UChicago Emeriti Summer Update

July 08, 2021

Dear UChicago Emeriti and Friends,

We hope that everyone is enjoying the summer season. In June, the University celebrated its 534th convocation with a variety of virtual and in-person events to recognize and applaud all that the class of 2021 has accomplished. If you missed the live events, a recording of the convocation ceremony and highlights of the events held around campus are available.

We are pleased to share information about numerous resources, events, publications, and updates. More information about campus resumption plans and guidance for the phase 5 transition is available on the UChicago Forward site.

UChicago Health Benefits Awareness

Aetna has launched Aetna Kidney Support, a program for retirees at risk of progressing to kidney failure in three years or less. As part of the program’s roll-out, you may be receiving calls from Nurse Care managers reaching out to engage members of the Aetna medical plans. Aetna will be offering support through digital tools, phone support, face-to-face education, and community resources. Additional information on the Kidney Support program, as well as on other resources, is available on the UChicago Benefits Retiree Medical Plan site. As always, if you have any questions related to the Retiree Medical Plan, please contact the Benefits Office at (855) 822-8901 or email benefits@uchicago.edu.

University Library

The Library has updated its schedule for the rollout of expanded summer services. A few highlights:


  • Bookstacks Access: A limited number of appointments to browse the Regenstein, Crerar, and Eckhart bookstacks are available to faculty, OAAs, and graduate students.

Beginning July 7

  • Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center: Reading room hours will expand for University students, faculty, other academic appointees, and staff.

Beginning July 19

  • Faculty studies will reopen.

Beginning August 2

  • Open browsing and checkouts: Bookstacks in Regenstein and Crerar will be open to all UChicago faculty, OAAs, students and staff. No appointments will be necessary. Books and other materials may be checked out at Regenstein using the self-checkout machines or Checkout UChicago app.
  • HathiTrust ETAS has ended. Please note: the Library’s ongoing commitment to providing electronic resources continues. Even after ETAS access ends, the Library will have links in its catalog to over 3 million electronic titles, including books, journals, databases and other media.

To learn more, please see the recent message from Provost Lee and Library Director and University Librarian Brenda Johnson.

Emeriti News and Publications

Accounting Course Opportunity

There is still time to register for “Accounting Lingo Involved in Current Events,” a Zoom-based course Roman L. Weil, V. Duane Rath Professor of Accounting Emeritus at the Booth School of Business, is offering over six sessions (July 1-August 5, 2021). Attendance for all sessions is not required; missing an earlier session will not affect the ability to benefit from a later session.

The series of free classes will use the principles of accounting to explore current events, news, and controversies. Those who attend will increase their understanding of accounting basics and will come to appreciate the implications of accounting policies and procedures as they apply to business transactions and how regulators, politicians, the press, and the courts view those transactions. Ultimately, Professor Weil promises that “the sessions will make you laugh, entertain you, and teach you things about accounting and corporate finance, which you think you know, but don’t.” The sessions are held on Thursdays 10:00-11:30 a.m. CDT, July 1 through August 5. For more details, please refer to the course description available on Professor Weil’s faculty page; to sign up for the sessions, or ask further questions, please send an email to Roman.Weil@chicagobooth.edu.

Studies in Honor of McGuire Gibson

The Oriental Institute recently published a volume in honor of McGuire Gibson, Professor of Mesopotamian Archaeology Emeritus, who taught at the University from 1973-2018. From Sherds to Landscapes: Studies of the Ancient Near East in Honor of McGuire Gibson (Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 71), edited by Mark Altaweel and Carrie Hritz, is available for download as well as in print. The volume collects seventeen chapters worth of work from students, colleagues, and friends that reflect his interests in landscape archaeology, urbanism, the ancient Mesopotamian languages and history, the archaeology of Iran and Yemen, prehistory, material culture, and more.

Information about other volumes in the Oriental Institute’s Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization series, and many others, is available from the Oriental Institute Publications office.

Monographs, Chapters, and Journal Articles

The University of Chicago Press is publishing two books by emeriti faculty members. Paul Mendes-Flohr, the Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor Emeritus of Modern Jewish History and Thought in the Divinity School and Associate Faculty in the Department of History at the University of Chicago, as well as Professor Emeritus of Jewish thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has authored Cultural Disjunctions: Post-Traditional Jewish Identities, due out this month.

From the Press: “The identity of contemporary Jews is multifaceted, no longer necessarily defined by an observance of the Torah and God’s commandments. Indeed, the Jews of modernity are no longer exclusively Jewish. They are affiliated with a host of complementary and sometimes clashing communities—vocational, professional, political, and cultural—whose interests may not coincide with that of the community of their birth and inherited culture. In Cultural Disjunctions, Paul Mendes-Flohr explores the possibility of a spiritually and intellectually engaged cosmopolitan Jewish identity for our time. Reflecting on the need to participate in the spiritual life of Judaism so that it enables multiple relations beyond its borders and allows one to balance Jewish commitment with a genuine obligation to the universal, Mendes-Flohr lays out what this delicate balance can look like for contemporary Jews, both in Israel and in diasporic communities worldwide. Cultural Disjunctions walks us through the labyrinth of twentieth-century Jewish cultural identities and commitments. Ultimately, Mendes-Flohr calls for Jews to remain “discontent,” not just with themselves but also and especially with the reigning social and political order, and to fight for its betterment.”


Earlier this spring, the Press published Capitalism and the Emergence of Civic Equality in Eighteenth-Century France by William Sewell, the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Political Science and History at the University of Chicago.

From the Press: “There is little doubt that the French Revolution of 1789 changed the course of Western history. But why did the idea of civic equality—a distinctive signature of that revolution—find such fertile ground in France? How might changing economic and social realities have affected political opinions?

William H. Sewell Jr. argues that the flourishing of commercial capitalism in eighteenth-century France introduced a new independence, flexibility, and anonymity to French social life. By entering the interstices of this otherwise rigidly hierarchical society, expanded commodity exchange colored everyday experience in ways that made civic equality thinkable, possible, even desirable, when the crisis of the French Revolution arrived. Sewell ties together masterful analyses of a multitude of interrelated topics: the rise of commerce, the emergence of urban publics, the careers of the philosophes, commercial publishing, patronage, political economy, trade, and state finance. Capitalism and the Emergence of Civic Equality in Eighteenth-Century France offers an original interpretation of one of history’s pivotal moments.”


Richard Strier, Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, has published two studies in the last academic year: “King Lear and Social Security,” Raritan 40.2 (Fall, 2020): 63-72 and “Happiness” in Shakespeare and Emotion, ed. Katharine A. Craik (Cambridge U Press, 2020), 275-287.

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.

Exhibits, Lectures, Podcasts, and Past Events

The Smart Museum of Art

The Smart Museum has organized the city-wide exhibition Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40, which explores the extent to which certain resources—air, land, water, and even culture—can be held in common and marks the 40th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program. Raising questions about inclusion, exclusion, ownership, and rights of access, the exhibition considers art’s vital role in society as a call to vigilance, a way to bear witness, and a potential act of resistance.

Toward Common Cause features the work of 29 artists who have been named MacArthur Fellows and opens across multiple campus and South Side locations this summer, including a group show at the Smart Museum of Art (July 15) as well as individual artist projects at Arts + Public Life (Dawoud Bey, through August 28), Logan Center for the Arts (Carrie Mae Weems, opening July 17), and the DuSable Museum of African American History (Kara Walker, opening June 29).

As the main gallery venue for the Toward Common Cause exhibition, the Smart Museum will present a group show that surveys the impacts of environmental racism and segregation on rural and urban geographies. The selected works—by Mark Bradford, Mel Chin, Nicole Eisenman, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jeffrey Gibson, Toba Khedoori, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Julie Mehretu, Fazal Sheikh, and Xu Bing—address questions of the natural and built environment. Together, they examine the purported neutrality of landscape in the history of art as well as call for a reckoning with the ways in which race and class impact the layout of our cities.

Toward Common Cause opens at the Smart on July 15. Reservations will be made available in the coming weeks. For a complete list of projects and for information on visiting each venue, visit the exhibition website TowardCommonCause.org.

UChicago Global

During the Spring, UChicago Global sponsored a series of virtual lectures and panel discussions focused on pandemics and global health. The series, “Pandemics: Prevention, Treatment, and Global Health”, consisted of four virtual sessions featuring speakers from UChicago Medicine and Wuhan University. Speakers included Renslow Sherer, MD, Professor of Medicine; David Pitrak, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief, Chief, Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health; Moira McNulty, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine; and Stephen Schrantz, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine. Recordings of the panels and discussions are all available.

Seminary Co-Op Bookstore Re-Opening

The Seminary Co-Op re-opened on June 12 for limited browsing. Delivery and curbside pickup remain an option; the current hours of operation, a detailed FAQ, and more information about the re-opening plans is available on the Seminary Co-Op’s website. In addition, the Seminary Co-Op has resumed production of its signature podcast, Open Stacks. You can download and listen to the first two episodes as well as a teaser trailer for the upcoming season.


UChicago also continues to maintain a virtual events site that contains details about upcoming events and recordings of recent lectures.