Humanities Without Walls Summer Workshop Course Description

Week 1 (7/17 - 7/21)

7/17: Welcome

You have spent many years thinking about yourselves and your work in the context of academia. Today is all about shaking that up. Through a series of creative exercises you will begin to understand yourself and the rest of group in ways that extend beyond your academic profiles and scholarly pursuits.

  1. Introduction by CHF staff
  2. “Re-assessing Identity” with Megan Stielstra, storyteller, essayist and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times
  3. Lunch at Gratz
  4. “Re-assessing Work” with Megan Stielstra
  5. Welcome Dinner: Francesca’s on Chestnut

7/18: Intellectual Paths Within and Beyond Academia

Today’s full day field trip focuses on intellectual careers that still have at least one foot in the university system. You will also learn about programming that has a community or a social justice dimension.

  1. All Day Field Trip: University of Chicago, DuSable Museum of African American History, and Stony Island Arts Bank
  2. Hilary Strang, Deputy Director of Master of Arts Program in the Humanities, University of Chicago
  3. Lunch
  4. Community and Social Justice Archiving at DuSable Museum of African American History with Skyla Hearn, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian
  5. Tour of Stony Island Arts Bank/Rebuild Foundation

7/19: Value-driven Careers and Pedagogy

You know how a PhD in the humanities works as a step towards a tenure-track position. But how do you start to think about its value beyond the academy? Today starts with some concrete steps – and resources – for aligning the values that drew you to an academic path with other possible careers. Then, you will hear from two educators who have applied their teaching and critical thinking skills in different contexts.

  1. “Value-driven Career Decision Making” with Mearah Quinn-Brauner, Associate Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development, Northwestern University
  2. Informational Interview Prep with Mearah Quinn-Brauner
  3. Lunch/ Reflective Session #1: “Careers, Concerns, and Baggage”
  4. BARD Prison Initiative with Jessica Neptune, Associate Director of National Programs, and Jennifer Hudson, Program Manager at the Washington University Prison Education Project
  5. The Odyssey Project with Chris Guzaitis, Program Manager and Director

7/20: Humanities in Design

The morning is reserved for informational interviews. The afternoon will be an introduction to the world of design thinking. A team from IDEO will come together with students to explain and explore their process through case studies and a hands-on session.

  1. Informational Interviews
  2. Lunch
  3. Field Trip: IDEO
  4. Humanities in the World #1: “Summer Festivals and the Circular Economy”

7/21: Social Media and Networking

We know that a social media presence is critical to establishing a professional identity, but how do you go about creating a coherent one? A social media strategist offers you a crash course. In the afternoon, learn about the art of networking. Then, practice your networking skills with members of CHF’s Shortlist while learning how beer can be a lens for learning about a city’s history.

  1. Social Media Workshop with Paul Gordon Brown
  2. Lunch
  3. “How to Network” with Claire Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois
  4. Field Trip: Marge’s Still with Liz Garibay, History on Tap

Week 2 (7/24 - 7/28)

7/24: Resumes and Cover Letters

Sally Schmall will give you practical, hands-on guidance for crafting a compelling, persuasive resume and cover letter. This will be an all-day workshop with a break for lunch.

7/25: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and Community Building

Today is about the possibilities of crossing borders to build communities. In the morning, you will collaborate with science and engineering students to work on a community-based problem. In the afternoon, meet a Chicago-based community builder who has found a way to combine his activist- and business-savvy.

  1. All Day Field Trip: Illinois Institute of Technology and Bridgeport
  2. Humanities in the World #2 with Illinois Institute of Technology: TBD
  3. Lunch
  4. Tour with Ed Marszewski, co-founder of Co-Prosperity Sphere, Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar, and Marz Community Brewing

7/26: Humanities in the Public Sector

There are many ways to transition from academia into the public sphere and today you will learn about some of them. Presenters will share how to land a job with the federal government job and what it is like to work in city government. Plus an introduction to the ACLS, a program designed to help you transition out of academia.

  1. Laurel Voloder, Program Analyst, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  2. John Paul Christy, Director of Public Programs, American Council of Learned Societies
  3. Lunch
  4. Field Trip: Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, City of Chicago

7/27: Independent and Project-based Work

The morning is reserved for informational interviews. The afternoon is an introduction to the DIY way of life. Starting a business or working as a freelancer can be a compelling way to structure your career. But there are also risks. Today, you will hear from a number of presenters about how they go it alone while balancing creative integrity with financial security.

  1. Informational Interviews
  2. Freelancer Panel: Britt Julious (freelance writer), Eric Williams (founder of The Silver Room), and Kristen Kaza (founder of No Small Plans)

7/28: Family Day at HWW

A panel of HWW alumni will talk with participants, consortium members and Gene Tobin from the Mellon Foundation about what the workshop meant to them and where they are now. Then HWW alum and students hold a private reflection session about transitioning to the non-academic job market. In the afternoon, hear from a family-owned company that has put social justice at the center of their business. We will finish the day at a reception with the HWW consortium.

  1. Alumni Panel with Consortium: Kei Hotada (HWW ‘15), John Moore (HWW ’16), and Sara B. T. Thiel (HWW ‘16)
  2. Reflection Session with Alumni
  3. Lunch
  4. “Values-driven Careers in the Tech Industry” with Bill Kimmel, Vice President and Elise Zelechowski, Director of Social Impact at ThoughtWorks, Inc.
  5. Reception with HWW Consortium at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap

Week 3 (7/31 - 8/4)

7/31: Creative Sector

The morning is reserved for informational interviews. Then, hear from a digital advertising and branding agency about careers in creative services.

  1. Informational Interviews
  2. “Branding and Marketing for the Cultural Sector” with Nancy Lerner, Chief Strategist, Otherwise Inc.

8/1: Museum Field Trip Day

We will spend the first part of the day in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago exploring the National Museum of Mexican Art and its connection to the community. In the afternoon, an introduction to a new project which attempts to go beyond the walls of the museum and into the communities it is seeking to serve.

  1. Field Trip: National Museum of Mexican Art with Carlos Tortolero, President and Founder and Cesareo Moreno, Director of Visual Arts & Chief Curator
  2. Lunch
  3. Field Trip: Floating Museum with Faheem Majeed, artist, educator, curator, and community facilitator and Sara Ward, Founder and Executive Director of SkyART

8/2: Humanities and the Nonprofit Sector

You will gain valuable insights from people who work in social justice and other kinds of non-profit organizations. In the afternoon, you will visit a world-renowned independent research library in Chicago to learn about the life of an independent scholar.

  1. Kurt Sampsel, Government Services Associate, The Center for Technology and Civic Life
  2. Elizabeth Powley, Executive Director, Heartland Alliance International
  3. Lunch
  4. Field Trip: Newberry Library

8/3: Humanities and Foundations

From grant-making to public programming, foundations play an important role in civic life. You’ll learn more about the mission and day-to-day operations of several foundations in Chicago, and meet humanities PhDs who have transitioned to professional roles in those places. In the afternoon, you will participate in a role-playing exercise.

  1. Foundations Panel: Stephanie Platz (MacArthur Foundation), Don Cooke (McCormick Foundation), Christy Uchida (Brinson Foundation)
  2. Lunch
  3. Field Trip: Joyce Foundation
  4. Humanities in the World #3: Arts Led Community Development with Tracie D. Hall, Director of Culture Program, Joyce Foundation

8/4: Wrap Up and Reflection

Our final day of the seminar! You’ll reflect on your experience and forge your next steps toward innovative paths within and beyond academia.

  1. “Going Public” with Michele Weldon, The Op-Ed Project
  2. Lunch
  3. Feedback Session and Survey
  4. Headshots
  5. Reflective Session: “What’s Next?”
  6. Farewell Dinner: Tanta

Download schedules from past workshops