Special Events


August 19, 2020 11:00am-4:30pm

Humanities Summit 2020

On line via Zoom

***For Zoom link, follow registration instructions at the bottom of this page***

In the spring and summer of 2020, we’ve witnessed a global pandemic and increased violence–at state and local levels–against people of color.  This has been a time of grief, struggle, and resistance.  At this year’s summit, held on line via Zoom, students and faculty will reflect on this moment of crisis, and think together about the essential role that humanities can take in addressing it.  We will also invite conversation about how the humanities has been transformed by current conditions, and how humanities work can promote new, reparative, and productive collaborations with communities throughout Chicago.

11:00-12:30 Welcome–Mark Canuel (UIC)
Students Speak: Students present Research Projects from the Engaged Humanities Initiative
Moderator, Ellen McClure (UIC)

12:30-1:00 Break

1:00-2:30 The Humanities During a Crisis

How are humanities disciplines responding to times of medical and political crisis?  How are interconnected crises encouraging humanities work to transform itself and respond in creative ways to our present conditions?

Moderator, Laura Hostetler (UIC)
David Stovall (UIC)
Nadine Naber (UIC)
Ralph Cintron (UIC)
Shiben Banerji (School of the Art Institute)

2:30-3:00 Break

3:00-4:30 Neighborhood Engagement and Collaboration Strategy with the Chicago Humanities Festival

The Chicago Humanities Festival is including a range of Chicago area institutions in a Mellon-funded effort to ignite humanities programming and participation in our neighborhoods.  Join us in an information and brain-storming session as we think about how to activate the humanities in the communities where we live and work.

Moderator, Mark Canuel (UIC)
Alison Cuddy (CHF)
Ira Murfin (CHF)
Ellen McClure (UIC)
Enid Wells (Kennedy-King College)
Darby  Johnsen (Kennedy-King College)
Chloe Johnston (Lake Forest College)


***Register in advance for this webinar:***



You are invited to a Zoom webinar. 

When: Aug 19, 2020 11:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada) 

Topic: Humanities Summit 2020: Crisis and Action

Or an H.323/SIP room system:

    H.323: (US West) (US East) (China) (India Mumbai) (India Hyderabad) (EMEA) (Australia) (Hong Kong SAR) (Brazil) (Canada) (Japan)

    Meeting ID: 917 8112 0781

    Passcode: 60858339

    SIP: 91781120781@zoomcrc.com

    Passcode: 60858339

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

October 6, 2020 from 10am - 11:30, via Zoom

Mellon Lecture in Engaged Humanities
Neal A. Lester, Foundation Professor of English, Founding Director of Project Humanities, Arizona State University

“Humanities and Entrepreneurship, or the Entrepreneurial Humanist”

Too often, too many conversations about entrepreneurship happen among those in the business world, and we humanists turn our noses up at the very idea of “corporatizing” our institutions of higher education, especially non-profit colleges and universities.  From his experience as a teacher and administrator,  Dr. Lester challenges humanists to  reimagine the work that we do in the context of expanding our reach, visibility, and impact.  Ultimately, Dr. Lester challenges humanists to imagine new possibilities in a world that too often limits our abilities to think differently and in new ways about how to tell our individual and organizational stories and how to attract new supporters and new resources.

Register in advance for the Mellon Lecture in the Engaged Humanities with Dr. Neal A. Lester webinar: 



Or an H.323/SIP room system:

H.323: (US West) (US East) (China) (India Mumbai) (India Hyderabad) (Amsterdam Netherlands) (Germany) (Australia) (Hong Kong SAR) (Brazil) (Canada) (Japan)

Meeting ID: 953 1885 3960

Passcode: 39076458

SIP: 95318853960@zoomcrc.com

Passcode: 39076458

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


November 12, 2020, 4-6pm, Via Zoom

Fall 2020 Publishing Symposium

Fall Publishing Symposium

Thursday, November 12, 2020, via Zoom

(Please email huminst@uic.edu for invitation link.)


4:00-4:50 PM  “Getting It Written”

Word by word, a blank page becomes a manuscript, a dissertation becomes a book. How does this transformation occur? How do authors find and create time, inspiration, support, and motivation to write? This practical panel will share strategies from experienced authors in the humanities and social sciences, including advice on overcoming the particular challenges of research and writing in a pandemic.

  • Tarini Bedi, associate professor of anthropology, UIC, and author of The Dashing Ladies of Shiv Sena: Political Matronage in Urbanizing India (SUNY Press, 2016) and (Auto)Biographies and (Auto)Mobilities: Roads, Labor, and Kinship in Mumbai’s Taxi Trade (University of Washington Press, forthcoming)
  • Lynn Hudson, associate professor of history, UIC, and author of The Making of ‘Mammy Pleasant’: A Black Entrepreneur in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco (University of Illinois Press, 2003) and West of Jim Crow: The Fight against California’s Color Line (University of Illinois Press, 2020)
  • Ronak K. Kapadia, director of graduate studies & associate professor of gender and women’s studies, UIC, and author of Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War (Duke University Press, 2019)
  • Chair: Mark Canuel is a professor of English and director of the Institute for the Humanities, and the author of 3 monographs, most recently, Justice, Dissent, and the Sublime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012)


4:50-5:10        Break


5:10-6:00 PM  “Getting It Published”

You have completed your dissertation, drafted your article, or prepared your book proposal. How do you identify the right publisher and venue for your work? What is the best way to approach an editor? What questions should you ask, and what questions should you be prepared to answer? Three experienced editors share their top tips for authors, with special focus on how to pitch your project and connect with an editor in a virtual environment.

  • Debbie Gershenowitz, senior acquisitions editor, University of North Carolina Press
    • areas of acquisition: African American history; the history of slavery, abolition, and freedom; histories of gender, women, and sexualities; histories of U.S. foreign relations and America and the World; military history; Latinx history; and legal history
  • Emily Taber, acquisitions editor, MIT Press
    • areas of acquisition: economics, finance, and business
  • Daniel Nasset, editor-in-chief, University of Illinois Press
    • areas of acquisition: communication, film and media, sports, Chicago
  • Chair: Laurie Matheson, Director, University of Illinois Press


Organized by Laurie Matheson, Director, University of Illinois Press