vegetables. Today, an everyday meal typically includes one or two main dishes, short-grain rice and a number of side dishes (panch’an) including kimchi. For many, food is inseparable from cultural and historical identity. As methods of harvest and preservation gradually took shape over centuries, seasonal customs spread across the peninsula and dining etiquette grew more elaborate. Korean scholars have turned to food as a medium through which to interpret history and culture and likewise has played an important part in the works of artists and writers across time.

Laura A. Ring on historical foodways in South Asia

The Library makes available a wealth of primary resources for the study of historical foodways in South Asia. Shown are verses in praise of food in the Rigveda, a collection of ancient Hindu hymns in early Sanskrit (circa 1500 to 1200 BCE.); food and diet therapy in the Suśruta Saṃhitā, the earliest known treatise on Ayurvedic medicine (circa mid first millennium B.C.E.); and pictorial representations of food in the Niʻmatnāma, a 15th-century manuscript of recipes, remedies, and aphrodisiacs of the Sultans of Mandu (Madhya Pradesh, India).

Marlis J. Saleh on coffee in the Middle East

From the time of its first cultivation in the fifteenth century, coffee has played an important role in the culture of the Middle East. Shown are a sixteenth-century text discussing religious controversies relating to the permissibility of coffee; a seventeenth-century report (and translation) on the social upheaval caused by the appearance of coffeehouses in Istanbul; a nineteenth-century Englishman’s description of coffee as the center of Bedouin hospitality; and a modern scholarly work on the history of coffee and coffeehouses in the Middle East.

Jiaxun Wu on Chinese cuisine

Chinese cuisine is not only renowned by its taste, but also is part of culture. The history of Chinese cuisine can be traced back to pre-Qin period. Through the thousands of years, it has continuously developed. In the meantime, it is marked by both variety and change, including cooking styles, methods, ingredients, and recipes. It also shows continuous absorption of diverse foreign influences. The book, Encyclopedia of Chinese Cooking, first discusses the beginning and development of cooking on Chinese food, and imperial cuisine through the ages. The book further introduces the different schools of Chinese cuisines, and cooking and cuisine of minorities.

Ayako Yoshimura on condiments in Japanese culture

Selected from the Japanese collection are books that introduce the effect of condiments in Japanese cuisine, and that feature the culture of railway dining cars (one often-overlooked area in which to trace how Japan adopted “Western” cultural elements).

 

Celebrating the Poetry of Asia and the Middle East

Collage of images derived from itemsin the exhibit

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fifth Floor
Exhibit Dates: May 1 – June 30, 2018

For their inaugural joint exhibit, five area-studies librarians on the fifth floor of the Joseph Regenstein Library celebrate poetry from their own areas of expertise. The items highlight the diversity of poetry traditions.

Shown are one item to represent each of the three major poetic traditions of the Islamic Middle East: Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish. Each item also offers an example of their respective traditions of manuscript illumination.

  • Laura Ring, Librarian for Southern Asia and Anthropology

Southern Indian Akam or love poems from the classical Tamil anthology Aiṅkuṟunūṟu.

Having followed one of the major incidents in Korean history, the poems provide insight to moments of sorrow, pain, forgiveness, and hope resulting from and surrounding the Jeju 4.3 Uprising in 1948.

Poetry in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) is an unparalleled system reaching its pinnacle in the development of the poem. Its great value consists of an ideal combination of thoughts and art. Li Bai and Du Fu are considered two superstar Tang Poets.

Shown are poems composed in the traditional fixed forms waka, haiku, and senryū.

The Adaptations of Augie March: A Novel by Saul Bellow, A Play by David Auburn, A Production Directed by Charles Newell, An Exhibition by Special Collections and Court Theatre

Exhibition Dates: April 29 — August 30, 2019
Location: Special Collections Research Center Gallery, 1100 E. 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Rendering of costume for Augie March with blue shirt and blue pants

Sally Dolembo’s costume design for “The Adventures of Augie March,” final rendering of Augie March

Saul Bellow’s 1953 masterpiece, The Adventures of Augie March, launched his reputation as a novelist and established the future Nobel Laureate’s literary renown. In 2015, Court Theatre commissioned the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright David Auburn, AB ’91, to adapt Augie March for the stage. This exhibit showcases treasures from Special Collections Research Center’s Saul Bellow Papers in juxtaposition with materials generated by theatre artists working toward Court’s May 2019 world premiere. On display are early handwritten drafts of Bellow’s novel; the original drafts of David Auburn’s stage adaptation; Charles Newell’s artistic notes and plans for building the world of the play; costume designer Sally Dolembo’s sketches; the mind-bending design work of shadow puppetry collective Manual Cinema; and John Culbert’s minimalist, non-literal design for a set capable of evoking disparate places. The exhibit invites visitors to step into the world of Augie March—as Bellow imagined it, Auburn adapted it, and Newell envisioned it on stage. 

Curator: Nora Titone, Dramaturg at the Court Theatre

Photo of David Auburn

David Auburn

 

Associated Production

The Adventures of Augie March
Court Theatre
May 9 — June 9, 2019

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 and images, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Photo of Saul Bellow with his signature in passport

U.S. Passport, 1951, Saul Bellow Papers, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

How Jewish refugees found a wartime home in Shanghai

Brother and sister

Karin Zacharias (right) and her brother Hans Peter Zacharias, pictured in 1941 on the day of his bar mitzvah in Shanghai. (Courtesy of Jacqueline Pardo)

Scholar’s novel, exhibit explore lives of those who fled World War II Europe

Asst. Prof. Rachel DeWoskin has visited Shanghai every summer for nearly a decade, walking along streets that more than 18,000 Jewish refugees once called home. Spanning roughly a square mile, those blocks were where they established schools and businesses, rebuilding their lives in one of the few cities that accepted World War II refugees without visas.

food ration coupons

These food ration coupons entitled refugees in Shanghai to basic necessities such as flour, sugar and coal briquettes. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

DeWoskin’s years of research culminated in the January publication of Someday We Will Fly, her fictionalized account of a young Jewish girl fleeing war-torn Poland. Described as “a beautifully nuanced exploration of culture and people,” the book is the fifth from DeWoskin—an award-winning novelist and assistant professor of practice in the arts who has taught at the University of Chicago since 2014.

In writing her novel, DeWoskin also relied in part on the family possessions of UChicago staff psychiatrist Jacqueline Pardo, whose German mother Karin Pardo (née Zacharias) lived in Shanghai as a child. A selection of those objects and photographs are displayed on the third floor of Regenstein Library.

That exhibit is sponsored by the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies, which is also supporting two events: a March 13 conversation between DeWoskin and former Secretary of the Treasury W. Michael Blumenthal followed by a concert of wartime music by Civitas Ensemble, and a May 14 symposium on the legacy of the Shanghai Jews.

DeWoskin spoke recently about her writing process, and what people can learn from this overlooked aspect of World War II history.

A display you saw in 2011 at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum planted the seeds for Someday We Will Fly. What was it that stuck with you?

There were two photographs in particular, of children who had escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and were living out World War II in Shanghai. The first was of a group of teenage boys, holding table tennis paddles and wearing matching polo shirts monogrammed with school insignias. The boys have the hollowed-out look of kids growing up in the context of war, but they also look like teenagers anywhere, mischievous and sweet.

Two paper dolls and an envelope

These German paper dolls, which would have been a rare toy and thrilling to receive, were mailed to Karin Zacharias from Berlin by her grandmother, Helene Zacharias. Helene later died in Theresienstadt. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

I tried to imagine the lives of their parents, who had fled murder and persecution and brought their children to Shanghai, which had to be unimaginably unfamiliar and difficult for them. From there, they had built a school, created a table tennis team, and then gone to the trouble to make shirts. Those tiny insignias seemed to me iconic of the way human beings save each other and our children—not to mention the resilience refugees demonstrate, in ways both too small to be seen and too vast to be measured.

Next to that image was one of two toddlers holding rag dolls. The girls were in rags themselves, but someone who loved them—their parents, maybe, or friends or neighbors—had sewn dolls for them, and painted on those dolls lovely, expressive faces. The records of these children’s lives, and the objects that revealed their community’s devotion to them, inspired Lillia Kazka, the 16-year-old refugee at the center of Someday We Will Fly.

Lillia let me ask, in as many complicated ways as possible, the horrifying question of how human beings survive the chaos of war. Who loves us enough to keep us safe in the face of staggering danger and violence, and how can children come of age in circumstances as un-nurturing as those of occupied cities? How do we figure out how to live, to use languages both familiar and unfamiliar to tell stories that make our lives endurable? How do we hold on to the possibility of hope, even when we feel the constant pulse of dread?

Jacqueline Pardo and W. Michael Blumenthal were among the many people whose stories, books and lives helped shape your research and writing. How did the two of them inform your work?

I met Jacqueline Pardo by almost miraculous coincidence on campus. I went to her house in 2014 and was stunned to discover that she has a world-class archive of objects, documents and photographs that belonged to her mother in Shanghai during World War II.The objects, documents, and photos of Karin’s girlhood gave me the sweep and scope of a lived girlhood in Shanghai during the war: her school bag; notebooks and diaries; a thank you note she and her fellow Girl Guides wrote to American soldiers who had given them chocolate; and her exemplary report card, tarnished only by her music teacher’s hilarious note, “Can’t sing.”

Cigar box with letters

This cigar box was owned by Karin’s father, Leo Zacharias. Like many other Jewish refugees, Leo—a lawyer in Germany—found unfamiliar work in Shanghai. He established a cigar shop, a lending library, and, with two other families, a short-lived restaurant called the Wayside Diele. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

I also talked with and read the books of the supremely generous Michael Blumenthal, a former Treasury secretary under President Jimmy Carter. Michael is a Shanghai Jew who grew up in the neighborhood of Hongkou, which in 1943 became a ghetto—all Jewish refugees were forced to move there. He gave me a view of China and humanity both profound and intricately detailed. He remembered the boys walking in circles around Hongkou, like teenage boys anywhere, hoping for the notice of their crushes.

He also described what it felt like to come to understand as a child that some adults rally in the face of hardship, while others disintegrate. While working in the White House, he asked himself of each powerful person he met: “How would he or she do in 1940s Shanghai, dressed in flour sacks?” His wonder and empathy informed and continue to inform mine.

Why did you also want to build an exhibit out of Jacqueline Pardo’s family possessions?

Whenever I find something astonishing or profound in the world, I want to show it to my students. This is why the Program in Creative Writing works so hard to bring our favorite writers and their brilliant work to campus, and why I was determined to have Blumenthal come and talk with us. When I saw Jacqueline’s mother’s belongings, and percolated how instrumental they had been to me in writing Someday We Will Fly, I wanted to show them to my students. I also assigned my writers to bring in objects, documents, and photographs that were parts of or necessary to their novels-in-progress.

Ring shaped like a snake

This ring was made for Karin by her brother, who, after he finished school in Shanghai, held an apprenticeship with a silversmith. (Photo by Vidura Jang Bahadur)

Writers are doing research all the time. It’s not always formal, but all of our looking, asking, and listening—it counts. I wanted to say to my students how much their work in the world matters, that they’re creating a record so they can convey meaning or ask questions. We gain emotional and intellectual knowledge by looking at picture or object and asking: “How did this picture come to be?” Or looking at somebody’s mother’s book bag, report card, or paper dolls, and being transported by those objects into 1940s Shanghai.

Seeing one family’s record of wartime daily life gives us a way to wonder about how to help people who are now at risk, who are now separated, who are now fleeing violence and danger. I hope our exhibit elicits both empathy and activism.

Was there any part of the research process that surprised you?

What was surprising to me was the combination of the unbelievable difficulty families faced, and at the same time the normalcy a lot of them worked to achieve. As I’ve worked on the book, I’ve felt more and more that the world of 1940s Shanghai is maybe not that different from the contemporary world that we’re inhabiting right now. There are children facing the same sorts of risks as the kid at the center of my book. There are parents facing the same astronomical obstacles. There are people behaving heroically, and there are those behaving unforgivably.

Passport

This passport, stamped with a red J for “Jewish,” belonged to Leo Zacharias. The Nazis required all Jewish men to take the middle name Israel. (Courtesy of Jacqueline Pardo)

If we look at history and imagine ourselves into it in ways both empathetic and literary, we can create ways to move toward a more socially just world.

Former Secretary of the Treasury W. Michael Blumenthal spoke with DeWoskin on March 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Fulton Hall, a conversation followed by a performance of wartime classical music from the Civitas Ensemble. On March 14, the Franke Institute hosted a daylong symposium exploring the legacy of the Shanghai Jews through historical scholarship, literature and music.

DeWoskin will discuss Someday We Will Fly on May 1 at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.

A University of Chicago news story

Book display for Women’s History Month

Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, First Floor, near the Dissertation Office
Dates: March 8–31, 2019

View our new book display in celebration of Women’s History Month. MAPH student Juno Yingzhi Dong, the Library’s new Research Services Support Fellow, created this display of books from Regenstein’s collections highlighting women’s experiences in wartime. Juno describes the focus of the display:

Part of the forgotten history in the modern societies, the role of women during wartime often receives little recognition. From serving in the military to filling the vacated jobs on the home front, from seeking a new life after years spent at the internment camps to being forced to become “comfort women,” the sexual slaves in the military bases, with and without their consent, millions of women around the world participated in WWII. Rarely under the spotlight in wartime historical discourse, the stories of these women deserve to be told and heard.

Women's History Month Book Display

A selection of the books on display on Regenstein Library’s 1st floor.

To learn more about materials on women’s history in our collections, visit our accompanying Women’s Studies Guide, which can point you more resources such as e-books, music, video etc.

If you need help locating research materials on women’s history of any particular country or region, or help in general with your research paper, ask a librarian!

The Shanghai Jews: Risk and Resilience in a Refugee Community

Update:  The exhibition closing date has been moved up to March 24.

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Third Floor
Dates: January 15 – March 24, 2019

This three-case exhibit is part of an event series at the University of Chicago exploring the experience of many thousands of Jewish refugees who escaped to Shanghai during World War II.

The Exhibit

Exhibit poster, including a 1939 photograph of Karin Zacharias and Rudy Oppenheim en route to Shanghai, courtesy of Jacqueline Pardo.

This series opens with an exhibit featuring unique historical objects, documents, and photographs donated by families who lived in Shanghai during the war.

Author and UChicago faculty member Rachel DeWoskin, who co-curated the exhibition, describes the contents and tells the story of the exhibit:

“This exhibit came to life because I had the almost miraculous fortune to meet Dr. Jacqueline Pardo while researching my historical novel, Someday We Will Fly. Jacqueline’s mother, Karin Pardo (nee Zacharias), lived out World War II in Shanghai after fleeing Germany with her parents and brother in 1939. Many thousands of Jewish families survived the war by escaping to Shanghai when much of the rest of the world closed its borders.

Life in Shanghai was almost unimaginably unfamiliar for the Zachariases. Karin’s mother was a concert-level pianist in Germany; in Shanghai, she had to focus her energy on feeding and keeping her family safe. Karin’s father, trained as a lawyer in Germany, created a lending library in Shanghai, out of the more than 3,000 books he had managed to bring from Germany. He also started businesses from a cigar shop to an inspired if short-lived restaurant. Both parents worked relentlessly to make sure Karin and her brother had food, books, and friends; that they were educated; and that they grew up with as much normalcy as possible in the context of war.

The objects, documents, and photos of Karin’s girlhood — her school bag; notebooks and diaries; a thank you note she and other members of her Girl Guide troupe wrote to American soldiers who had given them chocolate; and her exemplary report card (on which her music teacher writes hilariously, “She can’t sing.”) — highlight the sweep and scope of a lived girlhood in Shanghai during the war. We have also displayed here Karin’s Chinese language notes; Japanese language notes; Girl Guide logbooks; a shirt with embroidered dragons twisting up its sides, and paper dolls her grandmother sent her from Germany, before dying at Theresienstadt.

The books from the family’s lending library, as well as Karin’s father’s sweater, bag, and cigar box, are juxtaposed to census documents, passports, food ration coupons for basic necessities; and money. We hope to give a sense of the fiber of daily life for refugees in Shanghai, including moments of joy and generosity: a Passover menu; a concert program; a lovingly painted wallet made by a friend; and a ring made for Karin by her brother, who, after finishing school in Shanghai, did an apprenticeship with a silversmith.

Records of the lives of families who survived WWII in Shanghai informed my creation of Lillia Kazka, the young refugee at the center of my novel Someday We Will Fly. Lillia escapes Warsaw for Japanese-occupied Shanghai because it is the only remaining place her family can land in 1939. Of course Lillia and the other characters in my novel are fictional, but the Shanghai they inhabit was real, and the objects in this exhibit brought that city and era to life for me.

We hope visitors will find this record of one family’s survival moving, and that it honors the many thousands of other Jewish families who survived WWII by seeking refuge in Shanghai. In important ways, the world of 1940’s Shanghai is perhaps not so different from the world we live in. The dangers faced by children and their parents remain real, as do the courage and resilience refugees demonstrate in ways both too small to be seen and too vast to be measured. These objects from wartime family life allow us to imagine how, in catastrophic contexts, we keep alive the possibilities of childhood, hope, and love.”

Curators

This exhibit is co-curated by Rachel DeWoskin, Jacqueline Pardo, and Vidura Jang Bahadur.

DeWoskin is the author of four novels including Someday We Will Fly (Penguin, 2019); and the memoir Foreign Babes in Beijing (WW Norton, 2005). She is on the core fiction faculty at the University of Chicago, and is an affiliated faculty member of the Centers for East Asian Studies and Jewish Studies. Pardo is a Staff Psychiatrist, Student Counseling Service; and Clinical Associate of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

The Keynote Conversation and Concert

On March 13, at 5:30 p.m. in Fulton Hall, the University will host Michael Blumenthal, who came of age in Japanese-occupied Shanghai and then went on to become President Carter’s Secretary of the Treasury. Following his keynote conversation with Creative Writing faculty member and novelist Rachel DeWoskin, there will be a concert of war-time classical music, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s assistant concertmaster, violinist Yuan-Qing Yu, and her quartet, Civitas Ensemble.

The Symposium

On March 14, a day-long symposium will be held at the Franke Institute, featuring conversations between University of Chicago faculty and invited guests on topics including the experience of the Shanghai Jews; Iraqi Jewish business networks and the financial history of the Jewish elites in China; the literature of war-time childhood and adolescence; the role of fiction in creating and remembering history; the musical and artistic history and legacy of the Shanghai Jews; and readings of both Holocaust-era and contemporary poetry and prose.

Support

This series was made possible by support from the Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies; The Franke Institute; The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS); the Departments of Anthropology, East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC), and History; the Program on Creative Writing; the University of Chicago Library; and a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Fetus in Utero: From Mystery to Social Media

Exhibition Dates: January 2–April 12, 2019
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Diagram of fetus in utero

Du Coudray uses diagrams of the fetus in utero to help midwives-in-training see both the anatomical and emotional factors at play during pregnancy. Detail from Du Coudray, Abrégé de l’art des accouchements dans lequel on donne les préceptes nécessaires pour le mettre heureusement en pratique, 1777. RG93.L45 Rare. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Once restricted to the privacy of the doctor’s office, ultrasound images of the fetus are now immediately recognizable in the public arena through advertisements and social media, where posts tagged “baby’s first pic” are commonplace. Such depictions of the fetus in utero have become iconic and are arguably the most easily recognized medical image. How and why did this happen?

To answer this question, viewers are invited to embark on a 500-year visual journey, from Renaissance woodcuts to modern medical images. Along the way, they will encounter three major shifts in graphic representation. First, from 1450 to 1700, the fetus transformed from divine mystery to a topic deemed worthy of study. Second, from 1700 to 1965, the fetus achieved status as a medicalized subject whose visual ‘home’ was the obstetrical textbook. Third, from 1965 to the present, the fetus has achieved status in popular culture while maintaining its traditional medical role.

Through this rich visual culture, images of the fetus in utero have been used in the service of education, research, political agendas, patient-empowered medicine, and finally, entertainment. The images on view offer historical insights and a sweeping look at how the visual culture of the fetus in utero developed.

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.

Curators

Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, The University of Chicago; and Margaret Carlyle, Postdoctoral Researcher and Instructor, Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, The University of Chicago

Life-size female manikin with fetus

This life-size female manikin served as a pedagogical tool for turn-of-the-20th-century medical students. Pilz anatomical manikin [female], [19–?]. New York: American Thermo-Ware Co. ffQM25.P545 19— RCASR. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Related Events

Curators’ Tours

Friday, January 4, 4:30–5 pm
Wednesday, January 23, 1:30–2 pm
Friday, February 8, 4-4:30 pm

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Free 30-minute tours by the curators. Please meet in the front lobby of the Regenstein Library at the start time.

Opening Event

Thursday, January 24, 5–7 p.m.
5737 South University Avenue, Chicago, IL
This wine-and-cheese opening reception is hosted by the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge (SIFK).
RSVP required

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 and images, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

“Library Adventures in a Digital Age,” a history of medicine pop-up display

Library Adventures in a Digital Age

Join Dr. Mindy Schwartz, Professor of Medicine and Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, in the Special Collections Research Center for a special pop-up display of rare medical history collections.

Library Adventures in a Digital Age:
Chicago Connections
Friday, October 26, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Special Collections Research Center
Regenstein Library, 1st floor

View a selection of books and objects from our collections that enhance our understanding of the history of science and medicine, and learn how they can be used for research and teaching. A resource guide will be available.

For more information about the event, contact the Special Collections Research Center.

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.

“Pro svobodu a samostatnost”: The Struggle for Czechoslovak Independence, 1914-1918

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Second Floor
Exhibit Dates: September 26, 2018 – January 7, 2019

Plaque of the Bohemian National Alliance in America, 1918

Plaque of the Bohemian National Alliance in America, 1918

On October 28, 1918, the National Committee (Národní výbor) in Prague formally proclaimed the formation of an independent Czechoslovak state and enacted its first laws. This proclamation was the culmination of a four-year political and military struggle to liberate the Czech and Slovak peoples from Austro-Hungarian rule and to give them scope for their own political and cultural self-determination.

The creation of the Czechoslovak Republic brought together two distinct but closely-related ethnic groups – the Czechs and the Slovaks. Although speaking closely related West Slavic languages, these two groups had historically belonged to political spheres: under the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, the Czech lands lay in the northwestern part of Cisleithania, the part of the empire ruled by Austria, while Slovak territory formed part of Transleithania, the section of the empire ruled by Hungary. Inasmuch as the Hapsburg rulers of Austro-Hungary favored German language and culture in Austria and Hungarian language and culture in Hungary, both Czechs and Slovaks, deeply affected by movements of national revival in the early 19th century, considered their respective nations to be treated as second-class citizens within Austria-Hungary and sought greater autonomy for themselves.

With the coming of the First World War, Czech and Slovak efforts for autonomy became efforts for independence from Austro-Hungarian rule. Much of this activity took place outside of the Czech and Slovak homelands. After Czech and Slovak leaders in America agreed to join forces to fight for a single shared state, the Czechoslovak National Council in Paris, led by Czech philosopher and future Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, became the organizational center for the Czechoslovak struggle for independence. Volunteer military forces of Czech and Slovak soldiers – the Czechoslovak Legions – sprang up in France, Russia, and Italy, and fought alongside the Allied Forces, winning recognition for their exploits in the field. Czech and Slovak communities abroad, such as the Bohemian National Alliance and the Slovak League in the United States offered vital political, economic, and material support to the cause of independence. The efforts of all these different Czech, Slovak, and Czechoslovak organizations led to recognition of Czechoslovak national sovereignty by the Allied nations and the formation of the Czechoslovak Republic. This two-case exhibit includes publications, pictures, maps, and artifacts that document and celebrate these varied efforts towards Czechoslovak independence.

The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of June Pachuta Farris, former Slavic Librarian and a passionate advocate of the Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad (ACASA).

Czech-American poster published by the Bohemian National Alliance and Union of Czech Catholics, celebrating the official recognition of the Czechoslovak nation by the United States.

Czech-American poster published by the Bohemian National Alliance and Union of Czech Catholics, celebrating the official recognition of the Czechoslovak nation by the United States.

T.G. Masaryk (1850-1937) in Chicago with Czech-American leaders, May 1918

T.G. Masaryk (1850-1937) in Chicago with Czech-American leaders, May 1918

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.

The Cage

Colorful fortune tellers with punctuation marks

Fortune tellers from the exhibit “The Cage.” (Photo by Marina Resende)

Exhibit dates: May 30–June 4, 2018
Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, First Floor, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Thirteen hundred “fortune tellers” will be exhibited on the First Floor of Regenstein Library. Inside them are snippets of Henry James’s novella In The Cage.

The Cage functions as a continual re-assemblage of the book. The original novella tells the story of a young woman who works as a telegraph operator at the post office. Through the novella she tries to piece together narratives from the terse telegrams she sends between the members of the upper class. This is, essentially, the mission of the installation as well—phrases have been isolated from within the text and scrambled, leaving only the traces of their original meaning.

Hands fold a fortune teller with text inside

A fortune teller for the exhibit “The Cage” includes snippets of text from Henry James’s novella “In The Cage.” (Photo by Maria Resende)

Visitors to the Regenstein will be invited to play with the fortune tellers, which will result in receiving a phrase and a punctuation mark. This phrase will then be added to a notebook, called the Facsimile, which accompanies the exhibit. Participants will be challenged to determine which form of connection (or non-connection) best completes the addition. The chance connections between phrases and people will create an unpredictable, collaborative re-assemblage of the original text.

The installation was created for “Studio R-A,” an art theory class taught in collaboration with the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. The class focuses on the practice of re-assemblage, which is the combining of disparate elements to create a new whole.

This project was led by students Kevin Beerman, Kirsten Ihns, Marina Resende, and Katie Akin, with guidance from Professors Bill Brown and Ted Brown, as well as artist/collaborator Ann Hamilton. Special thanks to Course Assistants Gabe Moreno and Brandon Truett, fellow students Cecília Resende Santos, Eva Murasov, JP Henry, Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield, Leah Chapell, Derek Ernster, Christopher Good, Tianyu Guo, Jola Idowu, Gray Center curator Zach Cahill, and George Scheer (Executive Director of Elsewhere Museum & Artist Residency). Finally, much gratitude is due to the Regenstein Library staff for their accommodation and the friends who helped with folding.

Three students prepare colorful fortune tellers

University of Chicago students Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield (PhD, English), Kirsten Ihns (PhD, English), and Katie Akin (College) prepare colorful fortune tellers for the exhibit “The Cage.” Inside the fortune tellers are snippets of Henry James’s novella “In The Cage.” The exhibit functions as a continual re-assemblage of the book. (Photo by Marina Resende)