Emeriti Center Newsletter May 2022

May 12, 2022

Dear Emeriti Colleagues,

The weeping cherry tree in the Alumni House garden has blossomed, the tulips are up, and spring has finally returned to campus! 

We hope that many of you will have a chance to stop by the Emeriti Lounge at Alumni House (5555 S. Woodlawn Ave.) soon to enjoy the garden and visit the lounge, which is now open Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. You will need your UChicago ID card to access the building and the lounge located in the Klowden Family Library (Room 106), to your left as you enter the building.

In the coming academic year, the Emeriti Lounge will be the home of the new Emeriti Center! As part of the Office of the Provost, the new center will expand upon the resources and services currently available to emeriti faculty and the emeriti community, including grants to support research and scholarship. Please look for more information on emeriti grants in June.

Additional details on emeriti events and activities throughout May as well as more information from around campus can be found below.  

Emeriti Lounge Activities

Please consider joining us for events planned during the month of May: 

  • ITS Emeriti Tech Bar, Thursday, May 12, 1-2pm: Desktop Support Specialist Gordon Dickson will be on hand in the lounge to answer questions and provide technology support. 
  • Benefits Office Meet and Greet, Wednesday, May 25, 11am-12 pm: UChicago’s Retiree Benefits Specialists Xaviera Espinoza and Estephany Arroyo return to the Lounge again this month and look forward to meeting emeriti in person and to answering your questions. 
  • “Open House Coffee and…”, Thursday, May 26, 3:00-4:30pm: Whether you’re heading over to the Emeriti Lounge after lunch or on your way to an afternoon lecture, join members of the Office of the Provost at the Lounge for coffee and refreshments to talk about future engagement possibilities and evolving plans for the space. 

For more information about the Emeriti Lounge, please visit the emeriti faculty website. 

Gomer Lecture Series

The Robert and Anne Gomer Lectures are returning in May! John Boyer, Dean of the College and Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of History, will deliver the first Gomer Lecture since 2020, "Three Insider Visions of the University: Thorstein Veblen, William Benton, and John Gunther on the Identity of the University of Chicago." 

Join us on Monday, May 16, at 4pm at the Emeriti Lounge at Alumni House (5555 S. Woodlawn Ave.). Reception to follow.  


Photo of William Benton, Robert Maynard Hutchins, and Mortimer Adler (1952); University of Chicago Photographic Archive, [apf1-00579], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Graham School Teaching Opportunities

The Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies is inviting emeriti faculty to apply to teach as Distinguished Scholars in Residence. The new program is designed to draw on emeriti expertise to enhance the course offerings available to MLA students as well as the academic engagement programs available to the Graham School community.

Distinguished Scholars in Residence teach a course in the Graham School’s Master of Liberal Arts program (30 contact hours; taught online) and participate in the intellectual life of the Graham School through speaking at school gatherings, attending lunch and learn meetings with students, and/or serving as an advisor to student projects. Distinguished Scholars in Residence will receive compensation of $15,000, as well as recognition, invitations to special Graham events, and access to all of Graham’s non-travel educational programming.

There are a limited number of residencies available for the 2022-23 academic year. Emeriti faculty interested in becoming a Distinguished Scholar in Residence are invited to apply via this online form by May 30, 2022.

Emeriti Publications and Accolades

James Fernandez, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, has published Tropological Thought and Action: Essays on the Poetics of Imagination (Berghahn, 2022), a collection of essays he edited along with Jamin Pelkey (Associate Professor, Ryerson University) and Marko Živković (Associate Professor, University of Alberta). From the publisher’s description:  

“From twilight in the Himalayas to dream worlds in the Serbian state, this book provides a unique collection of anthropological and cross-cultural inquiry into the power of rhetorical tropes and their relevance to the formation and analysis of social thought and action through a series of ethnographic essays offering in-depth studies of the human imagination at work and play around the world.” 

In addition to the introduction, Fernandez contributed an essay titled, “Down the Garden Path: On Path-ologies of Inquiry and of “Progress” in Understanding,” 161-183.  

Robert von Hallberg, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Comparative Literature and the College, recently co-edited Evaluations of U.S. Poetry since 1950, volume 1: Language, Form, and Music and volume 2: Mind, Nation, and Power, in collaboration with Robert Faggen. Both volumes were published in December 2021 by the University of New Mexico Press.

Richard Strier, Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of English and the College, contributed a chapter to the second volume of Evaluations of U.S. Poetry since 1950, “A Field Guide to Robert Hass,” 119-143.  

Leon Kass, Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought and the College, has published Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus (Yale, 2022), a follow up to The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis, published earlier by UChicago Press in 2003.  

The Library

New University Librarian and Dean 

The Library and the University welcomed new University Librarian and Dean of the Library Torsten Reimer, who began his appointment on April 22. Reimer, who holds a PhD in History from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), most recently was the Head of Content and Research Services and a member of the strategic leadership team at the British Library. Reimer was also the Scholarly Communications Officer at Imperial College London and led open access efforts and research data services.  

Special Collections Exhibits 

In May, a new exhibit that explores the history of medicine through graphic novels, comics, magazines, and a variety of illustrations opens in the Special Collections Research Center’s Exhibit Gallery. Running from May 9 through July 15, [Re]framing Graphic Medicine: Comics and the History of Medicine, is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and André G. Wenzel, Bibliographer, Literatures of Europe & the Americas, UChicago Library. 

New Library Resources 

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) has launched a new resource: the BMRC Archives Portal, housed at the UChicago Library. The portal offers researchers a new way to access and search through collection guides and catalogs at member institutions (Chicago-based museums, libraries, and universities, including the Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Public Library, and the DuSable Museum of African American History). More information about the portal and the BMRC is available on the Library’s news site.  

Benefits Office

The UChicago Benefits Office is interested in learning more about people's experience with the Retiree Medical plans the University offers. The Retiree Medical Satisfaction Survey was sent out by email and regular mail to retirees during the first week of May. The survey can be completed on a computer, tablet, or phone, and is accessed online. If you have not received the survey or have any questions, please contact the benefits specialists at 855.822.8901 or retiree@uchicago.edu.

Earth Month

The University celebrated Earth Month with a variety of events, lectures, and activities all over campus throughout April. Recordings of many have been archived by the event sponsors and are available, including:  

Addressing Climate Change in Illinois,” a panel discussion featuring Pat Devaney, Secretary Treasuer of AFL-CIO Illinois; Christian Mitchell, Deputy Governor of Illinois; Illinois State Senator Sue Rezin; and Delmar Gillus, COO of Elevate Energy; sponsored by the Institute of Politics as part of their “Speaker Series.”  

Coinciding with Earth Month, the University also released its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan (FY 2022 to FY2030) which is available on the Office of Sustainability website. You can learn more about these and other University efforts to address challenges related to sustainability and the environment from a range of research, education, and policy perspectives at UChicago Eco, the hub for information on University resources, events, and support.  

Lectures, Exhibitions, Podcasts, and Events

The official launch of The Susan and Richard Kiphart Center for Global Health and Social Development at the Crown School will take place on Wednesday, May 18, 2:00-6:30pm. The event features a faculty panel titled “Approaches to Strengthening Community Health and Well-Being” and a conversation between Alida Bouris, Associate Professor, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and Ertharin Cousin, Distinguished Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Visiting Scholar, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University and former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Progamme from 2012-2017. The event will take place at Edith Abbot Hall, 969 60th Street; to learn more and register, please visit the event website.   

A new exhibit at the OI featuring the paintings of Joseph Lindon Smith offers a chance to experience the ruins of Persepolis, the capital city of ancient Persia excavated during the OI’s expedition between 1931-1939. Curated by Kiersten Neumann, Joseph Lindon Smith: The Persepolis Paintings draws on works by the artist in the OI’s collections on display for the first time since 1939. The opening lecture, "Documenting Persepolis and the Paintings of Joseph Lindon Smith," with Kiersten Neumann, is now available online as are numerous resources about Persepolis and the OI’s work in Iran, including the OI’s catalog of expedition photographs Persepolis and Ancient Iran (1967). 

Running through June 26, Unsettled Ground: Art and the Environment from the Smart Museum Collection is the product of a collaboration between Katerina Korola, Teaching Fellow, Department of Art History and the College, who curated the exhibit, and the students enrolled in “Picturing the Earth: Art and the Environment in the Modern Era,” which she offered in the Autumn Quarter. The exhibit includes works of art from the Smart Museum’s permanent collection and was organized by the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry. Additional information about the works included in Unsettled Ground as well as student projects related to the exhibit are available on the Unsettled Ground digital site.  


If you have news or information about publications, accolades, or upcoming lectures and events, we would love to hear about them. Please contact us at emeritifaculty@uchicago.edu.