Marine menagerie

Biology professor Michael LaBarbera has spent his career immersing students—and himself—in an underwater world and the unending adventure of science. Plus—Unplanned encounters: Surprise specimens in the lab.

Judith Grabiner

Mathematics historian Judith Victor Grabiner, SB’60, teaches math to the liberal arts masses.

Junk economy

Entrepreneurs meeting the demand for raw materials, not environmental virtue, drives the expansion of the recycling industry. Plus—Trash talker: Author Adam Minter, AB’93, weighs in on the wide world of waste.

Bygone Ethiopia

John Snyder traversed Ethiopia seeking inspiration for a screenplay. Instead he captured a landscape about to disappear.

Encyclopaedia editor

After more than three decades at Britannica, editor in chief Dale Hoiberg, AM’74, PhD’93, knows the encyclopedia business inside out.

Business in sports

From Major League Baseball and the NBA to Italian soccer and the NFL’s foothold in China, the sports world’s executive suites have a Maroon tint.

Man and ape

In his new book, anthropologist Russell Tuttle synthesizes decades of research to identify the characteristics that set our species apart.

Ancient trades

An exhibit at the Oriental Institute Museum pairs modern workers with the ancient tools of their trades.

Earl Shorris

Earl Shorris, X’54, established a free humanities course to help impoverished adults escape the “surround of force” that restricts their lives.


Slavic studies professor Malynne Sternstein guides students through the deep game that is Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.


In one of the oldest chapters of American history—the Pilgrims’ flight from persecution—historian Jeremy Bangs, X’67, finds new ground to cover.

Campus architecture

New construction is about the exchange of ideas—within and beyond the campus. The University architect explains the theory behind the practice.

Playing with fire

To approach religion with intellectual rigor, says Divinity School dean Margaret Mitchell, AM’82, PhD’89, is to play with fire. She stokes the embers.

Dark energy

Astrophysicist Josh Frieman, PhD’89, works on the dark side, studying the night sky for insight into the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Favorite things

Keepers of University collections reveal the pieces closest to their hearts.

Social survey

For 40 years, the General Social Survey has cultivated a vast body of knowledge about Americans’ personal attitudes and opinions. Plus: “Survey Says.”

Carrie reborn

Kimberly Peirce, AB’90, revives the pop culture classic.

Point spread

Charles K. McNeil, PhB’25, was the point man in sports gambling.

Foster families

Davida Williams, AM’82, helps foster families navigate trauma and find trust.

Top shelf

They were the best of spines.

Friendly skies

American stewardesses and the making of an iconic advertising campaign.

Alumni Weekend

Scenes from a verdant and varied Alumni Weekend.

Jewel Lafontant

Jewel C. Stradford Lafontant, JD’46, was a lawyer and public servant who broke many barriers.

Campus talks

Spring quarter, like any other, offered an encyclopedia of public talks on campus, illuminating topics art historical, zoological, and everything in between. At 11 of these talks, the Magazine staff were there.

Butterfly genetics

Marcus Kronforst finds clues to evolutionary adaptation in butterfly wings.

Love in wartime

Researching her mother’s story of wartime flight and lost love, journalist Leslie Maitland, AB’71, finds the truth richer and stranger than any fiction. Plus: “Internal Investigation.”


Wine writer and restaurant critic Bill St. John, AM’77, AM’80, PhD’83, talks fear of wine and the scourge of ratings. Plus: “An embarrassment of riches.”

A Russian story

William Browder, AB’85, was once the biggest capitalist in Russia. After his lawyer was tortured and died in jail, he became one of the Kremlin’s fiercest enemies.

Hamlet and the law

A justice, a judge, a philosopher, and an English professor.

Hubble spacescapes

Part of a visual tradition that reaches back to Romanticism, images from the Hubble Space Telescope awe as they inform. Plus: “Scope of Inquiry.”

Mexico City

On walks across Mexico City, historian Mauricio Tenorio Trillo finds a path to the past.

Grave concerns

An alumna mortician, medievalist, and video sage tries to change the way Americans think about death.

Indian art

The Sahmat collective galvanizes artists across India to create work that resists divisive politics. A Smart Museum exhibition tells its story.

Gertrude Himmelfarb

Social critic and Victorian historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, AM’44, PhD’50, looks back on her Chicago education.

Vaccine testing

The road to safe, reliable bioweapon vaccines for children is fraught with ethical peril. On campus last fall, experts began to plot it out. Plus—The Soul of Medicine: For ethicist and doctor Daniel Sulmasy, medical progress is about more than the body.

Austria to Pakistan

In 1956, two new PhDs drove a Land Rover from Austria to India to begin the research that would be their life’s work. Notes from their journey.

Book covers

Isaac Tobin’s designs for University of Chicago Press books provoke readers to take a deeper look.


Exploring the attributes of low light, an architect and a physicist try to cultivate a dim awareness.

Benjamin Mays

Benjamin Elijah Mays, AM’25, PhD’35, was the conscience of the civil rights movement.