The Karla Scherer Center Seminar

This graduate seminar, sponsored by the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture and led by Eric Slauter, surveys the rich and varied multidisciplinary study of American culture as it is currently practiced at the University of Chicago. Seminar members will read and discuss recent work by faculty specialists from the Humanities, the Social Sciences, the Booth School of Business, the Divinity School, and the Law School at Chicago. Though interested in how different disciplines frame questions and problems, we will be attuned to convergences in themes, approaches, and methods. During the last half of seminar meetings, the authors join students for a focused discussion of their work. Guests will also deliver public lectures before visiting the seminar. (Open to students in PhD, JD, and MA programs; consent required for MA and JD students.)

Guests and readings in Fall 2018 included:

Jane Dailey, Associate Professor of American History, the Law School, and the College; author Building the American Republic: A Narrative History from 1877 (Chicago, 2018)



Amy Lippert, Assistant Professor of U.S. History, and the College; author of Consuming Identities: Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco (OUP, 2018)



Kathleen Belew, Assistant Professor of U.S. History, and the College; author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (Harvard, 2018)



Werner Sollors, Cabot Research Professor of English Literature at Harvard University; author of The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s (Harvard, 2014)



Christopher Taylor, Assistant Professor of English; author of Empire of Neglect (Duke, 2018)




Richard Thaler, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics; recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize of Economics



Laura Weinrib, Professor of Law and Associate member of the Department of History; author of The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise (Harvard, 2016)


Allyson Nadia Field, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and Interim Director of the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture; author of Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity (Duke, 2015)

Eve L. Ewing, Assistant Professor of Social Service Administration and winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Faber First Book Award for Electric Arches (Haymarket Books, 2017); author of Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side (Chicago, 2018)