Workshops and Composition Seminar

The identity of the Chicago graduate environment has historically been associated strongly with its famous 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.


The “EthNoise!” workshop has grown directly out of the Department of Music and is run on a yearly basis by faculty and graduate students in the Ethnomusicology Program.  Other workshops have been founded, sponsored, or routinely attended by faculty and graduate students in the Department in cooperation with other Departments, notably the Early Modern Workshop, the Renaissance Workshop, the Anthropology of Europe Workshop, the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Cultures Workshop, the Medicine, Practice, and Body Workshop, the Middle East History and Theory (MEHAT), the Social Theory Workshop, Western Mediterranean Cultures Workshop, the Theater and Performance Studies Workshop, and the Theory and Practice of South Asia (TAPSA) Workshop.
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20th and 21st Century Workshop

The 20th and 21st Century Workshop (C20/21), sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies, provides a space for graduate students and faculty from any division or department at the University of Chicago to discuss and present works-in-progress that engage with aesthetic objects or social and theoretical questions within any context from the previous century to the present. C20/21 launched in fall 2015 as a merger of the previous Post-1945 and Modernisms Workshops.
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Sound and Society

The Sound and Society Workshop provides an interdisciplinary forum for graduate students, faculty, and other scholars to explore how sound mediates, intensifies, and undermines the relationships between people. As an antidote to visual-centric scholarship, the Sound and Society Workshop aims to foster scholarly conversations about the complex roles played by sound. It can function as a vehicle for pleasure (like an orchestra performing a Beethoven symphony), but it can also signify resistance (like the collective chant of protest), violence (like the oppressive propaganda transmitted over radios of Nazi Germany), or sanctuary (like the noise‐blocking aspirations of headphone culture). Either way, sound denotes power, and as a workshop, we work to understand the manifold ways that music and sound are deeply intertwined with history, people, and society. More information on the workshop, including a schedule and contact information, can be found on its website.
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Composition Seminar

The composition seminar is a weekly session designed for graduate students in composition. It is an open forum for composers to listen to recent music, including their own, and to discuss issues connected with trends, aesthetics, and compositional techniques. The entire composition faculty takes part in these sessions. The composition seminar often hosts well-known visiting composers whose works are performed in the city by various groups or ensembles, as well as performers specializing in new music and contemporary techniques.
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