Urban Readers Series: Liesl Olson - "Chicago Renaissance" - Adrienne Brown

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Liesl Olson

A fascinating history of Chicago’s innovative and invaluable contributions to American literature and art from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

The Urban Readers Series presents Liesl Olson on Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis. She will be joined in conversation by Adrienne Brown.

Presented in partnership with UChicago Urban

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested, but not required)

About the book: This remarkable cultural history celebrates the great Midwestern city of Chicago for its centrality to the modernist movement. Author Liesl Olson traces Chicago’s cultural development from the 1893 World’s Fair through mid-century, illuminating how Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the twentieth century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. From Harriet Monroe, Carl Sandburg, and Ernest Hemingway to Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olson’s enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic “renaissance” moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens, and the creative ferment of Bronzeville. Stories of the famous and iconoclastic are interwoven with accounts of lesser-known yet influential figures in Chicago, many of whom were women. Olson argues for the importance of Chicago’s editors, bookstore owners, tastemakers, and ordinary citizens who helped nurture Chicago’s unique culture of artistic experimentation.

About the author: Liesl Olson is the author of Modernism and the Ordinary (Oxford U P, 2009) and Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis (Yale U P, 2017). She has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Newberry Library, where she is Director of Chicago Studies.

About the interlocutor: Adrienne Brown is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago.  She is the author of Race and Real Estate (co-edited with Valerie Smith, Oxford UP) and the forthcoming The Black Skyscraper: Modern Architecture and the Shape of Race and Writing (Johns Hopkins UP, 2017).

About the series: In collaboration with the Seminary Co-op Bookstores, UChicago Urban has launched the Urban Readers Series, an author-centered series of readings and conversations at the Seminary Co-op.  At Urban Readers, people from all over Chicago can hear from the university’s scholars and connect with one another over urban issues, histories and futures.  All books in the series are written by UChicago’s faculty, alumni, and affiliates.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-Op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637