Chicago

Paul D’Amato at the Stephen Daiter Gallery

July 9, 2007
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Paul D’Amato at the Stephen Daiter Gallery

Photographs by Paul D’Amato are currently on exhibit at the Stephen Daiter Gallery. The show includes some of the work that we published in Barrio: Photographs from Chicago’s Pilsen and Little Village, as well as photographs from a more recent project on Lake Street. In Barrio, D’Amato made the narratives of daily life in Pilsen and Little Village manifest in photographs of children at play, teenagers out in the night, graffiti, families in their homes, gangs in the alleys, weddings, and more. His photos are beautifully composed and startling—visual narratives that are surreal and dreamlike, haunting and mythic. The Stephen Daiter Gallery is at 311 West Superior Street in Chicago. The showing continues through July 28. Also, visit Paul D’Amato’s website. . . .

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Review: Pattillo, Black on the Block

June 26, 2007
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Review: Pattillo, Black on the Block

The Chicago Reader recently ran an insightful analysis of Mary Pattillo’s new book, Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City. Reviewer Harold Henderson reflects on how Pattillo’s participant-observer study of Chicago’s North Kenwood—Oakland neighborhood reveals a tangled network of competing interests, even within the community itself, that if left unresolved make any predictions as to the future of the neighborhood and its inhabitants uncertain at best. Henderson writes: Mayor Daley’s brave new Chicago doesn’t work for everyone. Eric Klinenberg tried to make this point five years ago with Heat Wave, his examination of who suffered and how during a 1995 natural disaster. Now Northwestern University sociologist Mary Pattillo nails it with Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City … She traces North Kenwood—Oakland’s fortunes from late-19th-century prosperity to 1970s poverty and back to relative prosperity, then focuses on the uneasy position of the growing population of middle-class black professionals, who often find themselves acting as brokers between “the Man” downtown and the “littlemen” back in the hood.… After two decades of gentrification the neighborhood has three new schools, less public housing, less crime, and a booming real-estate market. . . .

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Mary Patillo on Eight Forty-Eight

May 17, 2007
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Mary Patillo on Eight Forty-Eight

Author Mary Pattillo was featured Tuesday on Chicago Public Radio’s daily news-radio talk show Eight Forty-Eight. Pattillo speaks with host Richard Steele about her new book Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City and the revitalization of Chicago’s North Kenwood-Oakland neighborhood. Their conversation explores the problems facing this rapidly gentrifying black community to touch on broader issues of race and class in contemporary urban America. You can find archived audio of the show on the Chicago Public Radio website. Pattillo will also be at 57th Street Books today at 7pm to read from her book. In the meantime, you can check out an excerpt on our website. . . .

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Review: Pattillo, Black on the Block

April 10, 2007
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Review: Pattillo, Black on the Block

The March 31 Boston Globe featured an article reviewing several new books about urban gentrification and its complex impact on the politics of race and class in contemporary urban America. These works together create, in the words of reviewer Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, “a more nuanced picture of gentrification.” Venkatesh praises Mary Pattillo, author of Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City, for her detailed examination of this issue through her first-hand account of conflict, cooperation, and community building in Chicago’s North Kenwood-Oakland (NKO) neighborhood—a rapidly changing African American community on Chicago’s South Side. From the review: Pattillo eschews most norms of social scientific objectivity by taking up residence in NKO. She is a homeowner and secretary of a local neighborhood association with great influence over local development—not to mention a Northwestern University professor. … Pattillo acknowledges her complicated role, as both interested party and analyst. But through her experience we see how complicated life can be for the black middle class. In her neighborhood, Pattillo and other newly-arriving homeowners, many of whom find themselves sandwiched between empty lots and dilapidated, low-income housing projects, are caught between two motivations: the wish to live in an . . .

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Caitlin Zaloom on “What Capital Markets Can Learn From Clifford Geertz”

March 28, 2007
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Caitlin Zaloom on “What Capital Markets Can Learn From Clifford Geertz”

In the March 23rd issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, author Caitlin Zaloom has penned an interesting piece about the late Clifford Geertz, one of the world’s leading cultural anthropologists, and a man she calls her intellectual “grandfather.” In her article, Zaloom cites Geertz’s groundbreaking studies in books such as Peddlers and Princes and Agricultural Involution as the foundation for her own new book, Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London. Out of the Pits is a fascinating exploration of how the recent trend of online trading is effecting the culture of the marketplace. Zaloom’s article states, “even though their publication preceded today’s global economy by decades, Clifford Geertz’s works on culture and economy can still help us understand the cultural import of the online evolution in the world’s marketplace.” Here’s a few links to the UCP website where you can find out more about the works of both of these groundbreaking figures in the field of anthropology: Clifford Geertz by His Colleagues Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia The Religion of Java Kinship in Bali Peddlers and Princes We also have an excerpt from Out of the Pits. . . .

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Caitlin Zalooom on BBC Radio 4

March 16, 2007
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Caitlin Zalooom on BBC Radio 4

Author Caitlin Zaloom was recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed discussing her new book Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London. Host Laurie Taylor talks with Zaloom about the stock market’s gradual transition from face-to-face exchanges made on the trading room floor to internet based trading and how this move into the digital realm effects the culture and business of global trade markets. You can listen to archived audio of the discussion on the BBC’s Thinking Allowed website. We also have an excerpt from the book. . . .

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The ultimate nosh

November 21, 2006
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The ultimate nosh

Don’t miss a chance to see some of the greatest minds of the century engage in fierce debate over one of the most enduring questions in human history: latke or hamantash? The 60th annual Latke-Hamantash Debate will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Mandel Hall, 5706 S. University Ave. on the University of Chicago campus. The debate is free and open to the public. Tickets to the reception, where latkes and hamantashen will be served following the event, will be sold at the door for $5 each. The intellectual and cultural extravaganza that is the Latke-Hamantash debate has been a University of Chicago tradition for over sixty years. What began as an informal gathering is now an institution that has been replicated on campuses nationwide. Highly absurd yet deeply serious, the annual debate is an opportunity for both ethnic celebration and academic farce. Chronicling the delicious, not to mention humorous history of this debate, Ruth Fredman Cernea’s The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate collects the best of these performances, from Martha Nussbaum’s paean to both foods—in the style of Hecuba’s Lament—to Nobel laureate Leon Lederman’s proclamation on the union of the celebrated dyad. Both the latke aficionado and the hamantash devotee . . .

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Review: D’Amato, Barrio

November 20, 2006
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Review: D’Amato, Barrio

A recent review in the Chicago Sun-Times calls Paul D’Amato’s Barrio: Photographs from Chicago’s Pilsen and Little Village “a beautiful and troubling warts-and-all portrait of the city’s largest Mexican-American neighborhoods.” Chronicling the 14 years he has spent photographing Chicago’s “Latino strongholds,” Mr. D’Amato’s work is a profoundly empathetic vision of the human struggles of a community that might otherwise remain hidden behind cultural and economic barriers. Kevin Nance, reviewing D’Amato’s book for the Sun-Times seems to agree when he writes: Certainly few of the images here are likely to make their way into tourist brochures; Pilsen, the book’s ground zero, is shown as a gritty landscape of littered streets, dilapidated buildings, gang violence and spray-paint artists. At its best, however, the book transcends politics, offering images of the human condition—especially those having to do with relationships between the sexes—that penetrate the surfaces of ethnicity, class and geography. With a foreword by author Stuart Dybek that places D’Amato’s work in the context of the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods that Dybek has elsewhere captured so memorably, Barrio offers a penetrating, evocative, and overall streetwise portrait of two iconic and enduring Hispanic neighborhoods. . . .

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Review: Smith, The Plan of Chicago

November 14, 2006
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Review: Smith, The Plan of Chicago

Last Sunday’s Chicago Tribune featured a prominent review of Carl Smith’s new book The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City. Writing for the Tribune, Lois Wille—a journalist and historian of Chicago—praises Smith’s account of Daniel Burnham’s sweeping plans to remake the city of Chicago. Wille writes: The story of Burnham’s plan has been told many times before but never in a more appealing or succinct style than in Carl Smith’s modest little book.… What sets this book apart from other Burnham histories is Smith’s attention to the filthy, miserable, 19th century city that repelled and motivated Burnham, and the extraordinary promotional effort led by the Commercial Club of Chicago, that sold his plan to the public. Delivering a comprehensive examination of the most influential document in the history of urban planning, Smith’s insightful book is an indispensable addition to our understanding of Chicago, Daniel Burnham, and the emergence of the modern city. Lois Wille is the author of Forever Open, Clear, and Free: The Struggle for Chicago’s Lakefront. . . .

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Carl Smith on Chicago Tonight

October 17, 2006
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Carl Smith on Chicago Tonight

Mark your calendar and set your Tivo accordingly … Carl Smith will be discussing his latest book, The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City tomorrow, October 18, at 7 PM on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. A busy week for Smith: he will also be discussing his new book this Sunday, October 22, at the Chicago History Museum, starting at 3 PM. Light refreshments will be served and the program is free with admission to the newly renovated museum. After the infamous fire of 1873 that burned the city of Chicago to the ground, city planners were faced with the daunting task of rebuilding from scratch one of the developing nation’s most important cities. The man who imagined a better and more beautiful city was Daniel Burnham. Chronicling Burnham’s efforts to remake the city of Chicago, Carl Smith’s new book sheds light on the Plan of Chicago and artfully shows how the Plan has continued to influence generations of city planners. . . .

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