Chris Skrable

Chris Skrable is the inaugural Executive Director of Chicago Studies and Experiential Learning and Assistant Dean of the College.  In that capacity, he works to co-create respectful academic projects and partnerships that help the College learn from and with the communities of the city in which it makes its home.

Originally from Virginia and with an academic background in educational psychology, continental philosophy, and the social scientific study of religion and religious experience, Chris pursues social transformation as one of the core outcomes of education.  He joined the University community in 2013 as Associate Director of the University Community Service Center, serving as its Interim Director in 2018, and became part of the College team in 2019.  A lifelong educator (secondary/post-secondary), he presents and consults nationally on community-engaged teaching and research, high-impact pedagogies, and student and faculty development, and worked in the DC Metro area, the Caribbean, and the US/Mexico border prior to moving to Chicago in 2004.

Chris' background also includes non-profit and advocacy work focused on positive youth development and immigrants' and LGBTQ+ persons' rights.  In Chicago, he has volunteered as a legal advocate and translator for asylum seekers, and served as educational lead and PYD trainer for MAPSCorps from 2013-2020.

Between quarters at UChicago, Chris and his husband Angel live in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico, where they have accidentally become cornerstones of the local canine rescue ecosystem thanks to their inability to say "no" to a cute pup that needs a home (five...five dogs).

Core Specializations

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To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome [their] expression, in which at each instant [the Other] overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. To receive from the Other is beyond the capacity of the I, which [opens] the idea of infinity. The relation with the Other, or conversation, is [therefore] an ethical relation; inasmuch as it is welcomed, this conversation is a teaching. Teaching is not reducible to maieutics; it comes from beyond and brings me more than I contain. ”

Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity (1961)