January 27, 2015

Study Chicago program to launch spring

Twenty undergraduate students will make the city of Chicago their classroom in the inaugural “Study Chicago Quarter” in spring 2015.

The new program will mirror the University’s study abroad programs in other cities, with three courses focused on the city itself in addition to guest lectures and weekly excursions. The program will collaborate with the University Community Service Center (UCSC) and the Chicago Studies program for its regularly scheduled excursions. Applications are due February 2nd.

Adam Green, Master of the Social Science Collegiate Division, worked closely with Dean John Boyer and other faculty to develop the design and curriculum of the program. “Knowing more about how Chicago works increasingly will be an excellent way to know about how the world works,” Green wrote in an email. “It is the hope of Dean Boyer, myself, and everyone involved in this endeavor that we leverage our proximity to this dynamic and significant city, so as to best equip students to pursue and apply their education in ways that fully realize their ambitions, and sense of purpose.”

The quarter consists of three courses, focusing on history, English, and public policy. “Making Chicago: Chapters in the City’s History” traces the history of the city from the 19th to the 21st century. The English course, “Representing Chicago: the City in Art, Literature, and Music,” centers on literature produced in Chicago but will also cover other forms of Chicago-based art. The third course, “Remaking Chicago: The City that Works on Social Change,” is a sociology and public policy course that explores the role of “change-agents” in the city, addressing Chicago’s social problems.

Paul Durica, who will teach the English course, stated that the excursions will include both civic and cultural institutions and offered more details on the course’s foci. “I’m focusing on more cultural destinations, ranging from larger institutions like the Poetry Foundation and the Newberry to neighborhood-based nonprofits like the read/write library, Spudnick Press, South Side Community Art Center, Young Chicago Authors, and the Guild Literary Complex,” he said.

Durica said the program should provide students with a unique understanding of the city.

“The hope is that students will end the quarter feeling like citizens of Chicago as well as students at the University of Chicago and that they will want to continue to engage and explore the city and carry the relationships made during the quarter into their life beyond the university,” he said.