Graham Symposium 2022

Join us on October 16th for a daylong Symposium at the David Rubenstein Forum in Hyde Park to explore the liberal arts, to build community with fellow learners, and to celebrate the 130th anniversary of lifelong learning at the University of Chicago.

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A picture of Rubenstein Forum

A Day of Learning and Celebration

Start your day by choosing your learning adventure with mini-courses in the classics and geopolitical history. Then, celebrate our instructors through our Excellence in Lifelong Learning Awards luncheon. End your day with a keynote presentation on the history of the University of Chicago with Dean John Boyer. 

Symposium Schedule

Location: Rubenstein Forum, 1201 E 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Registration, Raffle, & Community Building

Arrive at the Rubenstein Forum where you'll enjoy coffee, muffins, games, and a raffle. You'll also receive a Graham name badge showing your learning history and get to know other Graham community members.

9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Choose the mini-course elective that best suits your preferred learning adventure.

12:00 - 1:30 pm

Awards Luncheon

Celebrate the instructors receiving Excellence in Lifelong Learning Awards while getting to know your fellow lifelong learners at lunch tables organized by program area.

1:30 -
2:00 pm

Closing Keynote

Explore the history of the University of Chicago through an interactive lecture and conversation with John Boyer, Dean of The College & Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor.

Choose Your Learning Adventure

In October of 1892, the University of Chicago began offering its first “extension” classes as part of President William Rainey Harper’s vision to engage “men and women whose daily occupation will not permit them to take advantage of the regular college and university courses."

In celebration of 130 years of lifelong learning at the University, the day starts with mini-courses that allow you to dive deep into the University's rigorous learning environment. Choose between two learning adventures:


The American Century in Hyde Park | In-Person

A picture of the UChicago Social Sciences building

The 20th Century witnessed the emergence and then ascendence of the United States as a global power. Key events along that path occurred in Hyde Park. From the grounds of the 1893 World's Fair to the birth of the nuclear age and beyond, this tour will take participants to the locations of those events. At each location, participants will learn about how the event played a key role in the United States rising and establishing itself as a super power.

Requires walking and extended standing.

Reading Sophocles' Antigone with Performance in Mind | In-Person

A painting

Join Kendall Sharp, the Cyril O’Houle Chair of the Basic Program, and Zoë Eisenman, Graham’s Director of Academics and Basic Program Instructor, for a panel discussion featuring Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director of the Tony Award winning University of Chicago Court Theatre. The panel will focus on Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone as translated by Nicholas Rudall, who was Professor Emeritus of Classics at UChicago. Court will be producing Rudall’s Antigone in fall 2023. We will be engaging with Mr. Newell about the translation and the play in performance, in particular the role of the Chorus. The session will include an interactive close reading of “Ode to Man.” This famous choral speech opens up an alternate way of looking at some of the play’s central ideas such as fate and free will, human and divine justice, arrogance and obedience. We will consider several translations of the speech, which you can read here.

Make it a Weekend in Hyde Park

Participants in the Graham Symposium are also encouraged to join the University of Chicago on Saturday, October 15th, for Humanities Day, an annual gathering celebrating the humanities through free discussions,  performances, and lectures featuring the latest research of our award-winning faculty in the Division of the Humanities.  Learn more.