Researching Chicago

Since its inception with a grant from the UChicago Women's Board in 2007, Chicago Studies has promoted the scholarly study of the city by UChicago students under the direction of the University's faculty and researchers. The first volume of the Chicago Studies Annual, a prestigious edited journal of undergraduate research about Chicago, came out in 2008 and continues to be published to this day. Chicago Studies' programming now includes promotion of interesting Chicago data sources, advising for students conducting Chicago research, funding for research assistantships focused on Chicago, an undergraduate research prize, an annual Chicago Research Colloquium, and a collection of recent BA/capstone work about the city on Knowledge@UChicago.

The resources that follow are meant to inspire interest in studying the city, and are by no means exhaustive. For more targeted information and one-on-one advising about a Chicago research project, schedule an appointment with Chris Skrable, Chicago Studies' Executive Director.



Finding information can be overwhelming sometimes—there are so many places competing for your attention that it can be hard to figure out where the information you need lies. That's where our collection of resources comes in—we've curated an index of valuable Chicago institutions with data and stories perfect for your rigorous study of the city. From digital collections to brick and mortar institutions, we've identified collections that offer fascinating starting points (and deep supporting content) for your next scholarly project.

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Chicago Studies "Thesis Universe"

Explore our dynamic data visualization of every Chicago-focused BA submitted to Chicago Studies since 2018 on topics ranging from Arts, Language, & Culture to Housing and Homelessness to Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. Wondering what to major in to study your favorite topics, what to write your Bachelor's Thesis on, or who to reach out to for mentorship? This is the perfect place to start!

Our Chicago Studies Thesis Universe was designed to help student and faculty scholars access the staggering network of Chicago-focused academic work going on across the College. Between the nearly 100 theses and 50+ faculty members included, we're confident it can help you discover topics you're passionate about and mentors who share that passion. Coming soon: the universe of Chicago-focused classes!

Chicago Research Colloquium

The annual Chicago Research Colloquium recognizes high-quality, original research that undergraduates produce about Chicago each year. Presenters, chosen by the Chicago Studies Faculty Advisory Board based on submissions and nominations from across the College, share their work and answer questions from the audience during this annual Spring Quarter event.

The Colloquium includes the presentation of the annual Chicago Studies Research Prize, which includes a cash award and automatic acceptance of their BA/capstone for publication in that year's volume of the Chicago Studies Annual. The winners of the 2022 Chicago Studies Research Prize were ENST/PBPL major Ruby Rorty ("Is There a Legal Path to Environmental Justice?  Movement-Building, Environmental Rights, and a Case Study of Chicago’s General Iron Issue") and HIST major D. Owen Carter ("Starting a Revolution at Church: Religion, Race, and Community Organizing in Chicago’s Puerto Rican Community").

Recent Prize-Winning Chicago BA's