Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Chicago, 1893–1955
MAKING MODERNISM: LITERATURE AND CULTURE IN CHICAGO, 1893–1955: What is Chicago’s contribution to the modernist movement? This NEH Summer Institute for college and university faculty members will explore Chicago’s distinct literary and artistic culture as well as the city’s connections to other modernist metropoles. We will consider the dominant styles and guiding aesthetics that characterize Chicago from the turn of the century through the aftermath of the Second World War, asking how Chicago’s cultural output during these decades is connected more broadly to transatlantic modernism. The institute will begin by studying the persistent cultural resonances of the 1893 World’s Fair, which gave rise to many of the city’s key cultural institutions, clubs, and smaller arts organizations. We will then explore what scholars have called the Chicago literary renaissance of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly the work of writers who challenged the subjects and styles of a genteel literary tradition. We will look at the interracial collaborations supported by the Works Progress Administration in Chicago during the Great Depression, considered the beginning of the Chicago Black Renaissance, a period from the 1930s through the early 1950s which has inspired a rapidly growing body of scholarship. An important goal of the institute is to develop an expansive understanding of literary history that brings together Modernist studies and African American studies.
Each week of the institute will include site visits to Chicago museums, clubs, neighborhoods, landmarks, or archives, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Arts Club, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and the South Side Community Art Center. There also will be an organized trip to the Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature at the Carter G. Woodson Library, the oldest and largest African American Studies repository in the Midwest.
Application deadline: 1 March 2019 (applicants will be notified on 29 March 2019)
Institute: 8 July–3 August 2019
For more information, please visit https://makingmodernism.wordpress.com/.