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CHF to Co-host Humanities Without Walls Career Workshop, 7/20-8/7


The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) and the Humanities Without Walls (HWW) consortium will launch an ambitious three-week workshop for PhD students in the humanities, focused on professional opportunities in the public humanities. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the workshop will run from July 20 to Aug. 7 at the Gratz Center at Fourth Presbyterian Church (126 E Chestnut St). It will introduce 30 PhD students from 15 national universities to Chicago-based public humanities projects and industries, in fields such as journalism, tech, design, and museum curation.

"There is a perception that a PhD in the humanities is only of value if it leads directly to an academic position. That simply isn't true," said CHF Associate Artistic Director Alison Cuddy. "Training in the humanities puts you in a great position to be involved in issues of importance to your community and the broader public. Humanities Without Walls is designed to help students reimagine their post-doctoral life and consider the skills and networks to access a career in the public humanities."

The workshop will feature Chicago leaders across the private, non-profit, and government sectors, including Michael Darling (James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art), Brian Fitzpatrick (Former Google exec and founder/CTO of Tock), Laurel Seely Voloder (Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, US State Department), and Angel Ysaguirre (Executive Director, Illinois Humanities Council).

The Chicago Humanities Festival is also partnering with organizations including the business incubator 1871, Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, Leo Burnett, and IDEO. For a full schedule with a complete list of presenters, visit

The workshop will run full time Monday through Friday, beginning on July 20. In addition to presentations, networking events, and workshops facilitated by the Gratz Center at Fourth Presbyterian Church, the students will also take fieldtrips to partner organizations in the city.

The 2016 Humanities Without Walls consortium pre-doctoral summer workshop is currently open for application. The applicant must be a humanities graduate student working towards, but have not yet received, a PhD degree from one of the 15 consortium institutions. For more information, visit

For 25 years, the Chicago Humanities Festival has celebrated the questions that shape and define us as individuals, communities, and cultures. For the curious at heart, CHF's vibrant year-round programming and robust Fall Festival offer the opportunity to engage with some of the world's most brilliant minds. Collaborating with leading arts, cultural, and educational organizations, it presents scholars, artists and architects, thinkers, theologians, and policy makers that change how we see the world, where we're from, and where we're going. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar, Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director Jonathan Elmer, and Associate Artistic Director Alison Cuddy, CHF is one of Chicago's most vital presenting organizations.

The Chicago Humanities Festival has grown from eight programs in one day at a single venue in 1990, to 160 programs year-round at more than 25 venues in and around Chicago. Over the past 25 years, CHF has put on more than 2,600 programs and performances, and presented more than 3,300 speakers and artists, including: 10 Nobel Prize winners, 70 Pulitzer Prize winners, 52 MacArthur Award recipients, 16 Tony Award winners, 10 Grammy Award winners, and seven Academy Award winners. Visit for more information.

The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) received a $3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish the Humanities Without Walls consortium in 2013. The consortium aims to promote academic collaboration among the humanities centers of 15 major research institutions in the Midwest and beyond. Consortium members include UIUC, Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of Notre Dame, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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