Website Wednesday

Website Wednesday is a regular feature in which we highlight one (or a couple) of sites from the Billions floating around the Intertoobz that just might help you with your Herculean task of educating inquiring minds. Any and all suggestions for future editions are welcome.

The Chicago Humanities Festival is one of the absolute best things going in Chicago. Tons of amazing events for cheap every November. They just announced their theme for this coming fall–“The Body.” An email they sent out described it like this:

Our previous festivals have showcased great minds, polished performers, and powerful ideas. The Body will continue this tradition. As we see it, the subject of the body lends itself to a fascinating range of topics: from intellectual history to health-care policy; from mummies to robots; abortion to aging; steroids to Scripture; tattoos to torture. Choreographers, economists, philosophers, and neuroscientists will weigh in on the body politic, the body as machine, the body and soul. Poets, psychologists, historians, and musicians will take up the topics of birth and death, health and disease, sex and gender, and the marvel of the five senses.

They go on to give some of the plans in the making:

We’re still finalizing our Festival line-up, but here’s a sneak peek:

  • Frank Shorter, last American gold medalist in the marathon, on his work directing international efforts against drug use in sports

  • Lady Antonia Fraser on Must You Go?, her book about life with playwright Harold Pinter

  • Writer and Colby College professor Jennifer Finney Boylan on her experience and personal journey as a transgendered person

  • Poet, writer, and undertaker Thomas Lynch reading and discussing his work, in a program presented in partnership with The Poetry Foundation

  • A panel of writer-MDs considers how practicing medicine gives them a wealth of material for their own writing. Panelists include Chris Adrian, an emergency room pediatrician who holds a masters of divinity; Rafael Campo, who heads up the medical humanities program at Harvard University, and teaches in the Lesley University Creative Writing MFA Program; and Perri Klass, a professor of journalism and pediatrics at New York University.

Why am I telling you all of this in this post? Have I lost my way? No, I am telling you all of this to highlight how fantastic and awesome the offerings on the Chicago Humanities Festival Website are. For example, you might decide to click on Philosophy or Literature or Architecture, and when you do, you’ll be shown a menu of options including some audio (or video) files of past events, like when Toni Morrison was here talking about her book, Love. (Man, I could listen to her reading the phone book for hours.) As if that weren’t enough, though, under that are a ton of resources: a link to an article on her Nobel lecture, links to writing by her and about her, as well as stuff on other authors (like an interview with Junot Diaz), and more.

But it’s not just literature and arts people who will find this useful in the classroom. You’ll find people lecturing on science and math and all sorts of things. It is well worth investigating, and, when November rolls around, remember to tell your students about it. All the events are free for them. Oh, and for educators, too…

5 thoughts on “Website Wednesday

  1. Thanks so much for sharing info about the Chicago Humanities Festival. Our goal is to have teachers and students use our website exactly as you mention. We’ve got a number of new classroom materials we’ll be posting throughout the summer, so keep coming back for more great resources!

    Thanks again!
    Gabriela Jirasek
    Marketing and New Media Associate
    Chicago Humanities Festival

  2. Frank Shorter (1972) wasn’t the last American gold medalist in the Olympic marathon….Joan Benoit Samuelson (1984) was.

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