The 20th and 21st Century Workshop (C20/21), sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies, provides a space for graduate students and faculty members across the humanities to present and discuss work in progress that engages aesthetic objects, their contexts, reception, and theoretical possibilities. This workshop provides a home for questions that emerge and persist throughout the long 20th century about the relation between art and mass culture, the effects of new media technologies, and the relation between culture and politics, among others.

By framing the workshop around the 20th and 21st century broadly, we want to draw on the interdisciplinary experiments that are at work during the period. The historical frame allows us to pose questions across media boundaries, engaging people from English, Music, Art History, and Cinema & Media Studies and other disciplines in a shared discussion about media technologies, aesthetic trends, cultural institutions, reading practices, archival research, and political contexts. One of the goals of these conversations is to bring into relief the different disciplinary ways that we construct knowledge around aesthetic objects at the University of Chicago. By bringing together scholars from different fields around some shared questions we want to highlight the particular lucidity that an approach can bring to bear, but also its blindspots. We want to have an ongoing conversation about method.

In the 2017-18 academic year, C20/21 is co-coordinated by Steven Maye and Peter McDonald and sponsored by Professors Deborah Nelson (English), Patrick Jagoda (English), and Adrienne Brown (English).  We meet on Mondays, from noon-1:20pm, on even-number weeks during academic quarters.

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