Build the Next Chicago Studies Quarter!

Interested in proposing a future Chicago Studies Quarter? We would love to hear from you.

Please fill out the form below to propose a theme for a future Chicago Studies Quarter, or specific courses to be integrated into a future Quarter. Examples of previous Chicago Studies Quarter themes and courses can be found below. The Chicago Studies Faculty Director and Advisory Group will assist instructors and departments in the development and integration of proposed Quarters and courses.

Questions about teaching as part of the Chicago Studies Quarter? Contact Dr. Sabina Shaikh (, Faculty Director, for more information.


The Calumet region, extending from Chicago’s south side along Lake Michigan into Indiana and Michigan, was once a vast network of wetlands, lakes, prairies, and dunes. This region lies at the intersection of pre-contact distributions of northern boreal forest, prairie, savanna, and dune. While the area saw significant use prior to European colonization, it was only in the last 150 years that human land use — especially heavy industry and urban development — began to radically reshape the region. In spite of this, the Calumet is still home to significant levels of biodiversity. Students in the Calumet Quarter are part of an innovative example of cooperative conservation, the 70+ member Calumet Initiative, which brings together scientists, planners, community groups, local residents, and business with the goal of revitalizing both the local economy and the ecological riches of the Calumet region. This sequence was designed to bridge theory and practice in environmental studies.

CSQ 2018 Courses

ENST 27150 -- Urban Design with Nature: Assessing Social and Natural Realms in the Calumet Region (Sabina Shaikh, Environmental Economics/Policy and Emily Talen, Urban Studies)
ENST 27221 -- Sustainable Urbanism (Doug Farr, Architecture)
ENST 27325 -- Urban Ecology in the Calumet Region (Alison Anastasio, Ecology)


This sequence explored the dialectics of place, memory, and representation with a focus on the lived-in experiences of Chicago residents, especially in public housing as designed and managed by the Chicago Housing Authority during the 20th Century.

CSQ 2017 Courses

ENGL 28816 -- Scenes of Chicago Housing (Adrienne Brown, Literature)
HIST 27708 -- Life Stories, Sense of Place, & Active Aging in Chicago (Adam Green, History)
HIST 20330 -- Writing Chicago: Practicing Narrative History & Biography (Nora Titone, Dramaturgy & Creative Writing)


This sequence considered the geographic, cultural, and movement-related factors that led to Chicago's establishment, and subsequent reinventions, as a world-class city.

CSQ 2016 Courses

GEOG 23700 -- Placing Chicago: Geographical Perspectives on a World Metropolis (Michael Conzen, Geography)
HIST 27707 -- Making Chicago: Chapters in the City's History (Kathleen Conzen, History)
PBPL 28050 -- Remaking Chicago: The City that Works on Social Change (Chad Broughton, Public Policy)

Propose a Theme or a Course for a Future Quarter

1 Start 2 Complete