Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society https://mag.uchicago.edu/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0 en Head space https://mag.uchicago.edu/hut <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/19_Summer_Mcgranahan_Hut.jpg" width="2000" height="1000" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/rsmith" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rsmith</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/15/2019 - 08:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A nearly full-size replica of the Black Forest ski hut where Martin Heidegger worked on his 1927 book <i>Being and Time</i> sits on the lawn of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society as part of the <em>Hutopia</em> exhibit.  (Photography by Robert Heishman)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/lucas-mcgranahan"> <a href="/author/lucas-mcgranahan"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Lucas McGranahan</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/web-exclusives" hreflang="en">Web exclusives</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">08.15.2019</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This spring and summer the Neubauer Collegium explored philosophers’ retreats and the idea of home in an exhibition, event series, and course.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Neubauer Collegium looks like a strange settlement camp these days, flanked on two sides by modest single-room wooden huts. Both are publicly accessible, but the one on the lawn is particularly easy to scope out: any time, any day, you can enter the small square building from 57th Street, sit on its bare floor, and stretch your arms through its glassless windows.</p> <p>The huts are not the next wave in student housing. They are part of an exhibition titled <i>Hutopia</i>, curated by <b>Dieter Roelstraete</b>, which runs through September 6. Named for a poem by contributing artist Alec Finlay,<i> Hutopia </i>reimagines the living spaces (“huts”) of three major 20th-century philosophers: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, and Theodor Adorno. The point of the exhibition—and <a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hermit-philosophy">Roelstraete’s related course</a>—is to ask how buildings shape thought.</p> <p>The huts of <i>Hutopia</i>, designed by Chicago artist <b>John Preus</b><i>, </i>MFA’05, represent buildings with impressive CVs. The square building on the back lawn, mentioned above, is a nearly full-size replica of the unassuming Black Forest ski hut where Heidegger worked on his 1927 book <i>Being and Time</i>, an effort to recover an ancient line of questioning about the fundamental nature of existence. On the front patio stands a half-size, dollhouse-like model of the remote Norwegian cabin where Wittgenstein penned much of his landmark 1921 work <i>Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus</i>, an ambitious attempt to clarify all philosophical problems through strict logical analysis.</p> <p>These canonical works have inspired students and scholars—including Roelstraete, who studied philosophy at the University of Ghent in his native Belgium—for nearly a century. Countless readers have also squinted at each work and then given up, and many scholars would gladly embrace one of them and throw the other in the garbage. (Philosophy does have camps.)</p> <p>The hut triumvirate is completed by a deconstructed cabin-like structure inside the Neubauer Collegium’s gallery space, which is surrounded by (and partially covered with) the photography, sculptures, and other artworks that round out the exhibition. This piece is an interpretation of a much smaller sculpture by Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay titled <i>Adorno’s Hut</i>, viewed by Roelstraete as an ironic statement since Adorno is “the last philosopher in the world who would be caught dead in a hut.” Having been driven from Germany by National Socialists propounding romantic ideas about “blood and soil,” Adorno found the idea of the simple life inherently suspicious.</p> <p>What we get of Adorno’s actual living quarters is a photograph of the unremarkable white house in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles where he worked with fellow Jewish exile Max Horkheimer on the 1944 book <i>Dialectic of Enlightenment</i>. A classic of Frankfurt School critical theory, the book argues that the rise of totalitarianism was a failure of Enlightenment rationalism and describes a “culture industry” in capitalist societies that implants and manipulates desires in a pliant citizenry.</p> <p>If Adorno sounds cynical, consider that the Black Forest–dwelling Heidegger was a member of the Nazi party who actively promoted their cause as rector of Freiburg University from 1933 to 1934. <i>Hutopia</i> includes a number of black-and-white photographs taken of Heidegger in his ski hut for a 1966 interview with <i>Der Spiegel </i>in which he discusses—but does not apologize for—his role in the Third Reich. Here the philosopher can be seen performing the simple life for the camera.</p> <p>On May 9 <b>Katherine Withy</b>, PhD’09, gave a talk on Heidegger at the Neubauer Collegium, followed by a response from UChicago provost <b>Daniel Diermeier</b>, who discussed a pilgrimage he made to Heidegger’s hut as a philosophy-obsessed teenager. Withy claimed that Heidegger is in denial about being uncanny—literally <i>unheimlich </i>or “unhomely” in German. That is, he was at home in his hut but not really, because you can never return home unchanged. Having essentially become a middle class academic, he was perhaps trying too hard to belong to the countryside of his youth.</p> <p>A photograph of the stone foundation on which Wittgenstein’s Norwegian cabin used to stand (and is now being rebuilt) occupies a wall in the gallery. If Heidegger’s ski hut represented nostalgia for home, Wittgenstein’s cabin represented the opposite. As biographer Ray Monk explained in a talk at the opening of <i>Hutopia </i>on April 25, the Viennese philosopher who was born into ostentatious wealth—Brahms premiered pieces at his palatial childhood home—had a profoundly ascetic streak. Thus, he gave away his vast fortune and escaped to his spartan cabin for periods of time to contemplate logic. The cabin is also where he brought a series of younger men he was romantically involved with over the years, at a time when being with them openly was not an option. In this way, Wittgenstein’s retreat was, like Adorno’s, a place to avoid persecution.</p> <p><i>Hutopia </i>may call to mind the cliché of the isolated genius, but the exhibition challenges and complicates the idea. It represents buildings that were homes, exiles, and retreats, often shared with intimate others and always in communication with the outside world.</p> <hr /><p><strong>Read more in “<a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hermit-philosophy">Hermit Philosophy</a>” from the Summer/19 <em>Magazine</em> and “<a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hut-ones-own">A Hut of One's Own</a>” from the Summer/19 <em>Core</em>.</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/arts-humanities" hreflang="en">Arts &amp; Humanities</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/philosophy" hreflang="en">Philosophy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/arts" hreflang="en">Arts</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/architecture" hreflang="en">Architecture</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-arts" hreflang="en">UChicago Arts</a></div> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/hut" data-a2a-title="Head space"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Fhut&amp;title=Head%20space"></a></span> Thu, 15 Aug 2019 13:59:01 +0000 rsmith 7163 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Hermit philosophy https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hermit-philosophy <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/19_Summer_Mcgranahan_Hermit.jpg" width="2000" height="1000" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/09/2019 - 17:17</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Visitors take in the <em>Hutopia</em> exhibition at the Neubauer Collegium. (Photography by Robert Heishman)</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/lucas-mcgranahan"> <a href="/author/lucas-mcgranahan"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Lucas McGranahan</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Summer/19</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dieter Roelstraete’s course explored exile, retreat, and homes away from home.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Those of you who think that we’re actually going to build a hut, I’ll have to disappoint,” <a href="https://arthistory.uchicago.edu/index.php/faculty/profiles/roelstraete"><strong>Dieter Roelstraete</strong></a> tells the 12 or so students who have arrived at the Cochrane-Woods Art Center on Monday, April 1, for the first day of A Curating Case-Study: The Hut. When one student points out that a construction project was mentioned in the course description, Roelstraete wryly informs her that it will be “spiritual construction work,” adding, “We’re not going to build a hut, because I wouldn’t know how to hold a hammer.”</p> <p>A tall bearded man with a hard-to-pin-down Continental accent (Belgium!), Roelstraete is the curator at the <a href="https://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a>. He designed the course as a companion to an exhibition he is curating at the Collegium through September 6. Titled <a href="https://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/current_exhibition/"><em>Hutopia</em></a>, it features models of the real or imagined retreats (“huts”) of three giants of 20th-century philosophy: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, and Theodor Adorno. Hutopia follows up Roelstraete’s 2018 exhibition in Venice, <em><a href="http://www.fondazioneprada.org/project/machines-a-penser/?lang=en">Machines à penser</a> </em>(“machines for thinking”), and it asks the same question: How do our living spaces shape our thinking?</p> <p>It’s an idiosyncratic course—what Roelstraete calls “an art-meets-philosophy course in the architectural context of a hut”—and the students are an eclectic group as well. About half are graduate students. When Roelstraete asks for introductions, they list fields including art history and philosophy but also social work, neuroscience, and molecular engineering. If a classroom is a machine for thinking, this one has an interesting set of moving parts.</p> <p>That Roelstraete likes to introduce topics by testing the students’ knowledge (Who recognizes this building? Who has read Adorno?) might seem intimidating if he were not also, disarmingly, a big fan of birthdays. He opened the class by projecting an image of 19th-century French writer Joseph de<br /> Maistre—because it’s his birthday. “Every morning I wake up—whose birthday is it today?” he told the students.</p> <p>Who is this hutty professor?</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Illustration of Dieter Roelstraete" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="238b98e1-2ea4-406b-9035-fa9c3d083ac3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/19_Summer_Mcgranahan_Hermit_SpotA.gif" /><figcaption><strong>(Illustration by Daniel Hertzberg)</strong></figcaption></figure></div> <p>Roelstraete explains that, before joining the Neubauer Collegium two years ago, he worked on the curatorial team of <em>Documenta</em>, an exhibition of international contemporary art held every five years in Kassel, Germany. Prior to that, he was a curator at institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Teaching is newer to Roelstraete than curating; he is up front with the class that it is only his second time teaching a formal academic course, saying that it will be an “experimental enterprise.”</p> <p>He begins by walking the class through the lives, works, and housing preferences of the course’s three philosophers. Going by birth order (obviously), he first discusses Wittgenstein, the neurotic Austrian polymath who, upon becoming obsessed with a logical paradox, abandoned his career as an aeronautical engineer, came under Bertrand Russell’s tutelage, and retreated to a cabin at the edge of a Norwegian fjord to attempt to solve all philosophical problems through logical clarification. One early result of this effort was the 1921 work <em>Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus</em>, whose mysterious passage 6.44 is cited in a tattoo on Roelstraete’s left shoulder. (He mentions his ink but doesn’t show it.) The passage reads, “Not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is.”</p> <p>Roelstraete turns to Heidegger by projecting a 1933 or 1934 image of the German philosopher, who sits unsmiling before a wall of books and averts his eyes from the camera. “So what do you think is the punctum here?” he asks the class, explaining Roland Barthes’s term for a striking detail that establishes a connection with the viewer. “The mustache?” a male student guesses. “Good, close,” Roelstraete responds. Heidegger’s dark, short mustache may call to mind the ascent of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis at that time in Germany, but it is the philosopher’s lapel pin—with a Nazi eagle insignia—that Roelstraete sees as crucial. Notoriously, Heidegger was the most prominent German intellectual to align himself with the Third Reich, something for which he never publicly apologized.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Sculpture/Planter of Heidegger" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d6cb1d37-7aa6-4517-b3e1-7be131d634fe" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/19_Summer_Mcgranahan_Hermit_SpotB.jpg" /><figcaption>Heidegger sprouts some fresh ideas in a sculpture by London-based Polish artist Goshka Macuga. (Photography by Robert Heishman)</figcaption></figure></div> <p>Heidegger had a small ski hut built in his native Black Forest region, where he worked on his 1927 magnum opus, <em>Being and Time</em>, and returned throughout his life. If Wittgenstein’s hut was for escaping home—especially the distractions of his wealthy upbringing and bourgeois academic career—Heidegger’s hut was for feeling at home. He even claimed in a 1934 essay that his philosophy belongs to the Black Forest inextricably, much as the work of its peasant farmers does. Such rhetoric raises deep questions for the course. How does love of hut and homeland, not to mention fatherland, shape one’s philosophy, or possibly taint it?</p> <p>As for Adorno’s hut, it doesn’t exist. Or rather, it exists only as a sculpture, <em>Adorno’s Hut</em>, by late Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay (the father of <em>Hutopia</em> artist Alec Finlay). Roelstraete takes this abstract doghouse-size structure to be a kind of visual joke, since the leftist cosmopolitan Adorno—who once dedicated an entire book to criticizing Heideggerian ideas about authenticity—was “the last philosopher in the world who would be caught dead in a hut.”</p> <p>Roelstraete projects an image of the white two-story Los Angeles house where Adorno lived in the 1940s, not far from other Weimar-era German exiles such as Bertolt Brecht and Arnold Schoenberg. Adorno, like Wittgenstein, came from an assimilated partially Jewish family and had to flee Nazi rule. Thus, Adorno’s home in LA, if not a hut, was still a retreat.</p> <p>Class wraps up with a trip to the Neubauer Collegium on the corner of 57th Street and Woodlawn Avenue. Here the students see Roelstraete’s exhibit <em>Kleine Welt</em>, which ponders how specific artworks—by Paul Klee especially—have become ubiquitous on academic book jackets. That exhibition will soon make way for Hutopia. Outside, Chicago artist <strong>John Preus</strong>, MFA’05, has already completed a half-size model of Wittgenstein’s cabin on the patio.</p> <p>Roelstraete and his class walk the few blocks back to the Cochrane-Woods Art Center and wrap up for the day. The students exit the room that will be their hut for the quarter—a hut for reflecting on huts—and make their way to their next classes, their homes, and their homes away from home.</p> <h2>Syllabus</h2> <p>A Curating Case-Study: The Hut (ARTV 20012/30012; ARTH 26790/36790) was open to undergraduates and graduate students and met once a week, whether in a classroom, a hut, a cemetery.</p> <p>Students read works by Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Adorno; gave group presentations on the philosophers’ lives and works; and visited <em>Hutopia </em>for its opening on April 25 (the eve of Wittgenstein’s 125th birthday, Roelstraete pointed out in his welcoming remarks). They completed a final project of spiritual construction work in the form of a philosophical guide to the hut of their dreams.</p> <hr /><p><strong>Read more in the web exclusive “<a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/hut">Head Space</a>” and “<a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hut-ones-own">A Hut of One's Own</a>” from the Summer/19 <em>Core</em>.</strong></p> <hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/arts-humanities" hreflang="en">Arts &amp; Humanities</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/arts" hreflang="en">Arts</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/philosophy" hreflang="en">Philosophy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/architecture" hreflang="en">Architecture</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-arts" hreflang="en">UChicago Arts</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/course-work" hreflang="en">Course work</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hermit-philosophy" data-a2a-title="Hermit philosophy"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Farts-humanities%2Fhermit-philosophy&amp;title=Hermit%20philosophy"></a></span> Fri, 09 Aug 2019 22:17:25 +0000 admin 7155 at https://mag.uchicago.edu A hut of one’s own https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hut-ones-own <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/19Summer_Golus_Hut.jpg" width="2000" height="1001" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/admin" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span>Fri, 08/09/2019 - 07:01</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dieter Roelstraete inside the model of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s hut at the Neubauer Collegium. “It’s almost like a dollhouse or dog house,” he says. “There’s an element of irreverence. A slight intent to deflate.” (Photography by John Zich)</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/carrie-golus-ab91-am93"> <a href="/author/carrie-golus-ab91-am93"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Carrie Golus, AB’91, AM’93</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/core" hreflang="en">The Core</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Summer/19</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dieter Roelstraete on philosophers and their man caves.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In April, two curious wooden structures materialized outside the Neubauer Collegium. On the patio, overlooking the busy corner of 57th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, is a scaled-down model of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s remote hut near Skjolden, Norway. In the backyard stands a similarly diminutive replica of Martin Heidegger’s Black Forest hut near Todtnauberg, Germany.</p> <p>The huts, built by artist <strong>John Preus</strong>, MFA’05, are part of <em>Hutopia</em>, a “compressed version” of an exhibition that curator <strong>Dieter Roelstraete</strong> organized for the 2018 Venice Architecture Bienniale. During spring quarter Roelstraete taught an art history course, A Curating Case-Study: The Hut, about (and occasionally in) the exhibition. Read more in the Summer/19 <em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>.</p> <hr /><h2>How did you come up with this idea?</h2> <p>It’s an old dream. I studied philosophy at the University of Ghent in the early ’90s. The three philosophers who are the heart of this exhibition, [Theodor] Adorno, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, have all shaped my curatorial practice and my writing practice. They’re my guys.</p> <p>Wittgenstein and Heidegger were born months apart in 1889. Both of these bizarre characters built themselves huts around the same time. When you go to the village in Norway that Wittgenstein escaped to, you understand that here is somebody who is turning his back to the world. When you go to the village in the Black Forest that Heidegger so very dramatically retired to, you understand it’s more of a performance, which is interesting for the philosopher of authenticity.</p> <p>Heidegger’s hut is still standing. It’s in the hands of the Heidegger family, who are notoriously reclusive.</p> <h2>His family is reclusive, but he wasn’t?</h2> <p>He <em>acted</em> the hermit. He died in 1976. His children then inherited this holiday home. I think it’s now primarily used by the grandchildren.</p> <p>There’s no emailing or calling the Heidegger family to try to get access to this hut, which is a very important structure where he hashed out <em>Being and Time </em>(1927). It’s puzzling that the family should be so inhospitable, but it has to do with his Nazi past.</p> <p>I believe where you think shapes what you think. It seems self-evident, but there’s a long history in the philosophical discipline of mistrusting biography.</p> <h2>How does Adorno fit in?</h2> <p>Probably 10 years ago, I was leafing through a history of installation art, and I came across this picture of a peculiar sculpture by Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay, <em>Adorno’s Hut</em> (1989). Seeing that, a curatorial argument started to fall into place.</p> <p>The first time I tried to visit Heidegger’s hut, I couldn’t find it. It proved to be this elusive ghost. I finally managed in 2017. You have to make your way underneath barbed wire. Literally hundreds of people go see this hut every year and do the same thing—basically trespass.</p> <p>I went to visit Skjolden. Wittgenstein’s hut no longer exists. I also traveled to LA to see where Adorno lived in exile in the 1940s after the Nazis seized power.</p> <h2>What was that like?</h2> <p>A nondescript bungalow in Brentwood. A photograph will be in the exhibition.</p> <p>Of course there’s a variety of reasons why I’m interested in these huts.</p> <h2>Like what?</h2> <p>On the surface—and this is why it originated in the lap of the Architecture Bienniale—it’s about a very primitive architectural form. The blueprint of the hut is the source of all architecture, right?</p> <p>It’s also about the mirage of escape. The dream of withdrawal. Which we all crave. Who wouldn’t want to be in the woods for a week? But escapism is an irresponsible stance.</p> <p>We all know the philosopher’s hut is a man cave. These men are intellectual giants, philosophical giants, but they were also humans, and, it seems, terrible failures at being human. So this is not a celebration of these huts. It’s also not a denunciation.</p> <h2>Where do you do your own thinking?</h2> <p>This sounds corny, but I like to walk, which is a very philosophical enjoyment. Nietzsche was a famous walker. Kant, Schopenhauer, Rousseau. Not just anywhere—not on some freeway in LA or something.</p> <div class="story-inline-img"> <figure role="group"><img alt="Dieter Roelstraete in Wittgenstein’s hut " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9911663d-2546-4dc7-ab54-01b60a6133e0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/19Summer_Golus_Hut_SpotA_0.jpg" /><figcaption>Roelstraete and Wittgenstein’s hut. (Photography by John Zich)</figcaption></figure></div> <h2>Can people go in the huts to philosophize?</h2> <p>You can. Wittgenstein’s hut is going to have two chairs in it. Probably wooden chairs from Chicago Public Schools, courtesy of John Preus, who has a massive stack of them in his studio. [In 2013, then-mayor Rahm Emanuel closed nearly 50 CPS schools; Preus salvaged some of the furniture.] For those who want to think about the fate of public education, they’re welcome to do so in Wittgenstein’s hut.</p> <h2>Why two chairs? Shouldn’t there be one?</h2> <p>This is a train of thought I owe to Finnish philosopher Thomas Wallgren. His critique of <em>Machines à penser</em> [the exhibition at the Venice Architecture Bienniale] was there is inevitably an element of celebration in highlighting isolation. True philosophical thought is dialogical.</p> <p>Obviously the corner of 57th and South Woodlawn is incomparable to the village in Norway where this hut arose, but you can just sit there and ponder if you want.</p> <h2>Do you have to make a reservation?</h2> <p>No. With Heidegger’s hut, you can walk in from the street. It is technically available for homeless people. We’ll see. This is an exhibition about shelter and seeking shelter for thought. A door and a lock would have felt wrong.</p> <p>These huts are very rudimentary remakes. They’re platonic reductions. My hope is that philosophy nerds will walk by and say, “Hey! That’s Heidegger’s hut!”</p> <hr /><p><strong>Read more in “<a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hermit-philosophy">Hermit Philosophy</a>” from the Summer/19 <em>Magazine </em>and in the web exclusive “<a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/hut">Head Space</a>.” </strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/arts-humanities" hreflang="en">Arts &amp; Humanities</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/philosophy" hreflang="en">Philosophy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/architecture" hreflang="en">Architecture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/arts" hreflang="en">Arts</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-arts" hreflang="en">UChicago Arts</a></div> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/hut-ones-own" data-a2a-title="A hut of one’s own"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Farts-humanities%2Fhut-ones-own&amp;title=A%20hut%20of%20one%E2%80%99s%20own"></a></span> Fri, 09 Aug 2019 12:01:50 +0000 admin 7121 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Radio days https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/radio-days <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Mon, 08/14/2017 - 13:50</span> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/laura-demanski-am94"> <a href="/author/laura-demanski-am94"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Laura Demanski, AM’94</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Summer/17</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Reviving the spirit of the University of Chicago Round Table of the Air.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Again and again this spring, I found myself heading to the corner of 57th Street and Woodlawn Avenue, the elegant home of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. The research institute, a five-year-old joint endeavor of the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions, sponsors faculty projects that don’t sit in any single field, but ask questions that demand many disciplinary perspectives. The Collegium’s mission also calls for engaging a “wider public in humanistic scholarship.” Speaking as a member of the public, it’s working.</p> <p>In April I listened as Court Theatre creative director <strong>Charles Newell</strong> spoke with Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and 2017–18 Collegium visiting fellow <strong>David Auburn</strong>, AB’91, about the challenges of adapting Saul Bellow’s (EX’39) <em>The Adventures of Augie March</em> for the stage. The next month brought a tribute to the late poet and former John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought professor Mark Strand, where his artwork was displayed and his poems were read by colleagues, family, and friends, including Renée Fleming in a prerecorded video.</p> <p>Still another May day, I was drawn in by a conference capping the three-year Collegium research project the Past for Sale, which examined antiquities looting and its dangers to both cultural heritage and national security—more on that below.</p> <p>The way the Collegium’s projects pull together experts with different knowledge bases but shared concerns brings to mind a piece of UChicago history: the University of Chicago Round Table of the Air. Debuting in 1931 on Chicago radio station WMAQ, the show aired conversations between University scholars about important topics of the day. In 1933 it was picked up by NBC, the station’s parent network, which broadcast it nationally.</p> <p>The Round Table was a hit. For 22 years it put UChicago in US homes, earning a Peabody Award along the way. In a <a href="http://college.uchicago.edu/uniquely-chicago/story/college-memory-project-president-hanna-holborn-gray">recent interview with the College</a>, former University president and Henry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus <strong>Hanna Holborn Gray</strong> <a href="../university-news/hanna-holborn-gray-self-portrait">recalled</a> that the Round Table served as her introduction to UChicago, being one of the few radio shows her strict parents would let her tune in to.</p> <p>No idea this good should go unborrowed. So we recorded our own roundtable between five scholars from different institutions and fields—archaeology, law, sociology, and cultural policy—who worked on the Past for Sale and are searching for solutions to antiquities looting. For an excerpt of their conversation, see “<a href="../heritage-peril">Heritage in Peril</a>” (Marketplace of Ideas), where you can also listen to the entire absorbing discussion.</p> <p>Though the faculty roundtable has a long pedigree at UChicago, it’s new for us—and something we’d like to do more of. If you listen, let us know what you think at <a href="mailto:uchicago-magazine@uchicago.edu">uchicago-magazine@uchicago.edu</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/editors-notes" hreflang="en">Editor&#039;s Notes</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/radio-days" data-a2a-title="Radio days"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Funiversity-news%2Fradio-days&amp;title=Radio%20days"></a></span> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:50:14 +0000 jmiller 6606 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Mortal thoughts https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/mortal-thoughts <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1602_Kott_Mortal-thoughts.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/rsmith" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rsmith</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/08/2016 - 16:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>(Illustration by Jon Krause)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/ruth-e-kott-am07"> <a href="/author/ruth-e-kott-am07"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Ruth E. Kott, AM’07</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Winter/16</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Doctors are taught to fight death—but it’s a losing battle. Some are looking beyond biomedicine to help them better communicate with patients about the end of life.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In January 2015, a man walked into <a href="https://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/findingaids/view.php?eadid=ICU.SPCL.MIDWAYSTUDIO" target="_blank">Midway Studios</a> on 60th Street carrying a satchel. In it was a bronze cast of his mother’s head: a death mask.</p> <p>He was on his way to a public workshop on death and the kinds of artifacts we keep to remember our dead—belongings of the deceased, art made from their hair, albums filled with photos. The workshop was one of four organized as part of the <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/faculty/living_mortal/" target="_blank">Living Mortal Project</a>, led by <a href="http://jessesoodalter.com/" target="_blank">Jesse Soodalter</a>, AM’15, a fellow in hospice and palliative medicine at the <a href="http://www.uchospitals.edu/index.shtml" target="_blank">University of Chicago Medicine</a>. Supported by a grant from the University’s <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a>, the project aimed to understand and influence the ways we think about mortality.</p> <p>That day’s symposium, “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GIlzrqR4dE&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">The Imaginary Funeral: Image, Artifact, and the Work of Mourning</a>,” packed the room. In advertisements for the event, attendees were invited to bring objects by which they remembered their own dead, and many did. Most of the items they brought had belonged to their loved ones—clothing, books, several watches.</p> <p>The death mask stood out. The man set it on a chair and recounted how, when his mother died in Germany in 1967, a sculptor friend hurried to the hospital to make the mask. Once a popular way of remembering the dead, the form is itself a dying art.</p> <p>Other Living Mortal workshops explored the euphemistic language we use to discuss death; the conscious and unconscious ways that we are drawn to death; and what we feel we owe to our dead. There’s usually “a cultural taboo” around talking about death, Soodalter notes. But the workshops were a breakthrough, says palliative care physician <a href="http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/physician.html?id=6592" target="_blank">Monica Malec</a>, who works with Soodalter on the project. Everyone present had full permission to talk about what they know and what they think. And they used it.</p> <p>“We’re in a moment where people are open to the conversation,” Malec says. “There’s a little more realization that if we don’t find a way to talk about this, things can go very wrong.”</p> <p><strong>It’s a well-cited statistic</strong> that, even though the majority of Americans say that they want to die at home, only 25 percent actually do. The rest die in a hospital, nursing home, or long-term care facility.</p> <p>According to a 2006 Pew Research Center survey, only about one-third of adults have an advance directive expressing their wishes for end-of-life care. When an accident victim enters the hospital in a coma, he no longer has the ability to make important decisions about his life—how long to remain on a ventilator, for example. Family members, along with physicians, then have to make these intensely personal decisions.</p> <p>But it’s hard to know when to start thinking about it. When death begins is not clearly defined. “Are you dying once you get the diagnosis that we expect you’re going to die from?” says Malec. “Or are you dying when we can say your life expectancy is measured in days?” Most people, she says, think it’s the latter. The reality, says Soodalter, is that “at a very clichéd level, we’re all dying.”</p> <p>Soodalter and Malec came at the question as physicians who practice within a complex health care system that’s focused on how to extend life. “From a physician’s side,” Soodalter says, “we’re taught to fight and we’re taught that death is the enemy and illness is the enemy. So then, when death eventually wins—as it will every time— then we’re out of tools. We’re out of even concepts to frame how we can keep helping our patients.” In 2012 during the first year of a hematology/oncology fellowship, Soodalter struggled with what she calls “the unspoken proximity of death in the room.” She took on her patients’ suffering—it wasn’t uncommon for her to see her 40-year-old metastatic colon cancer patient’s face when she closed her eyes at night. She felt totally alone.</p> <p>Then she had an insight. “My undergraduate degree was in classics. I’m a visual artist, so I come from a background that is less scientific and biomedical.” She had put those parts of her life on hold while training to be a doctor. “I was thinking in medicine for 10 years,” Soodalter says. “I suddenly realized that the only way I was going to get through this was to bring all of that other stuff back in.”</p> <p>“That other stuff” framed the Living Mortal Project. To gain the methodological skills to start thinking differently about death, Soodalter enrolled in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities in 2013. Also that year, a conversation with Julie Marie Lemon, who ran the University’s Arts and Science Initiative (now the <a href="https://arts.uchicago.edu/arts-science-culture-initiative" target="_blank">Arts, Science, and Culture Initiative)</a>, led to an informal faculty dinner and discussion that brought together social sciences and humanities scholars to talk about death from their disciplinary perspectives, a precursor to the later workshops. Soodalter also applied for the Neubauer Collegium funding that would support the Living Mortal Project.</p> <p>Soodalter and Malec invited speakers from anthropology, art history, public policy, performing arts, literature, and more to lead the Living Mortal Project workshops. “Maybe we could lift some of the ways that they engage,” Malec says, “and bring them back to medicine and say, ‘Hey, this is a different way of looking at this.’” For “The Imaginary Funeral” Soodalter and Malec started with broad questions: What work do those artifacts help us do? Do they help us let go of people who have died? Do they help us hold on to people who have died?</p> <p>Three guest panelists presented evidence from their fields without trying to make an argument. One was mortuary archaeologist <a href="http://rll.uchicago.edu/faculty/lozada" target="_blank">Maria Cecilia “Nené” Lozada</a>, AM’90, PhD’98, who excavates human remains from pre-Hispanic and colonial cemeteries in South America. Lozada recounted how she was studying a dismembered, mummified trophy head at the same time as her mother was dying. Her research brought Lozada to a medical facility to get a CT scan of the trophy head. Seeing the artifact in that clinical setting, she said, permanently changed the ways that she interacts with what were previously just specimens to her. Now “I always think about the person—who is behind it.”</p> <p>The Living Mortal symposia explored death as “an existential, philosophical, species-level” experience, Soodalter says, “not just as a biomedical reality.”</p> <p><strong>Death is a biomedical reality—and a costly one.</strong> The Living Mortal Project is in part a response to the modus operandi of the US health care system. “We have been on an incredibly steep curve” of using technology to defer death, says Soodalter. “We’re really heading very rapidly toward a crisis.” Roughly 25 percent of Medicare spending is for patients who are in their final year of life.</p> <p>The goal of Living Mortal, she adds, is not to save money or convince people to receive less care. Her research, and other studies, suggest that patients might not choose dramatic interventions when their bodies are failing, if given the opportunity to talk—and think—about it earlier. “Part of that,” says Malec, “just has to do with having conversations, being aware of it from outside of a crisis.”</p> <p>Currently Soodalter and two research associates are interviewing colon cancer patients at the University of Chicago Medicine on their feelings about death, trying to understand what they call “death self-competency”—how well the patients can talk and think about their own mortality. In a companion study, they will interview physicians about the same topics—their patients’ mortality as well as their own. Doctors, Soodalter says, are in the “singular position of confronting both their own eventual death and the much more present prospect of their patients’.”</p> <p>The questions are open-ended, in order to uncover themes that cross ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious lines. What are the person’s general feelings about death, and how have they changed? What role have religion and spirituality played? Soodalter has invited a philosopher, a religious studies expert, an ethnographer, and others to help analyze the interviews. Out of this she wants to develop a multidisciplinary intervention to improve end-of-life conversations in the clinical setting.</p> <p>She isn’t sure yet what the intervention will look like, but she’s finding that patients often don’t even know that it’s OK to have these conversations. Health care providers don’t always bring it up if the patient doesn’t ask them. But, Malec says, even those who don’t want to talk about it have opinions about how they want to die.</p> <p>Ideally, end-of-life care is a truly personalized form of medicine, she says. When the physician and patient sit down to talk about what’s most important, the conversations transcend medical treatment. Maybe the patient wants to pursue a therapy so he can make it to his daughter’s wedding. Or he may be tired and want to stop the pain. Doctors should help patients consider the end of life, says Soodalter, “at a time when they’re able to think about it and make decisions that are consonant with their values.”</p> <p>So how can doctors better understand patients’ wishes? It’s not just a matter of asking. Doctors “meet people in these snapshots of time,” says Malec, who works in outpatient oncology. “We don’t have enough time to develop rapport and find out what’s most important to patients. ... You have to have a certain relationship” with a patient before you can discover what’s important to her. Soodalter agrees: “You have to earn that.” It takes time, and trust doesn’t develop over the course of one appointment.</p> <p><strong>In 2014 the Institute of Medicine</strong> (now known as the <a href="http://nam.edu/" target="_blank">National Academy of Medicine</a>) released a 600-page report, <a href="http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2014/Dying-In-America-Improving-Quality-and-Honoring-Individual-Preferences-Near-the-End-of-Life.aspx" target="_blank"><em>Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life</em></a>. The key takeaway: the US health care system is ill-equipped to care for patients at the end of life. A shortage of doctors with palliative care training—and of those who understand what palliative care really means—is one of the biggest gaps that the report revealed. The report offers recommendations that include increasing financial support for dying patients and having more conversations, early and often, about death. (In October 2015 Medicare approved payment for voluntary end-of-life counseling with patients and their families, similar to what was proposed under the Affordable Care Act.)</p> <p>As a specialty, palliative medicine is still relatively new in the United States; the <a href="http://www.abms.org" target="_blank">American Board of Medical Specialties</a> didn’t recognize it until 2006. It’s most common at large medical centers and is not always available at smaller hospitals. At its most basic level, palliative care is about relieving suffering for patients with serious illnesses, Malec says. “What we’ll often say is that our goal is to help every day be the best one that it can be, regardless of the number.”</p> <p>It’s a common misconception that patients come to palliative care physicians only when they’re very close to death. Unlike hospice care, in which patients have a life expectancy of six months or less, palliative care can begin at any time.</p> <p>Daniel Sulmasy, an internist and ethicist at UChicago Medicine with an interest in end-of-life care, believes palliative care should be discussed at the moment a serious illness is diagnosed. “As chances for cure might be diminishing, the need for palliative care might increase,” he says. “But we want to care for patients’ symptoms along the whole way.”</p> <p>Malec started seeing her patient Martin Dippel more than two years before he died this past August (after being interviewed for this story). He was diagnosed in 2011 with an advanced form of cancer and began taking drugs targeting the cell mutation that triggered the disease. He also participated in two clinical trials. His treatment plan was “doing a good job of arresting the cancer’s growth,” Dippel said, “but we knew that it was not curative.”</p> <p>Dippel chose to enter palliative care with Malec in 2013, after his oncologist suggested it. “I was having trouble eating and was losing weight,” he said. “I found someone to treat the smaller side effects with the same attention to detail as my larger problems. The side effects really affect your quality of life.” He was sent to Malec for symptom management, but at that point his cancer had already metastasized. She guided him through his decision making process, trying to understand what was most important to him. Dippel appreciated that Malec asked him straight out, “Where do you want to be at the end of your life?”</p> <p>Malec learned that Dippel wanted to die at home, and when his physical state continued to decline, she suggested that he move into hospice care, “the path that is most likely to keep you at home,” she says. It did for him.</p> <p>Choosing hospice care wasn’t easy, “but we never doubted Dr. Malec’s role in this decision,” Dippel said. “If we had to start building a relationship with a doctor at the time of choosing hospice, it would have been extremely difficult.”</p> <p>Malec feels the same way; if she only met her patients right before they died, her job would be even more emotionally challenging, and she wouldn’t have the opportunity to help people live in the face of their illness. Working in outpatient oncology, she often sees her patients longer than, for example, those who are hospitalized for an acute illness or have entered hospice care. “That’s changed over time,” she says. “The longer I’ve been here, I see people earlier and earlier in the course of their illness.”</p> <p>“I get the question a lot of, ‘How do you do this?’” Malec says. “There are times that are very, very sad.” But when she works with her patients over a longer time, “there are just so many more moments of humanity that aren’t sad.” She might talk with her patients about trips and visits with grandchildren and fun weekends. “Sometimes there’s humor and we joke,” she says. “When you get to actually know a patient you get more of that. Even within the sadness, you’re helping them live with that.”</p> <p><strong>In the late 1960s,</strong> Elisabeth Kübler-Ross led a seminar series at the University of Chicago’s Billings Hospital. Interviews with dying patients of different ages and backgrounds made up the lectures and course material. Out of these interviews, Kübler-Ross published her seminal 1969 book, <em>On Death and Dying</em> (Macmillan).</p> <p>Her work was revolutionary—and not without its critics. Doctors in the 1950s and ’60s “epitomized the never-say-die stance,” wrote palliative care expert Ira Byock in the foreword to the 2014 edition of <em>On Death and Dying</em>, while “a patient’s values, preferences, and priorities carried little weight.” Kübler-Ross challenged this status quo. “Suddenly,” Byock wrote, “how people died mattered.” Whether she meant to or not, with the book’s publication Kübler-Ross sparked a “cultural movement to improve end-of-life care and restore illness and dying to the proper dominion of people’s personal lives.” She paved the way for the research that physicians like Soodalter and Malec are doing today.</p> <p>The movement also influenced how physicians are trained. UChicago internist Sulmasy teaches an end-of-life care section of the <a href="http://pritzker.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Pritzker School of Medicine</a>’s doctor-patient relationship course. A former Franciscan friar, he is the associate director of UChicago’s <a href="http://macleanethics.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics</a> and since 2010 a member of the <a href="http://www.bioethics.gov" target="_blank">Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues</a>.</p> <p>The section he teaches ends with “Otherwise,” by poet Jane Kenyon, who died of leukemia in 1995. The poem reflects on mundane, everyday activities with an underlying consciousness that it might not always be that way. “By talking to them in the language of poetry,” Sulmasy hopes to help them understand “the spiritual, if not religious, sensibilities of patients who are dying, the deep meaning that surrounds the process of dying, and the possibility that someone who’s dying could be their teacher.”</p> <p>“The heart of ethics,” he adds, “is the notion that everybody is a somebody.” This philosophy inspired his research as part of the University of Chicago’s <a href="http://enhancinglife.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Enhancing Life project</a>, a two-year collaboration with Germany’s <a href="http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/index_en.htm" target="_blank">Ruhr-University Bochum</a> to understand human beings’ aspirations to make life better. Out of 35 scholars involved, Sulmasy is the only one focusing on death.</p> <p>“Part of what I brought to the group was recognizing that one of the characteristics of the human ... is that we are finite, and that we can’t understand what life is unless we understand that it comes to an end,” he says. His work for Enhancing Life is designed to reconstruct the ethics of care at life’s end: “The function of medicine is not to relieve the human condition of the human condition.”</p> <p>That condition is one of not only mortality but also finitude. “Finitude is not just about the fact that we will die, but the fact that we make mistakes, that we become sick, and that we can make moral mistakes too. That we’re finite physically, intellectually, and morally.” He pauses. “It’s a humbler approach to what medicine is.”</p> <p><strong>In her 1997 memoir,</strong> <em>The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying</em> (Scribner), written after a series of strokes, Kübler-Ross reflected, “Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived.”</p> <p>When patients accept that they are facing death, they often have a sense of peace, says Sulmasy, “a sense of wisdom that they’ve gained from their own suffering, their own lives as they’ve lived them up till now.” It’s what enables a dying patient, who may be in a lot of pain, to see a doctor enter his hospital room and simply say, “You look tired, doc.”</p> <p>“Their concern for me is a remarkable thing,” Sulmasy says. In facing death, “they’re teaching me something about what it means to be human.”</p> <hr /><p><em>Ruth E. Kott, AM’07, is a writer and editor in Chicago.</em></p> <p><em>Updated 02.17.2016: Corrected to reflect that Medicare coverage for end-of-life counseling was only similar to what was proposed but later removed from the Affordable Care Act. The rule covering advance planning care that was approved in <a href="https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-10-30-2.html" target="_blank">October 2015</a> was part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servicesʼ 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/science-medicine" hreflang="en">Science &amp; Medicine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/death" hreflang="en">Death</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/university-chicago-medicine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Medicine</a></div> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/mortal-thoughts" data-a2a-title="Mortal thoughts"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Fscience-medicine%2Fmortal-thoughts&amp;title=Mortal%20thoughts"></a></span> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 22:59:14 +0000 rsmith 5434 at https://mag.uchicago.edu How can you be happier? https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/how-can-you-be-happier <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1511_Chung_Happiness.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Sun, 11/15/2015 - 13:38</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>(<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/barnimages/22395210581" target="_blank">Photography</a> by Barn Images, CC0 1.0)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/jeanie-chung"> <a href="/author/jeanie-chung"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Jeanie Chung</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/web-exclusives" hreflang="en">Web exclusives</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">11.16.2015</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Philosophy professor Candace Vogler is on the case.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>What role does happiness play in human life?</p> <p>Is humility a worthwhile virtue? Or is it a form of weakness?</p> <p>How can we even think about—let alone achieve—virtue, happiness, or meaning while leading frantic work and personal lives?</p> <p>Over the next two years, <a href="http://philosophy.uchicago.edu/faculty/vogler.html" target="_blank">Candace Vogler</a>, the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor in <a href="http://philosophy.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Philosophy</a>, will try to answer these questions. Vogler and <a href="http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/phil/jennifer-frey" target="_blank">Jennifer A. Frey</a> of the <a href="http://www.sc.edu" target="_blank">University of South Carolina</a> will lead a team of philosophers, psychologists, and religious thinkers on a quest to understand what life is really about.</p> <p>Their project, <a href="http://virtue.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life</a> was launched on Humanities Day to a full house at the <a href="https://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a>. Last month, the project received a $2.1 million grant from the <a href="https://www.templeton.org" target="_blank">John Templeton Foundation</a>.</p> <p>Vogler and Frey do not consider virtue, happiness, and the meaning of life to be the same thing—but do consider them related.</p> <p>They will present their findings through various academic channels, including two new courses taught by visiting scholars in spring 2016 and spring 2017.</p> <p>However, as Vogler said, “We want this to stay in touch with ordinary human beings” and not just academics. With that in mind, here are four ideas from her <a href="https://humanitiesday.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Humanities Day</a> lecture—some of which admittedly may not be news—about leading a meaningful life:</p> <p><strong>1. Go for the greater good</strong>. Vogler said self-transcendence, “the need to be connected to something bigger,” as opposed to focusing on individual success, is crucial to finding meaning and happiness. The project hopes to develop tools to actually measure this quality.</p> <p><strong>2. Thomas Aquinas: not just for Catholics anymore</strong>. Most philosophical studies of happiness and virtue begin with Aristotle. But Vogler and Frey take the 13th-century theologian as their foundational philosopher. They point out that scholars of all—or no—faiths consider Aquinas “a serious moral philosopher,” and that Aquinas had a less elitist idea about who could lead virtuous lives. “It’s not just Athenian generals,” Vogler said.</p> <p><strong>3. Surprise! Money can’t buy happiness</strong>, says <a href="http://thevirtueblog.com/2015/10/21/does-money-buy-happiness/" target="_blank">one early entry</a> on the project’s <em><a href="http://thevirtueblog.com" target="_blank">Virtue Blog</a></em>.</p> <p><strong>4. Spoiler alert: it’ll probably take more than two years.</strong> The project’s main goal is to seed future research and to get in the conversation, in both an academic and broadly cultural sense. “Ideas matter,” Frey said.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/arts-humanities" hreflang="en">Arts &amp; Humanities</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/philosophy" hreflang="en">Philosophy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/psychology" hreflang="en">Psychology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/humanities-day" hreflang="en">Humanities Day</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/divinity-school" hreflang="en">Divinity School</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/humanities-division" hreflang="en">Division of the Humanities</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“<a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/10/07/collaborative-research-project-examine-sources-happiness-and-personal-fulfillment" target="_blank">Collaborative Research Project to Examine Sources of Happiness and Personal Fulfillment</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 10.07.2015)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedlinks field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Read stories on <em><a href="http://thevirtueblog.com" target="_blank">The Virtue Blog</a></em>. Visit the <a href="http://virtue.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life website.</a> Visit the <a href="https://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society website</a>. Learn more about <a href="http://humanitiesday.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Humanities Day</a>. <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu/priorities/humanities/unite-scholars-across-disciplines-at-the-neubauer-collegium/" target="_blank">Join the campaign</a> and help unite scholars across disciplines.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-storymedia field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><h2 class="media-icon media-icon-video">Video</h2> <iframe width="200" height="113" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EBkZRDFf2is?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p>Principal investigators Candace Vogler and Jennifer A. Frey present Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life: A Collaboration at Humanities Day 2015.</p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBkZRDFf2is" target="_blank" class="more-link">WATCH THE VIDEO AT YOUTUBE</a></p> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/how-can-you-be-happier" data-a2a-title="How can you be happier?"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Farts-humanities%2Fhow-can-you-be-happier&amp;title=How%20can%20you%20be%20happier%3F"></a></span> Sun, 15 Nov 2015 19:38:59 +0000 jmiller 5212 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Know no boundaries https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/know-no-boundaries <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1506_Zulkey_Know-no-boundaries.jpg" width="700" height="325" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/27/2015 - 10:31</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The 16,000-square-foot Gothic-style former Meadville Lombard Seminary Building has been transformed to meet 21st-century academic needs and the University’s goals for sustainability. (Illustrations courtesy Kliment Halsband Architects)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/claire-zulkey"> <a href="/author/claire-zulkey"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Claire Zulkey</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/dialogo" hreflang="en">Dialogo</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Spring/Summer 2015</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Neubauer Collegium grows into new leadership, programs, and space.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>With a new director and 16,000 square feet of new space, the <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a> has grown a lot this academic year—and with ten new research initiatives starting in July, it is prepared for more.</p> <p><a href="http://philosophy.uchicago.edu/faculty/lear.html" target="_blank">Jonathan Lear</a>, the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in <a href="https://socialthought.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Social Thought</a>, was appointed the Neubauer Collegium’s Roman Family Director in October, succeeding <a href="https://history.uchicago.edu/directory/david-nirenberg" target="_blank">David Nirenberg</a>, who became dean of the <a href="https://socialsciences.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Division of the Social Sciences</a> in July. While the Neubauer Collegium, founded in 2012 to address questions that span the humanities and humanistic social sciences, has already achieved a great deal with 42 faculty <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/faculty/2015_2016_research_initiatives/" target="_blank">research initiatives</a>, including the ten beginning this summer, Lear says, “it’s just at the beginning.”</p> <p>Like Nirenberg, Lear has experience in interdisciplinary work. “My interest is in bringing together ancient Greek traditions and ethics with contemporary thinking about psychoanalytic treatment and therapy,” Lear says. “I’m the guy who thinks of these as one thing rather than two.” The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought supported that way of thinking, he says, so “the Neubauer Collegium was a natural next step. It embodies these University of Chicago traditions that you don’t see at any other institution.”</p> <p>Lear finds unpredictable combinations exciting. “We want to take risks. Some projects need a lot of work. Some might not work.” One new project he is particularly eager about spans institutions as well as disciplines. Open Fields: Ethics, Aesthetics and the Very Idea of a Natural History, Lear says, involves “not just an anthropologist from here and a professor of art from there, but the curator of the <a href="http://www.fieldmuseum.org" target="_blank">Field Museum</a>, tribal elders from around the country, and young practicing native artists. “When it comes to certain kinds of research projects, we refuse to recognize boundaries.”</p> <p>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2651","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"366","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]]</p> <p> <h5>The renovated building provides a new space for scholars from around the world to collaborate, establishing the Neubauer Collegium as a locus for global engagement: 1. The building houses multiple suites for visiting fellows to set up office with adjacent versatile areas for collaboration. 2. The seminar room features advanced e-collaboration and videoconferencing capabilities. 3. The reading room, which showcases the building’s original wood paneling, is intended for informal engagement and reflection. 4. The exhibition gallery presents historical and contemporary art, films, and performances. (Illustration courtesy Kliment Halsband Architects)</h5> <p>When cross-collaboration goes well, Lear says, in retrospect, it seems like a natural pairing. He cites the new project Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation, in which a legal historian and modern linguists will interpret sometimes-murky 18th-century legal rulings that are still invoked today, in cases as high as the <a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov" target="_blank">Supreme Court</a>, and create online tools to make that information available to law clerks and judges. “It’s a project of the highest intellectual importance.”</p> <p><a href="https://economics.uchicago.edu/facstaff/voena.shtml" target="_blank">Alessandra Voena</a>, assistant professor of economics, works on the project <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/faculty/health_insurance_in_india/" target="_blank">Unpacking the Value of Health Insurance in India: Fostering Dialogue Amongst Methodologies</a>, which began in July 2014. The project’s researchers are surveying Indian citizens with no access to public insurance, asking how they would allocate the funds if they were given cash to purchase insurance at a premium.</p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2656","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"366","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]]<br /> A surveyor in Mysore, India, discusses that nation’s public insurance expansion with village household members as part of the Collegium project Unpacking the Value of Health Insurance in India: Fostering Dialogue Amongst Methodologies. (Photo courtesy Phoebe Holtzman, AB’10)</h5> <p><a href="http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/malani" target="_blank">Anup Malani</a>, AM’96, JD’00, PhD’03 (<a href="https://socialsciences.uchicago.edu/departments/economics" target="_blank">Economics</a>), the Lee and Brena Freeman Professor in the <a href="http://www.law.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Law School</a>, was already evaluating India’s insurance system and expanded his research into a Neubauer Collegium project, bringing Voena on because of her expertise studying resource distribution in families. After her team conducted initial qualitative interviews, Voena says, “we realized we needed much more expertise in ethnology and anthropology.” Compared to economists, ethnographers approach problems using a much smaller sample size “but go a lot more in depth,” she says. “Ultimately the two approaches can be extremely complementary.”</p> <p>The project is already far along. Researchers from other universities have been conducting in-depth field interviews in India. “We’ve collected an enormous amount of ethnographic material,” Voena says, “and we’ve already incorporated preliminary results in our design.” She predicts another year and a half of data collection and interpretation before the group begins to publish its findings.</p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2657","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"339","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"460"}}]]<br /> Jonathan Lear compares the excitement of directing the Neubauer Collegium to “working on a start-up.” (Photography by John Zich)</h5> <p>Voena also looks forward to taking advantage of the Neubauer Collegium’s space. Its <a href="http://architecture.uchicago.edu/locations/neubauer_collegium_for_culture_and_society/" target="_blank">new home</a>, which officially opened April 20 at 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue, provides room for teams like Voena’s to meet. With her office in <a href="http://architecture.uchicago.edu/locations/department_of_economics_and_becker_friedman_institute/" target="_blank">Saieh Hall</a>, Malani’s at the Law School, and other partners situated internationally, she says, “we are a diverse group of people, so the opportunity to be hosted there would be great.”</p> <p>Like Saieh Hall, the Neubauer Collegium building is a work of adaptive reuse, maintaining the spirit of the former <a href="http://www.meadville.edu" target="_blank">Meadville Lombard Theological School</a> while updating it for 21st century needs. Lear looks forward to hosting guest lecturers such as <a href="http://www.berkeley.edu" target="_blank">Berkeley</a> biblical scholar <a href="http://nes.berkeley.edu/Web_Alter/Alter.html" target="_blank">Robert Alter</a>, who is coming next fall to discuss the meaning and nature of translation. “Guests of the highest intellectual caliber are going to be speaking on topics that will interest the whole University community.”</p> <p>Alumni will have an advance opportunity to see the building and witness the Neubauer Collegium in action (see back page) during an <a href="https://alumniweekend.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Alumni Weekend </a><a href="https://alumniweekend.uchicago.edu/uncommon-core-events" target="_blank"><em>Un</em>Common Core</a> session on the project Past for Sale, where researchers from anthropology, art history, economics, law, and policy will discuss the illicit antiquities market and how to combat it.</p> <h3>2015–16 Social Sciences Neubauer Collegium faculty research projects</h3> <p>Literature scholar <a href="http://english.uchicago.edu/faculty/morgan" target="_blank">Benjamin Morgan</a> will collaborate with historians <a href="https://history.uchicago.edu/directory/fredrik-albritton-jonsson" target="_blank">Fredrik Jonsson</a> and <a href="https://history.uchicago.edu/directory/emily-lynn-osborn" target="_blank">Emily Osborn</a> on a project that brings a humanistic approach to a contemporary political issue. <strong>Climate Change: Disciplinary Challenges to the Humanities and Social Sciences</strong> is a one-year project that will culminate in a daylong symposium in spring 2016.</p> <p><strong>The Idealism Project: Self-Determining Form and the Autonomy of the Humanities</strong>, led by philosophy scholars <a href="http://philosophy.uchicago.edu/faculty/conant.html" target="_blank">James Conant</a> and <a href="http://home.uchicago.edu/~rbp1/" target="_blank">Robert Pippin</a> as well as Germanic Studies chair <a href="https://german.uchicago.edu/faculty/wellbery" target="_blank">David Wellbery</a>, in addition to collaborators at the University of Leipzig, seeks a new approach to the fate and future of the humanities.</p> <p>Anthropologist <a href="http://anthropology.uchicago.edu/people/faculty_member/justin_b._richland" target="_blank">Justin Richland</a> and a team that includes Field Museum curator <a href="http://www.fieldmuseum.org/about/staff/profile/416" target="_blank">Alaka Wali</a> and tribal leaders from the Hopi and Crow Nations explore the use and misuse of Native American material culture with <strong>Open Fields: Ethics, Aesthetics, and the Very Idea of a Natural History</strong>.</p> <p>With <strong>Economic Analysis of Ancient Trade</strong>, economist <a href="http://home.uchicago.edu/hortacsu/" target="_blank">Ali Hortacsu</a> and archaeologist <a href="http://nelc.uchicago.edu/faculty/schloen" target="_blank">David Schloen</a> are working with <a href="http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/kerem.cosar/" target="_blank">Kerem Cosar</a>, <a href="https://classics.uchicago.edu/faculty/bresson" target="_blank">Alain Bresson</a>, and <a href="http://nelc.uchicago.edu/faculty/stein" target="_blank">Gil Stein</a>, specialists on the ancient world, to investigate the applicability of modern mathematical and computational methods to ancient trade.</p> <p>With <strong>The Problem of the Democratic State in US History</strong>, sociology chair <a href="http://sociology.uchicago.edu/people/faculty/clemens.shtml" target="_blank">Elisabeth Clemens</a>, AM’85, PhD’90 (Sociology), and historian <a href="https://history.uchicago.edu/directory/james-t-sparrow" target="_blank">James Sparrow</a><strong></strong> plan to engage new faculty and graduate students in a broad-ranging set of conversations about the democratic state that was initially explored in the 2013–15 Neubauer Collegium project The State as History and Theory.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/law-policy-society" hreflang="en">Law, Policy &amp; Society</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/division-social-sciences" hreflang="en">Division of the Social Sciences</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedlinks field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Website: <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a> Website: <a href="https://socialsciences.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Division of the Social Sciences</a> Give now: <a href="https://www.kintera.org/site/c.8gKMJYMvF9LWG/b.8567855/k.C49A/Donation_Form__SSD/apps/ka/sd/donorcustom.asp#.VXGsw86RaM5" target="_blank">Support the Division of the Social Sciences</a>   <img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/2015_Summer_Dialogo-cover.png" /></p> <h5>This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of <em>Dialogo</em>, the biannual publication for University of Chicago Division of the Social Sciences alumni.</h5> <div class="issue-link"><a href="../dialogo-archive" target="_self">VIEW ALL <em>DIALOGO</em> STORIES</a></div> <div class="issue-link"><span style="line-height: 1.538em;"><a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/Dialogo_Spring-Summer_2015.pdf" target="_blank">DOWNLOAD THE LATEST ISSUE (PDF)</a></span></div> <div class="issue-link"><a href="http://socialsciences.uchicago.edu/alumni" target="_blank">READ ADDITIONAL SSD NEWS</a></div> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/know-no-boundaries" data-a2a-title="Know no boundaries"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Flaw-policy-society%2Fknow-no-boundaries&amp;title=Know%20no%20boundaries"></a></span> Wed, 27 May 2015 15:31:43 +0000 jmiller 4712 at https://mag.uchicago.edu The state as history and theory https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/state-history-and-theory <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1411_Dialogo-placeholder_2.jpg" width="700" height="325" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/18/2014 - 14:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/claire-zulkey"> <a href="/author/claire-zulkey"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Claire Zulkey</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/dialogo" hreflang="en">Dialogo</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Spring/Summer 2013</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">Elisabeth Clemens aims to bring together history, political science, and sociology in one of the Neubauer Collegium's inaugural projects.</div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><strong>Elisabeth Clemens</strong>, AM'85, PhD'90 (Sociology), professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, is leading one of the Neubauer Collegium's inaugural projects, the State as History and Theory. She discusses what she and her colleagues--James Sparrow, an associate professor in the history department, and Bernard Harcourt, the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and chair of the political science department--hope to pursue in their collaboration. <h3>What are you aiming to do with the State as History and Theory?</h3> We're hoping to bring together a set of conversations about new directions at the intersection of sociology, political science, and history that happen in a fragmented way. We're all reading on different schedules, going to different conferences, and speaking on different panels. It's clear that there's a collective need among the three of us, and also more broadly in our disciplines, to rethink the organization of power and governance in contemporary democracies. At one level, we are trying to recreate some of the key aspects of graduate school for people already well advanced in their careers. We want to read recent important texts together and think about how to link them to our varied political, empirical, and theoretical efforts. This is what the Collegium does: provide a platform for focused discussion and research that many of us miss as we progress into a career with individualized scholarly and disciplinary connections. <h3>What are some empirical projects you'll take on?</h3> This is a sort of meta-collaboration. There's been a series of panels for almost three years, drawing together political scientists, sociologists, and historians at the Social Science History Association. They have been working on a wide range of empirical topics while trying to get a handle on how we think about the organization of governance beyond bureaucracy, elections, and legislatures, recognizing that power is organized in ways that are not obviously public. For example, in recent wars, war fighting is a central activity of the modern state, yet from the beginning of recent American conflicts, a large proportion of our presence has been through private contractors, so the exercise of power operates through private firms rather than public agencies. A second example would be tax subsidies: how does the abdication of a right to tax certain kinds of activities shape fields of activity indirectly? It's looking at the edges, strands, and networks of governance that extend well beyond formal political agencies. That often gets misrecognized as not government. <h3>So what comes next?</h3> Next year we're bringing in Stephen Sawyer, AM'97, PhD'08, a visiting faculty member from the American University in Paris, who is an interlocutor between work on American political development and European theorizations of the state. By the end of next year, we all hope to bring these debates together by advancing a number of medium-term projects, such as some ongoing, rolling conference panels on the forms and functions of the contemporary state that have been largely organized through the Social Science History Association. We also hope to have developed a theoretical conversation linked to a set of empirical projects. For me, I hope it will provide a basis for clarifying my next individual project and linking it into some contemporary debates over the nature of democratic governance. I'm both recovering from too long in administration and from finishing a book. This collaboration represents an opportunity to define a next project during a year of intensive reading and wide-ranging conversation. <h3>What will Sawyer bring to the project?</h3> Steve has been part of a set of conferences on comparative political development that has largely occurred among historians. He has collaborated with Jim Sparrow, and he and Bernard Harcourt became involved in translating some Michele Foucault lectures. I met him at past conferences. So he had ties already but has been in Europe in a different set of literatures. He brings that to the conversation, as well as a deep understanding of the longstanding questions here. <h3>What book projects will the group take on?</h3> We imagine a set of books. I have a chapter in one book, called <em>Boundaries of the State</em>, which Sparrow and Sawyer are already editing. We hope to facilitate another project that many of us would have papers in and also to have something that would be a theoretical reader, which would bring some of these recent and often sketch-like theoretical efforts together in an accessible way. <h3>Meanwhile, you're finishing your own book.</h3> I'm finishing a book that has nothing to do with this project. It's about the role of benevolence in American state formation. So organized donations of both money and time are a central element of our country's mobilization of power. You can think of it as both straight volunteering and charity, but many wars and disasters are also funded by volunteer contributions and loans. That's a very odd way of doing governance, and yet it's quite central for much, if not all, of American history.</div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/law-policy-society" hreflang="en">Law, Policy &amp; Society</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/division-social-sciences" hreflang="en">Division of the Social Sciences</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/interview" hreflang="en">Interview</a></div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/state-history-and-theory" data-a2a-title="The state as history and theory"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Flaw-policy-society%2Fstate-history-and-theory&amp;title=The%20state%20as%20history%20and%20theory"></a></span> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:53:47 +0000 jmiller 4107 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Collaborative approaches to complex questions https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/collaborative-approaches-complex-questions <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/1411_Dialogo-placeholder_3.jpg" width="700" height="325" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/profile/jmiller" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">jmiller</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/18/2014 - 14:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><!-- The Collegium's founding director, David Nirenberg, says the endeavor has influenced his own scholarship. (Photography by Jason Smith) //--></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div about="/author/claire-zulkey"> <a href="/author/claire-zulkey"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Claire Zulkey</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/dialogo" hreflang="en">Dialogo</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Spring/Summer 2013</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item">The Neubauer Collegium shares research with the public while making the University a destination for collaborating academic leaders.</div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item">In March the Neubauer Collegium, an initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Divisions that funds and supports collaborative research into complex questions, selected its inaugural cohort of 18 faculty projects. Involving scholars from across University disciplines and from around the world, many of the projects engage questions central to the social sciences. Projects include the Working Group on Comparative Economics and Engineered Worlds: Living Post-Nature (see the full list, with complete descriptions at <a href="http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/">neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu</a>). But what happens now that the projects have been chosen? "Next comes the actual day-to-day feeding, caring, and grooming of collaboration, which is not trivial," says David Nirenberg, the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought, who was announced as the founding director of the Collegium in summer 2012. The value of collaboration in an academic setting seems obvious, but roadblocks to interdisciplinary work lie from conception to practical applications. "Most of us don't think, 'I want to collaborate.' That's not how we begin," says Nirenberg. "We begin with a question that interests us." The Neubauer Collegium will support the work of Chicago faculty by providing financial and administrative support for working-group meetings, conferences, research assistance, performances, and other forms of collaboration, as well as visits by distinguished scholars. For instance, the State as History and Theory project, led by Elisabeth Clemens, AM'85, PhD'90 (Sociology); Bernard Harcourt (Political Science, Law); and James Sparrow (History), will examine nonstate forms of organized power and governance that have emerged in response to privatization and globalization, leading toward a new political theory of democracy. The project will bring collaborators from across the United States for workshops, and it also will host Stephen Sawyer, AM'97, PhD'08 (History), founder of the urban-studies program at the American University of Paris, as a Collegium Visiting Fellow. <p class="pullquote">We want to encourage work that interconnects questions, people, and ideas, both within the University and outside in the world.</p> At times, Collegium advisory-board members serve as matchmakers. "We might have a group of people working on health care and social policy in the Asian subcontinent, and we realize that there are people in multiple departments working on that," Nirenberg says. "We can see that from our bird's-eye view." He notes a request the Collegium received to curate a conversation on digital tools and the humanities, raising questions such as: How do these tools change the kinds of questions we ask? And how do they affect the work we do? "People are coming to the Collegium for us to do this match-making, culture-catalyzing function." Of course, there is more to encouraging collaboration than making like-minded researchers aware of each other. The Collegium staff supports research teams in practical matters, such as creating online environments where UChicago faculty can collaborate with colleagues from other institutions. A Collegium website will give each project its own space, so parties around the world can follow its developments. When the Collegium moves into its new home at 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue, the former Meadville-Lombard Seminary Building, in autumn 2014, it will create new opportunities. In addition to offices for visiting fellows, the renovated building will include spaces for collaborative research and public engagement--not only lecture halls and conference rooms but also exhibition space to present art and performances. The two-year Engineered Worlds project, under the direction of associate professor of anthropology Joseph Masco, includes an art exhibit that, Nirenberg notes, is "not just show and tell. It's an attempt to represent the nature of the question, the nature of the problem in a new way."  "We don't want to be just another funding agency," says Nirenberg. "We want to encourage work that interconnects questions, people, and ideas, both within the University and outside in the world." Work thus far on the Collegium, which will hold a formal inauguration in October, "has been much easier than I expected," says Nirenberg. "It seems as if there are no artificial barriers to doing things." The only surprise, he says, has been seeing "just how many collaborative projects of really high quality emerged from the faculty the minute we created the opportunity for that to happen. We received 50 really strong applications." The Collegium's spirit of collaboration has even influenced Nirenberg, who studies the interactions between Jewish, Christian, and Islamic cultures. "I find myself collaborating now with mathematicians, Arabists, painters--people that have very different practices from my own," he says. The Collegium encourages scholars to formulate collaborative questions in a way, he says, that "has certainly opened me to that practice."</div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/collaboration" hreflang="en">Collaboration</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/interdisciplinary-research" hreflang="en">Interdisciplinary research</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/division-social-sciences" hreflang="en">Division of the Social Sciences</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/neubauer-collegium-culture-and-society-0" hreflang="en">Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society</a></div> </div> <span class="a2a_kit a2a_kit_size_32 addtoany_list" data-a2a-url="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/collaborative-approaches-complex-questions" data-a2a-title="Collaborative approaches to complex questions"><a class="a2a_button_facebook"></a><a class="a2a_button_twitter"></a><a class="a2a_button_google_plus"></a><a class="a2a_button_print"></a><a class="a2a_dd addtoany_share_save" href="https://www.addtoany.com/share#url=https%3A%2F%2Fmag.uchicago.edu%2Funiversity-news%2Fcollaborative-approaches-complex-questions&amp;title=Collaborative%20approaches%20to%20complex%20questions"></a></span> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:43:19 +0000 jmiller 4106 at https://mag.uchicago.edu