Explore Digital Chicago. Use the tags below to filter our faculty projects.
The practice of drag in Chicago is longstanding and has made a political impact. From a criminalized act to the central feature of a political campaign. Drag has come a long way, baby!
This project maps the Haitian church community in Chicago, locating 13 churches that serve the Haitian community and offering a brief historical overview of each church. A timeline illustrates the longstanding connections between Haiti and Chicago, and an overview of Haitian religious traditions contextualizes the snapshots of several oral history interviews completed for this project.
Kenneth Sawyer Goodman—a key figure in Chicago’s theater scene and the man for whom the Goodman Theatre was named—wrote and produced his own theatrical works, including "The Wonder Hat" and "Back of the Yards," before the influenza epidemic of 1918 cut short his life.
This digital essay project examines the life of Barney Ross, the son of a murdered rabbi who became lightweight and welterweight boxing champion of the world in the 1930s. His study of Ross’s life explores the complex relation between Chicago, Jewishness, violence, and the faculty Fellow's family history.
The Virtual Burnham Initiative (VBI) transformed a selection of flat images from the1909 Plan of Chicago—by Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett—into 3-D models.
This project documents the history of racial restrictive covenants in Cook County, Illinois, seeking to unearth artifacts of this history and link them to related housing discrimination tactics, such as redlining, panic peddling, and blockbusting. The documentary evidence, shown in an interactive map and timeline, presents a new view of this troubling and relevant history.
Ensemble-Made Chicago examines the genealogy of ensemble-generated theatre in Chicago, tracing it to its roots in the theatre classes taught by Neva Boyd at Hull House at the turn of the twentieth century and locating current ensemble-generated theater groups on a map of today's Chicago.
Best known as founder of Chicago's Hull House settlement, Jane Addams became America's best known advocate for peace during World War I. This project, directed by associate professor of politics Dr. James Marquardt, traces Addams's pacifist work in the context of early twentieth century American politics and international relations.
Watch a recreation of one of Chicago's historical silent movies, Max Wants A Divorce, filmed in 1916 by Essanay Studios, and listen to new period-based musical accompaniment by composer and musicologist Don Meyer, professor of music.
A choose-your-own-adventure story exploring common causes of death in Chicago's history, written by students in associate professor of anthropology Holly Swyers's "Medical Anthropology" class. Choose your own route through Chicago history to learn about public health and the syndemic theory of disease: will you come out alive?
This project features educational virtual reality walk-throughs of two of Chicagoland's sacred sites: First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest, and Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago. Tour these sitesin 360°, "walking through" the spaces in virtual reality on your desktop or smartphone.
Shakespeare’s plays have been an integral part of Chicago's history ever since the city’s incorporation in 1837. This project traces the history of Shakespearean productions in nineteenth-century Chicago, as well as the role that these productions in grand downtown theaters played in establishing Chicago’s evolving cultural identity.
Chicago and the Folk Music Revival, 1957-1970: A Tale of Two Key Figures – Ray Flerlage and Win Stracke
This project explores the role of Chicago in the Folk Music Revival of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, particularly through the contributions of two key figures: “documentarian,” Raeburn Flerlage, who left a vast visual legacy of performers and venues, and “visionary” Win Stracke, who co-founded the Old Town School of Folk Music, an institution devoted to teaching and learning folk music.
Preserving Irish Traditional Music in Chicago: Francis O'Neill examines the role played by Chicago’s Chief of Police from 1901-1905 in the collection, promotion, and publication of Irish traditional music in Chicago.
Using the photographic archive of Raeburn Flerlage at the Chicago History Museum, "Mapping the Blues" by Brian McCammack combines images of blues performances and Chicago's built environment to reveal a new dimension of black Chicagoans' cultural geography in the midst of a massive wave of migration and the emerging urban crisis.
In 1945, the Chicago Tribune held a design competition for modest family homes. The designs reveal what Americans expected oftheir postwar homes, while the changes in the built homes indicate how American housing preferences have evolved. Our interactive map shows the locations of homes we have identified.
Like any other memento from an enjoyable trip, musical souvenirs such as the piano and vocal pieces collected here offered audible memories for people to buy, take home, and play in their parlors as a reminder of their visit to Chicago and the 1893 World’s Fair.
This website traces the creation, movement, and mergerof Chicago's earliest synagogues through an interactive map. The mapincludes each of the synagogues present at the moment of Chicago's Great Fire of 1871, and continues their stories until 1920.
Dr. Rebecca S. Graff's web exhibit unearths the consumer habits of the men, women, and children who lived on Chicago's Gold Coast at the turn of the 20th century. Selected artifacts recovered from excavations at the Charnley-Persky House (11CK1248) in 2010 and 2015 examine these consumer choices, locating their sites of manufacture or point of sale in Chicago and around the globe.
This project sheds light on the history of the Pledge of Allegiance as a cultural ritual while at the same time highlighting ongoing controversies that surround it.
The Art World in Downtown Chicago, Then and Now,tells one story of the late-nineteenth and early-twenty-first century institutions, artists, dealers, publications, and visionaries that made Chicago's downtown "Loop" area into one of the great visual arts capitals of the world.