Imagining our Emergent City

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; a worsening climate crisis; an increasingly unproductive political discourse; and a long-overdue reckoning about systemic racism, a popular narrative about the decline and even death of America’s cities has emerged.  As the quintessential American city, Chicago’s collective future is similarly being called into question, even as these intertwined challenges put the individual futures of its residents at risk. 

The Chicago Futures Project aims to open a space for the creation of informed counter-narratives for our city and ourselves, grounded in dialogue between academic and lived knowledges.  What futures become imaginable for Chicago, in the light of recent scholarship about cities and the (eco)systems that they inhabit?  What futures are being worked toward by our city’s communities and leaders, and why?  And what futures can we envision for ourselves, as we each explore our post-2020 potential in the space of our world-class city?

Chicago Futures is a collaboration between Chicago Studies and the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse.

Spring Lecture Series

Distinguished Lectures

Wednesdays 4:10-5:30 PM CST | All lectures broadcast live on Zoom

Spring Chicago Conversations: The Future Of...

Fridays 12:30-1:30 PM CDT | All sessions broadcast live on Zoom and as Podcasts

What's NEXT for Chicago Studies?

As Dean Boyer announced in his Spring College Welcome, Chicago Studies is eager to continue the conversations begun in Chicago Futures.  During the Spring 2021 Quarter, we invite your proposals for our NEXT major programming series about Chicago, to take place during the 2021-2022 academic year.  What ideas should we be engaging?  Whose voices should we be hearing?  Which "solutions" should we be interrogating as a College community?

Proposals will be accepted through Monday, 5/10 (week 7).  The authors of our favorite ideas will be invited to help develop our new programs, which we'll announce at our 2021 Chicago Studies Research Colloquium during week 9.

Winter Lecture Series

Recordings for all winter lectures are now available