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Special Events Archive (2015-2016)


Ann L. Stoler,
Willy Brandt Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and History,
The New School for Social Research in New York CityUIC History Department Osofsky Lecture
Co-sponsored by the Dept. of Anthropology and the UIC Institute for thee HumanitiesDate(s): Wednesday, 4/27 2:00 PM to Wednesday, 4/27 4:00 PM

Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities
Address: 701 South Morgan
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Phone: (312) 996-6352


Re-Writing Science: Communicating Science in the 21st Century is a professional development conference for science writers and an opportunity for UIC students to explore career options and network with professionals in the field. Attendees will learn about what science writing is, how to use statistics in their writing and what types of innovations in the field can lead to exciting careers for those in both the sciences and the liberal arts.

Session format: Panel discussion. Each panelist will be given approximately seven minutes to make opening statements about their profession and how they communicate science to the public. This will be followed by a short question and answer period by a moderator.

Full Itinerary Outline – Friday April 15

8:30 – 8:50 a.m.          Registration

9:00 – 9:50 a.m.          Session 1

Track 1                           Panel Discussion

Title:                                 SciComm 101

Science Writing 101 is an introduction to who, what, where, how and why of science writing exists as an ever-developing profession. The goal is to expose UIC students to the breadth, challenges and rewards of communicating science to the public.


  • Jennifer Rupert, Moderator
  • Katherine Parr, PhD, Lecturer, UIC Department of English
  • Bill Burton, PhD, Senior Director of Public Affairs, UIC
  • Bridget Kuehn, Freelance Science Writer
  • Joe Harmon, Business & Technical Communications – Argonne

9:50 to 10:00              Break

10:00 – 10:50              Session 2

Track 2                        Panel Discussion

Title:                             The Business of Writing

How do I become a writer? Better, yet, how do I make a living as a writer? In The Business of Writing panelists talk about writing as a profession. Attendees will learn about how internships work, working in a writer’s environment and career options in the Chicago area.


  • Linda Landis Andrews, Moderator
  • Shegan Campbell, Co-Founder Kids Science Labs
  • Margena Christian, PhD, Visiting UIC Lecturer
  • Meta Brown – Data Mining for Dummies

11:50 to 12:00            Break

11:00 – 11:50              Session 3

Track 3                       Panel Discussion

Title:                               Narrating Environmental Justice

How do different professions use scientific research while advocating for environmental issues? Narrating Environmental Justice explores environmental advocacy through the lens of a non-profit and early career researcher and examines how each transforms research into language for specific audiences.
  • Antonio Lopez, PhD, Executive Director – LVEJO
  • Kellen Marshall, Pre-doctoral Fellow, UIC Inst. for Envir. Science & Policy


12:00 – 1:00                Lunch

Date(s): Friday, 4/15 9:00 AM to Friday, 4/15 1:00 PM

Campus Address: Lower level Stevenson Hall

Address: 701 S. Morgan Street

Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Contact: Linda Vavra



Phone: (312) 996 – 6352


Prof. Dr. Anton Koch
University of Heidelberg,
Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago
Date(s): Friday, 2/19 4:30 PM to Friday, 2/19 7:00 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities
Address: 701 S. Morgan Street
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Sally Sedgwick
Phone: (312) 996-6352

German Philosophy Consortium.For additional information please contact Sally Sedgwick


Before tar sands reach consumers as usable energy, they undergo extensive refining. Refineries like the BP Whiting Indiana plant or the Marathon Detroit plant are long-standing institutions that have recently been retrofitted to accommodate the shift of energy source.  They sit directly on Great Lakes waterfronts. Despite a  lawsuit by The Natural Resources  Defense Council (NRDC) and the Legal Environmental Aid Foundation (LEAF) of Indiana with help from the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) against the BP Refinery and a United Steelworkers (USWA) strike in winter 2015, few residents or consumers of Tar Sands energy know how refineries operate or relate to their host communities.  Since the host communities tend to be disproportionately poor and underserved, questions of causality immediately arise. Do refineries make communities poor or do they develop largely in poor communities? How do refineries impact the economic and political status of their neighbors and how can the neighbors’ concerns be heard by energy executives or, for that matter, by the consumers of oil?  Tar Sands come with their own byproduct, Pet Coke, a kind of coal produced by refining oil sands.  Pet Coke sits in exposed piles on the southeast side of Chicago and in Detroit, generating dust with deleterious health effects on those who breathe it.

Noah Hall from Wayne State University will be presenting the following:

The Great Lakes region has a complex and inconsistent approach to oil production, from drilling to transport to refinement. The region has significant oil resources that would be economically and technologically accessible through drilling in the Great Lakes, but with strong public opposition to drilling, it is mostly prohibited by both American states and Canadian provinces and the respective federal governments. The region is also a central part of the North American pipeline system for distribution and transport. After the Enbridge pipeline rupture decimated the Kalamazoo River in 2010, public attention has focused on the risk of pipeline failures, and existing and new pipeline proposals are under increased scrutiny and facing more legal opposition. Finally, the region is a hub for oil refining, building more capacity to process tar sands crude. While the law reflects public opposition to drilling, and legal fights over pipeline transport are building with public concern, the public and legal system have been slower to respond to the health risks of refining. Recent fights over pet coke storage in Detroit give some reason for hope, but the as the costs are disproportionately borne by minority and poor communities, environmental justice has not been achieved. The Great Lakes region must protect all citizens from the harms of oil production, at every stage, for the system to be both effective and just.

Thomas Frank from the Southeast Environmental Task Force will be presenting the following:

“A Toxic Tour”- For more than a century the southern shores of Lake Michigan have been home to one of the largest and oldest industrial regions on the planet – The Calumet Region. The existing conditions of the region lay bare the captured abuse of the fossil fuel age. And now in the late stages of the fossil fuel era, BP has built its largest refinery to date and the largest Tar Sands in the country. The BP Tar Sands refinery sits on the shores of the world’s largest freshwater resource, within the 4th most biodiverse region on the North American Continent and in what has become a densely populated urban community

Other presenters include:

Dr. Cecilia Martinez,
Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

Date(s): Tuesday, 4/19 3:00 PM to Tuesday, 4/19 5:00 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities
Address: 701 S. Morgan Street
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Phone: (312) 996-6352


Lina Britto and Forrest Hylton
Northwestern UniversityAfter 60 years of war, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have announced a peace agreement, which
is slated to be signed in March 2016. Professors Hylton and Britto will
offer an historical overview on war and peace in the country with the
oldest armed conflict in the Americas. They argue that in spite of its
exceptionalism, the Colombian case fits neatly within the Latin American
Cold War. By offering a genealogy of counter-insurgency and
counter-narcotics efforts, Hylton and Britto trace the evolution of
Colombia’s war, demonstrating how anti-communism provided an ideological
glue that helped a broad rightwing coalition to cohere and triumph in
the building of a new kind of state that responded with extreme violence
and terror to revolutionary armed insurgency and radical nationalist
reformism.Forrest Hylton, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History and
Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Northwestern University. His work
focuses on indigenous sovereignty and politics in relation to
commodities and the formation of states and empires in republican
Bolivia and colonial New Granada (Colombia). He has published two books,
one with co-author Sinclair Thompson, and has contributed to a third one
in Spanish. He is currently revising a manuscript entitled
“Reverberations of Insurgency: Indian Communities, the Federal War of
1899, and the Regeneration of Bolivia,” and is working on his second
book project tentatively entitled “Atlantic Homelands: Empire, War, and
Authority in the Guajira and the Darién (New Granada), 1720-1831. :He
has taught at New York University, Harvard University, and the
Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá). At Northwestern, he teaches on
U.S.-Latin American relations; culture and revolution in Latin America;
the social and cultural history of tropical commodities; and Native
historicities in the Americas.

Lina Britto, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Northwestern
University. Her work situates the emergence and consolidation of illegal
drug smuggling networks in Colombia in the context of a growing
articulation between the country and the United States during the Cold
War. She was awarded a Martin Diskin Dissertation Award honorable
mention from the Latin American Studies Association in 2014, and a
postdoctoral fellowship from the Harvard Academy for International and
Area Studies, Harvard University. She is currently preparing a book
manuscript on Colombia’s first illegal drugs boom entitled “Trafficker’s
Paradise: Marijuana, Region and Nation in Colombia.” Her courses at
Northwestern focus on the hemispheric history of the drug trade and the
war on drugs; popular music and nation-state formation in Latin America
and the Hispanic Caribbean; oral history and terror in Cold War Latin
America; and the history of the present in the region.

Date(s): Tuesday, 3/15 4:00 PM to Tuesday, 3/15 5:00 PM
Address: 701 S. Morgan
Location: Chicago
Contact: Linda Vavra
Phone: (312) 996-6352


Branching from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the 31st Street Collateral Channel is a highly  contaminated waterway located next to the new La Villita Park.  Due to decades of industrial dumping and periodic releases from a Combined Sewage Overflow, the channel currently releases methane and an awful odor into the air breathed by nearby residents.  After fighting for years to build La Villita Park and to close down the Crawford coal plant in their community, Little Village community members are now working with LVEJO to transform another major environmental injustice in the neighborhood.

Cosponsors:  Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Humanities Without Walls, UIC Freshwater Lab, UIC Water After Border, Institute for the Humanities

Date(s): Tuesday, 11/10 3:30 PM to Tuesday, 11/10 5:00 PM
Campus Address: Latino Cultural Center
Address: 803 S. Morgan
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Phone: (312) 996-6352
Antonio R. Lopez, Executive Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, will discuss the contaminated water way near La Villita Park.


Date(s): Monday, 10/26 5:30 AM to Monday, 10/26 7:00 AM

Address: 701 S Morgan St

Location: Chicago


October 26, 2015

3:30-5 PM Institute for the Humanities

Shout Out for the Humanities

Creativity Workshop and Information Session for
“Shout it Out for the Humanities” Student Contests

Why do you love the humanities?
Let us know by entering the Shout Out for the Humanities contests!

Come to our information session and creativity workshop to learn about the UIC on-campus and national contests, and to get inspired!

“Over $1,000 in prize money for the best submissions at the UIC campus level!”
Award sponsors:  Office of Undergraduate Research / Gender & Women’s Studies Department / Honors College

3:30-4:00 Informational overview about the humanities and the contests

4:00-5:00 Creativity workshop: explore our creativity stations to get inspired

Students should send submissions to If a file is too large, please send email to Directions for uploading the file to Box will be provided.


Professor Paul Cartledge
G. Leventis Chair, University of Cambridge.
Date(s): Monday, 11/2 5:00 PM to Monday, 11/2 6:30 PM
Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities
Address: 702 S. Morgan
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Linda Vavra
Phone: (312) 996-6352

Professor Paul Cartledge, G. Leventis Chair, University of Cambridge

“A Tarnished Dawn? Ancient Sparta’s Perception Today and Tomorrow”

Sponsored by Classics and Mediterranean Studies with the generous support of Anita and George Skarpathiotis


Date(s): Monday, 11/2 2:00 PM to Monday, 11/2 4:00 PM

Campus Address: Institute for the Humanities

Address: 701 S. Morgan

Location: Chicago, IL

Contact: Linda Vavra



Phone: (312) 996-6352

Dr. Gregor Gysi, from 2005-2015 chairman of the parliamentary group of DIE LINKE in the German Bundestag and one of the leading politicians of the European Left

“Germany vs Greece? The Battle over Europe’s Future”
Presentation to be delivered in German with translation
Panel Moderator:  Leon Fink, UIC History
Imke Meyer, UIC Germanic Studies
Paris Papamichos Chronakis, UIC Classics and Mediterranean Studies
John Abbott, UIC History

Sponsored by Classics and Mediterranean Studies, Germanic Studies, History, School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics, and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation


Julian Agyeman, Ph.D. FRSA

Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning; Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University

Date(s): Thursday, 10/29 3:00 PM to Thursday, 10/29 4:00 PM

Campus Address: Student Center East Cardinal Room (329)

Address: 750 S Halsted Street

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Contact: Linda Vavra



Phone: (312) 996-6352

Official Event Poster

Event co-sponsored by:

Social Justice Initiative
Office of the Chancellor
The Institute for Environmental Science and Policy (IESP)
Institute for the Humanities
School of Public Health
Gender and Women’s Studies Program
Office of Diversity
Department of Communication
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)
Latin American and Latino Studies Program
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs


Sayed Kashua and Todd Hasak-Lowy: "Israel:  A View from Outside" Heading link

Please join us for a conversation with authors Sayed Kashua and Todd Hasak-Lowy addressing “Israel:  A View from Outside”.  Sayed Kashua is an Arab Israeli writer.  He is the author of three novels, a satirical sitcom (Avoda Aravit – “Arab labor”) for Israel’s Channel 2, and a regular column for Ha’aretz.  His columns about leaving Israel, during the anti-Arab riots this past summer, including Why Sayed Kashua is Leaving Jerusalem and Never Coming Back and Why I Have to Leave Israel, were widely read.

Todd Hasak-Lowy is a scholar and translator of Israeli literature, and the author of the novels Captives and 33 Minutes.  His young adult novel, “Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You,” was published in spring 2015.

A kosher reception will follow

Registration is encouraged for this free program at or 312-996-6352.

Official Event Poster Event co-sponsored by: Social Justice Initiative Office of the Chancellor The Institute for Environmental Science and Policy (IESP) Institute for the Humanities School of Public Health Gender and Women’s Studies Program Office of Diversity Department of Communication College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Latin American and Latino Studies Program College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs

Date(s): Wednesday, 9/2 4:00 PM to Wednesday, 9/2 6:00 PM

Campus Address: Lower Level / Stevenson Hall

Address: 701 Sout Morgan Street

Location: Chicago, IL

Contact: Linda Vavra



Phone: (312) 996-6352