Many books have been written about the University of Chicago over its 120-year history, but most of them focus on the intellectual environment, favoring its great thinkers and their many breakthroughs. Yet for the students and scholars who live and work here, the physical university—its stately buildings and beautiful grounds—forms an important part of its character.
Building Ideas: An Architectural Guide to the University of Chicago explores the environment that has supported more than a century of exceptional thinkers. This photographic guide traces the evolution of campus architecture from the university’s founding in 1890 to its plans for the twenty-first century.
When William Rainey Harper, the university’s first president, and the trustees decided to build a set of Gothic quadrangles, they created a visual link to European precursors and made a bold statement about the future of higher education in the United States. Since then the university has regularly commissioned forward-thinking architects to design buildings that expand—or explode—traditional ideals while redefining the contemporary campus.
Full of panoramic photographs and exquisite details, Building Ideas features the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Ives Cobb, Holabird & Roche, Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Netsch, Ricardo Legorreta, Rafael Viñoly, César Pelli, Helmut Jahn, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. The guide also includes guest commentaries by prominent architects and other notable public figures. It is the perfect collection for Chicago alumni and students, Hyde Park residents and visitors, and anyone inspired by the institutional ideas and aspirations of architecture.
Higher education's most vibrant and contentious issues—common and specialized learning in the curriculum, conceptions of general and liberal education, the design of common core sequences, the merits of classic texts and contemporary research, Western and non-Western course materials, the place of undergraduate teaching in scholarly careers—have for decades been debated by the faculty of the College of the University of Chicago. At the College, they have become embodied in educational programs of sufficient historical depth to reveal patterns of intellectual and pedagogical continuity amidst changing social and institutional circumstances.
Social Science 2 holds the place of honor among these educational projects. For more than half a century, Soc 2 has been one of the most influential courses in American undergraduate education. This unique, year-long course, the oldest and most distinguished of its kind at any American university, has served as an ongoing experiment in how the social sciences can be taught and learned in the general education context.
In this collection John MacAloon has gathered essays by fourteen eminent social scientists—such as David Riesman, Michael Schudson, and F. Champion Ward—who as either teachers or students were profoundly shaped by Soc 2. Their multifarious and selective memories—full of dissonances and harmonies of recollection, judgment, and voice—create a compelling biography of a course and a college that have survived tumultous change through sustained and committed argument.
This book will be of great interest to anyone interested not only in the theory but the practice of higher education.
When championing the commercial buildings and homes that made the Windy City famous, one can’t help but mention the brilliant names of their architects—Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright, among others. But few people are aware of Henry Ives Cobb (1859–1931), the man responsible for an extraordinarily rich chapter in the city’s turn-of-the-century building boom, and fewer still realize Cobb’s lasting importance as a designer of the private and public institutions that continue to enrich Chicago’s exceptional architectural heritage.
Henry Ives Cobb’s Chicago is the first book about this distinguished architect and the magnificent buildings he created, including the Newberry Library, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Athletic Association, the Fisheries Building for the 1893 World’s Fair, and the Chicago Federal Building. Cobb filled a huge institutional void with his inventive Romanesque and Gothic buildings—something that the other architect-giants, occupied largely with residential and commercial work, did not do. Edward W. Wolner argues that these constructions and the enterprises they housed—including the first buildings and master plan for the University of Chicago—signaled that the city had come of age, that its leaders were finally pursuing the highest ambitions in the realms of culture and intellect.
Assembling a cast of colorful characters from a free-wheeling age gone by, and including over 140 images of Cobb’s most creative buildings, Henry Ives Cobb’s Chicago is a rare achievement: a dynamic portrait of an architect whose institutional designs decisively changed the city’s identity during its most critical phase of development.
The initial steps which led to the founding of the great educational institutions of the world are known in very few instances. Seldom was any record even made of them, their significance not being recognized when the events occurred. The author of this work, Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed, was intimately connected with the persons and events involved in the founding of the University of Chicago in 1891. His detailed account of that institution's first twenty-five years, originally published in 1916, reveals that the chief participants were aware from the beginning of the magnitude and importance of their enterprise.
As Goodspeed shows, once the main roles were cast—in the persons of John D. Rockefeller and William Rainey Harper—the University of Chicago was irrevocably headed for greatness. Without the support of both of these men it would never have become one of the nation's major universities in a mere quarter century. Although Harper died in 1906, his innovative mind and unflagging energy left an indelible mark on the university during the fifteen years of his presidency. The study provides detailed information on the founding of the university, the procurement of funds, the recruitment of faculty, the construction of buildings, student life, and the problems of continuing growth.
In the most comprehensive account ever written of an American orphanage, an institution about which even its many new advocates and experts know little, Kenneth Cmiel exposes America's changing attitudes toward child welfare.
The book begins with the fascinating history of the Chicago Nursery and Half-Orphan Asylum from 1860 through 1984, when it became a full-time research institute. Founded by a group of wealthy volunteers, the asylum was a Protestant institution for Protestant children—one of dozens around the country designed as places where single parents could leave their children if they were temporarily unable to care for them.
But the asylum, which later became known as Chapin Hall, changed dramatically over the years as it tried to respond to changing policies, priorities, regulations, and theories concerning child welfare. Cmiel offers a vivid portrait of how these changes affected the day-to-day realities of group living. How did the kind of care given to the children change? What did the staff and management hope to accomplish? How did they define "family"? Who were the children who lived in the asylum? What brought them there? What were their needs? How did outside forces change what went on inside Chapin Hall?
This is much more than a richly detailed account of one institution. Cmiel shatters a number of popular myths about orphanages. Few realize that almost all children living in nineteenth-century orphanages had at least one living parent. And the austere living conditions so characteristic of the orphanage were prompted as much by health concerns as by strict Victorian morals.
The inauguration of Robert Maynard Hutchins as the fifth President of the University of Chicago in 1929 coincided with a drastically changed social and economic climate throughout the world. And Hutchins himself opened an era of tumultuous reform and debate within the University. In the midst of the changes Hutchins started and the intense feelings they stirred, William H. McNeill arrived at the University to pursue his education. In Hutchins' University he tells what it was like to come of age as a undergraduate in those heady times.
Hutchins' scathing opposition to the departmentalization of learning and his resounding call for reforms in general education sparked controversy and fueled debate on campus and off. It became a struggle for the heart and soul of higher education—and McNeill, as a student and then as an instructor, was a participant. His account of the university's history is laced with personal reminiscences, encounters with influential fellow scholars such as Richard McKeon, R. S. Crane, and David Daiches, and details drawn from Hutchins' papers and other archives.
McNeill sketches the interplay of personalities with changing circumstances of the Depression, war, and postwar eras. But his central concern is with the institutional life of the University, showing how student behavior, staff and faculty activity and even the Hyde Park neighborhood all revolved around the charismatic figure of Robert Maynard Hutchins—shaped by him and in reaction against him.
Successive transformations of the College, and the tribulations of the ideal of general or liberal education are central to much of the story; but the memoir also explores how the University was affected by such events as Red scares, the remarkably successful Round Table radio broadcasts, the
abolition of big time football, and the inauguration of the nuclear age under the west stands of Stagg Field in 1942.
In short, Hutchins' University sketches an extraordinarily vibrant period for the University of Chicago
and for American higher education. It will revive old controversies among veterans from those times, and may provoke others to reflect anew about the proper role of higher education in American society.
Allison Davis (1902–83), a preeminent black scholar and social science pioneer, is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking investigations into inequality, Jim Crow America, and the cultural biases of intelligence testing. Davis, one of America’s first black anthropologists and the first tenured African American professor at a predominantly white university, produced work that had tangible and lasting effects on public policy, including contributions to Brown v. Board of Education, the federal Head Start program, and school testing practices. Yet Davis remains largely absent from the historical record. For someone who generated such an extensive body of work this marginalization is particularly surprising. But it is also revelatory.
In The Lost Black Scholar, David A. Varel tells Davis’s compelling story, showing how a combination of institutional racism, disciplinary eclecticism, and iconoclastic thinking effectively sidelined him as an intellectual. A close look at Davis’s career sheds light not only on the racial politics of the academy but also the costs of being an innovator outside of the mainstream. Equally important, Varel argues that Davis exemplifies how black scholars led the way in advancing American social thought. Even though he was rarely acknowledged for it, Davis refuted scientific racism and laid bare the environmental roots of human difference more deftly than most of his white peers, by pushing social science in bold new directions. Varel shows how Davis effectively helped to lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement.
The founding articles of the University of Chicago contained what was for the era a shocking declaration: “To provide, impart, and furnish opportunities for all departments of higher education to persons of both sexes on equal terms.” In a time when many still scoffed at educating women, the university was firmly co-ed from the very start. One of its first hires was Marion Talbot. Ready for the adventure of a lifetime, she set her sights on Chicago at a time when the city was still considered all but the Wild West. Talbot eventually became the University of Chicago’s first Dean of Women, influencing a generation of female students.
Originally published in 1936, More than Lore is a unique firsthand account of the early days of the university, capturing the excitement and travails of life on an academic frontier. Talbot shares gossip from the faculty lounge, relays student antics in the dorms, and tells stories from the living rooms of Hyde Park. It’s also a fascinating look at life as an early twentieth-century college woman, with scandals over improper party invitations and underground sororities, petitions calling for more female professors, and campaigns to have students be known as “university women” instead of “college girls.” With Talbot as our guide, we reenter a lost world where simply to be a woman was to be a pioneer and where the foundations of the modern undergrad experience were being established.
To celebrate the intellectual achievement of the University of Chicago on the occasion of its centennial year, Edward Shils invited a group of notable scholars and scientists to reflect upon some of their own teachers and colleagues at the University.
As president of the University of Chicago from 1929 to 1951, Robert Maynard Hutchins came to be one of the most prominent and controversial figures in American higher education. To this day, his vision of what the university should be has given shape to twentieth-century debates over the content and function of education in the United States. In her critical biography, the first to focus on Hutchins' University of Chicago decades, Mary Ann Dzuback gives a full and fascinating account of this complex man—his development, his achievements and failures, and finally, his legacy.
This edition brings Dewey's educational theory into sharp focus, framing his two classic works by frank assessments, past and present, of the practical applications of Dewey's ideas. In addition to a substantial introduction in which Philip W. Jackson explains why more of Dewey's ideas haven't been put into practice, this edition restores a "lost" chapter, dropped from the book by Dewey in 1915.
For this first case study of college football by a social historian, Lester has brought life to the story of a university football program that had an unusual beginning, a glorious middle, and a unique and inglorious conclusion. The nation's first tenured coach and the most creative and entrepreneurial of all college coaches from the 1890s to the 1920s, Amos Alonzo Stagg headed a program marked by creation of the lettermans club and by the dominant use of the forward pass, of jersey numbers, and of the collegiate modern T formation.
Stagg, who had been an all-American football player at Yale University, joined the company of nine former college or seminary presidents and academic notables including John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, and Albert Michelson when he was named associate professor of physical culture and coach of the football team at the University of Chicago in 1892. Within fifteen years the charismatic Stagg had developed a program so powerful that more Americans knew of it than of the physics experiments of Michelson, who in 1907 became the first U.S. citizen to win the Nobel Prize.
The logical commercial trail established by Stagg and University President William Rainey Harper helped change football into a mass entertainment industry on American campuses. This fascinating look at the birth of bigtime college sport shows how today s gridiron glory and scandal were prefigured in Chicago s football industry of the early twentieth century, presided over by the brilliant, combative, saintly, but very human Amos Alonzo Stagg.
One of the most influential institutions of higher learning in the world, the University of Chicago has a powerful and distinct identity, and its name is synonymous with intellectual rigor. With nearly 170,000 alumni living and working in more than 150 countries, its impact is far-reaching and long-lasting.
With The University of Chicago: A History, John W. Boyer, Dean of the College since 1992, presents a deeply researched and comprehensive history of the university. Boyer has mined the archives, exploring the school’s complex and sometimes controversial past to set myth and hearsay apart from fact. The result is a fascinating narrative of a legendary academic community, one that brings to light the nature of its academic culture and curricula, the experience of its students, its engagement with Chicago’s civic community, and the conditions that have enabled the university to survive and sustain itself through decades of change.
Boyer’s extensive research shows that the University of Chicago’s identity is profoundly interwoven with its history, and that history is unique in the annals of American higher education. After a little-known false start in the mid-nineteenth century, it achieved remarkable early successes, yet in the 1950s it faced a collapse of undergraduate enrollment, which proved fiscally debilitating for decades. Throughout, the university retained its fierce commitment to a distinctive, intense academic culture marked by intellectual merit and free debate, allowing it to rise to international acclaim. Today it maintains a strong obligation to serve the larger community through its connections to alumni, to the city of Chicago, and increasingly to its global community.
Published to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the university, this must-have reference will appeal to alumni and anyone interested in the history of higher education of the United States.
Item #176: A fire drill. No, not an exercise in which occupants of a building practice leaving the building safely. A drill which safely emits a bit of fire, the approximate shape and size of a drill bit.
Item #74: Enter a lecture class in street clothes. Receive loud phone call. Shout “I NEED TO GO, THE CITY NEEDS ME!” Remove street clothes to reveal superhero apparel. Run out for the good of the land.
Item #293: Hypnotizing a chicken seems easy, but if the Wikipedia article on the practice is to be believed, debate on the optimal method is heated. Do some trials on a real chicken and submit a report . . . for science of course.
Item #234: A walking, working, people-powered but preferably wind-powered Strandbeest.
Item #188: Fattest cat. Points per pound.
The University of Chicago’s annual Scavenger Hunt (or “Scav”) is one of the most storied college traditions in America. Every year, teams of hundreds of competitors scramble over four days to complete roughly 350 challenges. The tasks range from moments of silliness to 1,000-mile road trips, and they call on participants to fully embrace the absurd. For students it is a rite of passage, and for the surrounding community it is a chance to glimpse the lighter side of a notoriously serious university.
We Made Uranium! shares the stories behind Scav, told by participants and judges from the hunt’s more than thirty-year history. The twenty-three essays range from the shockingly successful (a genuine, if minuscule, nuclear reaction created in a dorm room) to the endearing failures (it’s hard to build a carwash for a train), and all the chicken hypnotisms and permanent tattoos in between. Taken together, they show how a scavenger hunt once meant for blowing off steam before finals has grown into one of the most outrageous annual traditions at any university. The tales told here are absurd, uplifting, hilarious, and thought-provoking—and they are all one hundred percent true.