Workshops & Seminars

The identity of the UChicago graduate environment has historically been associated strongly with its renowned research workshops in the humanities and social sciences. Sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies, the workshops aim to bring together faculty and graduate students both from the University of Chicago and the wider Chicago area to create scholarly dialogue and foster the exchange of ideas. Approximately seventy workshops are currently taking place on campus, ranging across a wide spectrum of interests and disciplines, many with interdisciplinary aims, including performance studies, cultural studies, political science, Latin American, American and European history, and art and politics of East Asia.


Sponsored by the Department of Music and supported by the University of Chicago Council on Advanced Studies, EthNoise! is an interdisciplinary forum for graduate students, faculty, and guests to share and discuss ongoing research projects. Our mission is to foster dialogue about recent research at the intersection of music, language, and culture. While music is the thread uniting all of the workshop’s presentations, our speakers come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including ethno/musicology, history, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and more. Our participants also draw on a variety of methodological approaches, including ethnography and archival analysis. The workshop is open to the public and meets on Thursdays from 5:00 PM–6:30 PM online, unless announced otherwise.

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20th and 21st Century Workshop

The 20th and 21st Century Workshop (C20/21) provides a space for graduate students and faculty members across the humanities to present and discuss work in progress that engages aesthetic and cultural objects produced in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as their associated contexts, reception, and theoretical problems. While the workshop is open to a variety of disciplinary approaches across the humanities, it is primarily organized around conceptual questions specific to this historical period, including: modernism and its strengths/weaknesses/alternatives; attempts at and troubles with interpreting the contemporary; colonialism and its afterlives; histories of the disciplines and other knowledge formations; and the changing position of the arts in relation to mass culture. The workshop meets on alternate Mondays from 3:00 PM–4:20 PM on Zoom.

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Music & Sound Workshop

Established in 2011, the Music & Sound Workshop (formerly the Sound and Society Workshop) began as a place to forge conversations between scholars about the histories, structures, and cultures of various musical practices in the West. Since then, the scope of music studies has increased exponentially, not only reaching to understand the new venues, politics, and economies of music in the 21st century but reimagining the very definitions of music and redefining its relationships to “sound,” “noise,” and “silence.” The Music & Sound Workshop is a hub for students and faculty who analyze sound—in its many discursive guises—across the Humanities and Social Sciences at UChicago. Our workshop examines sound’s multiple facets, which include material, music-historical, music-analytical, technological, filmic, environmental, perceptual, and social perspectives. Following Jonathan Sterne, members of a diverse array of fields—from anthropology to animal studies—can be “sound students,” and thus we embrace unique and varied presentation formats, objects of study, and approaches. The Music & Sound Workshop is generously supported by the University of Chicago Center for Advanced Study.

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Composition Seminar

Student and faculty composers meet weekly for composition seminars to discuss issues related to musical materials, imagination, design, aesthetics, and compositional techniques with leaders in the field from across the globe.

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