About Us

Building respectful academic collaborations between our College and our city

Chicago Studies makes it easier for the College to forge genuine bonds with our amazing city. We offer O-Week and Welcome Week programming, sponsor classes and city-based research initiatives, and share resources to help you be more than a visitor while you're here, so you can better understand (and have a positive impact on) your new home.

As part of the Office of Research and Teaching Innovation in the College Dean's Office, and working with academic programs across the College curriculum, we aim to:

  • Encourage the College to respectfully explore and learn with Chicago's diverse communities, especially those that have historically been marginalized, objectified, or problematized by academic discourse;
  • Provoke critical thinking about Chicago and our University's relationship with it;
  • Sponsor creative curricular and para-curricular experiences in, with, and about Chicago, especially those that emphasize first-person narratives and the voices of Chicagoans of all walks of life;
  • Curate and promote authentic, reciprocally-beneficial partnerships with organizations, institutions, businesses, community groups, and residents across Chicagoland;
  • Resource and elevate Chicago-focused undergraduate research within the College, especially at the BA thesis/capstone level, and with an emphasis on participatory/collaborative approaches; and 
  • Recognize and celebrate students who have meaningfully integrated various forms of Chicago engagement into their academic careers.

Although we are a small team, we multiply the impacts of our work by cooperating with a wide range of partners (both on campus and across the city) and by engaging the direct support of student, faculty, and community advisory groups.  These inform the themes and methods of our programming and classes, and help hold us accountable to our core principles of epistemic justice, reciprocally-beneficial engagement, and high-impact teaching and learning.