For more than 40 years, the periodical set, the Chicagoan, rested quietly in the stacks of the University of Chicago Library. Published between 1926 and 1935, the journal was rarely mentioned in scholarly or popular histories of the city. Stumbling across it in the stacks, Harris was entranced by its glorious color covers, cartoons, caricatures, and fascinating articles and reviews—a discovery that led to Harris editing and publishing an annotated anthology of the Chicagoan in 2008. The Chicagoan captures Jazz Age Chicago—when the city enjoyed some of its gaudiest, most violent, and corrupt year—but the journal sought to combat this image by making claims for the city as urbane and cultivated, deserving national respect. In this talk, Harris will use images to bring alive the magazine and explore urban ambition and rivalry in the early 20th century, an era of expansion and self-confidence.
A cultural historian, Neil Harris was on the University of Chicago faculty for almost 40 years, retiring in 2008 as the Preston and Sterling Morton professor emeritus in the Departments of History and Art History and the Committee on Geographical Studies. Harris has written extensively on a variety of topics—American art, architecture, entertainment, technology and world's fairs, and the development of museums. His latest book, Cultural Capital: J. Carter Brown, the National Gallery of Art, and the Reinvention of American Museums is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in fall 2013.
$20/person general admission
$10/recent graduate (College graduates of the past 10 years and professional school graduates of the past 5 years.)
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6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Registration and reception
7:00 PM-8:30 PM: Presentation and discussion