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 Spring 2017 included:

Sian Beilock, Executive Vice Provost and Stella M. Rowley Professor, Department of Psychology, Committee on Education, and the College; author of How the Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel (2015)


Philip V. Bohlman, Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in Jewish History, Department of Music and the Humanities in the College; editor of Jazz Worlds/World Jazz (2016)


Mark Philip Bradley, Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor of International History and the College and Faculty Director of the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights; author of The World Reimagined: American and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (2016)


Clark Gilpin, Margaret E. Burton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Divinity School; author of Religion Around Emily Dickinson (2014)


Deborah Nelson, Associate Professor of English; author of Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil (2017)


Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law; author of Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century (2017)


Amir Sufi, Bruce Lindsay Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Booth School of Business; author of House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It from Happening Again (2014)


Vu Tran, Assistant Professor of Practice in the Arts; author of Dragonfish: A Novel (2015)