NEH Summer Institute, "Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Chicago, 1893-1955" at the Newberry Library

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End: March 1, 2019
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Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Chicago, 1893-1955
NEH Summer Institute for College and University Faculty at the Newberry Library, July 8- August 3, 2019
This institute will explore Chicago's distinct literary and artistic culture as well as the city's connections to other modernist metropoles. With Institute director Liesl Olson, we will consider the dominant styles and guiding aesthetics that characterize Chicago from the turn of the century through the aftermath of WWII, asking how Chicago's cultural output during these decades is connected more broadly to transatlantic modernism. The institute will begin by studying the persistent cultural resonances of the 1893 World's Fair, which gave rise to many of the city's key cultural institutions, clubs, and smaller arts organizations. We will then explore what scholars have called the "Chicago literary renaissance" of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly the work of writers who challenged the subjects and styles of a genteel literary tradition. We will look at the interracial collaborations supported by the Works Progress Administration in Chicago during the Great Depression, considered the beginning of the Chicago Black Renaissance, a period from the 1930s through the early 1950s which has inspired a rapidly growing body of scholarship. An important goal of the institute is to develop an expansive understanding of literary history that brings together Modernist Studies and African American Studies.
Application Deadline: March 1, 2019
Stipend: $3,300