As you begin making a provisional schedule of all the amazing and stimulating experiences you’re going to start racking up come this fall (provisional if for no other reason than that you can’t register for classes until the middle of your first two weeks with us – this bears repeating – you cannot register for classes until Monday, 21 September), here’s one more thing to check out. The University of Chicago’s Council on Advanced Studies offers a cornucopia of graduate workshops that are a wonder and a joy to sit in on. I, personally, attended – and loved – the New Media Workshop until my class schedule got in the way. These workshops tend to meet once or twice a month and provide venues for longstanding conversations in their respective fields of study, here at the U of C. Often new papers are presented here, or dissertation chapters informally critiqued. The atmosphere is heady and intimidating to say the least; however, the opportunity to sit in on some of these discussions is unique and quite a privilege. You can find a list of all the Humanities workshops here. Clicking on each workshop will set you up with a resource to learn more about it and to join that group’s listserve or provide information for finding their blog. These resources are essential for the acquisition of papers, chapters and other materials in advance of the workshop sessions, and often disseminate notifications of events/exhibitions/lectures/etc. that should interest the professed members of these particular discourse communities.
And while we’re on the subject of listserves and the like: there are several other groups that you may or may not want to sign up for. The Divinity School runs an email service that clues its members in on upcoming events and lectures. You can sign up for that by clicking on the link at the top of the page here. Better yet, you can scan through all the lists that are administered by the University here. Many of these are utilitarian others are just plain awesome – say you want to keep abreast of the various nefarious activities afoot around the U of C, you can sign up to receive safety alerts from the UChicago Police; say you wanted to learn about exciting role-playing game opportunities, you can sign up to receive role-playing alerts from the Run Amok Role-playing Club. If you’ve got nothing to do for an afternoon, I proffer this list of lists for your entertainment and edification. Do remember to sign in using your CNetID, otherwise you’ll miss most of them though.