The Residential Seminar @ UChicago

Complete a foundational course in the liberal arts through an intensive, eight-day residency on our storied Hyde Park campus.

Apply
Ivy-covered rooftop in summer.

Study in historic campus buildings, attend educational and social events, explore local landmarks, and engage in rigorous classroom discussion.

The Residential Seminar @ UChicago is designed for lifelong learners seeking to rigorously engage in the liberal arts through an immersive educational experience. Our inaugural Seminar will take place from Sunday, May 15th, through Sunday, May 22nd, and will feature a popular course from our Master of Liberal Arts on humanistic inquiry taught by Mark Miller, Associate Professor of English Languages and Literature at the University of Chicago.


Ivy-covered window in summer.

Through a discussion-rich classroom experience, learners will become familiar with the methodologies and interpretive tools of advanced humanities studies—engaging with issues and texts from literature, philosophy, and art. Students can expect to complete the Seminar with sharpened critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. The course is also designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the origin of the humanities and the connective tissue tying together diverse humanistic disciplines.

While on campus, students in the Residential Seminar will attend seminar sessions, discussion sessions, film screenings, and private events. Learn more about the Seminar and see the schedule and activities in the “Schedule” and “What Is Included” sections below.

This course offers an introduction to advanced study in the Humanities across a range of fields, including philosophy, drama, poetry, and film. We will have three main goals. The first is to develop analytical skills common to the Humanities as well as those specific to particular disciplines, as we explore (among other things) the conceptual analysis pursued in philosophical inquiry, drama’s concerns with performance, character, and plot, lyric poetry’s density of meaning, and the roles of the camera and editing in film. Our second goal will be to exercise those skills in the give and take of conversation as well as in their deployment in writing. To add focus to this wide disciplinary range, each of our texts will examine questions of ethics and identity, particularly (but not exclusively) concerning questions of race, class, and gender. Our third goal will be to expand our ways of thinking about those central humanistic topics, as they take shape in relation to the different demands and opportunities of our four fields.

Our readings will take us from the origin of Western understandings of humanistic inquiry in the philosophy and tragic drama of ancient Athens, to William Blake’s experiments in mixed visual and verbal art in late 18th century London, to mid-20th century US poetry and film.

Access the course syllabus, including assigned readings, here.

The course will be led by Mark Miller, Associate Professor of English Languages and Literature at the University of Chicago, and discussions will be facilitated by both Professor Miller and Eva Fernandez, Basic Program Instructor at the University of Chicago.


Test

Mark Miller is an Associate Professor in the English department at the University of Chicago. His work is situated historically in late-medieval literature and culture. His book Philosophical Chaucer: Love, Sex, and Agency in the Canterbury Tales investigates the ways Chaucer's philosophical interests can help us read his representations of gender and sexuality.


Test

Eva Fernandez has been an instructor in the Graham School's Basic Program since 1999 and has also taught at Kalamazoo College, Denver Free University, and in other units of the University of Chicago. The major focus of her graduate work at the University of Chicago was late medieval literature, especially Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, in the context of classical and medieval philosophy. She is the 2011 recipient of the Graham School’s Excellence in Teaching Award for the Basic Program.

April 27
6:00-7:15 pm

Online Orientation

May 16
9:00-11:30 am

Seminar Session
Justice, Philosophy and Tragedy in Ancient Athens

May 16
2:00-4:30 pm

Seminar Session
Justice, Philosophy and Tragedy in Ancient Athens

May 17
9:00-11:30 am

Discussion Session
Greeks

May 17
2:00-4:30 pm

Seminar Session
The Condensation of Meaning: Race, Class, and Gender in Lyric Poetry

May 18
2:00-4:30 pm

Seminar Session
The Condensation of Meaning: Race, Class, and Gender in Lyric Poetry

May 18
6:00-8:30 pm

Film Screening
Rear Window

May 19
9:00-11:30 am

Faculty Guest Lecture: William Veeder
Buried Narrative

May 19
2:00-4:30 pm

Discussion Session
Poetry

May 19
6:00-8:30 pm

Film Screening
Vertigo

May 20
9:00-11:30 am

Seminar Session
The Gaze, Desire, and the Camera: Narrative and Visual Form in Western Film

May 20
2:00-4:30 pm

Seminar Session
The Gaze, Desire, and the Camera: Narrative and Visual Form in Western Film

May 21
9:00-11:30 am

Discussion Session
Film

May 22
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Round Table Session with Prof. Miller and Eva Fernandez

Various

Please note: Additional activities, Lunch and Learns, and events are offered throughout. A final schedule will be provided to all registered students.

Seminar Sessions

Led by Professor Mark Miller, the seminar sessions provide the primary focus for the Seminar. The material covered in these sessions is an adaptation of the popular MLA course Foundations of Humanistic Inquiry.

Discussion Sessions and Film Screenings

Led by Basic Program Instructor Eva Fernandez, the discussion sessions are designed to provide additional time for reflection on material presented in your seminar. Film screenings provide students the opportunity to complete the assigned viewings in an engaging atmosphere with other students.

Associated Activities and Events

Celebrate and meet your cohort at the welcome reception; learn from instructors and faculty in complementary disciplines through our guest lectures and Lunch and Learns; attend a performance at Court Theatre and visit the Art Institute on a guided tour to connect with cultural institutions in the City; and celebrate the end of an intensive week with a culminating conversation.

Students in the Residential Seminar are asked to reserve their own accommodations. Students wishing to stay in Hyde Park are encouraged to consider The Study at the University of Chicago and The Sophy Hyde Park, which are adjacent to campus.

We offer the Residential Seminar as a non-credit course for $2,445.

If you are accepted into the program, a deposit of $500 will be requested within one week of acceptance to hold your spot. Balances will be due by April 25, 2022.

Note: Students in the Master of Liberal Arts may complete this seminar as a for-credit course (with assignments and grades) by reaching out to Tim Murphy (Director of the MLA program) at timmurphy@uchicago.edu. Taking this course for-credit requires paying tuition for one MLA course plus a $500 activity fee.

The Residential Seminar is open to lifelong learners seeking a rigorous learning experience, including Graham School students, UChicago alumni, and friends of the University.

To apply, please click on the ‘Apply’ button at the top of the page, then fill out and submit the Application Form.

Starting with Autumn Quarter 2021, the University of Chicago implemented COVID-19 vaccination-related requirements for students and staff. Students and employees must show proof of receiving any COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Further, by January 24, 2022, all students and staff will need to submit proof of receiving a COVID-19 booster shot.

The well-being of students in the Residential Seminar will be our highest priority. To that end, we will follow the health and safety guidelines in place at the time of the Seminar.

A $500 per person deposit is required upon acceptance of your application. The balance of the fee is due no later than April 25, 2022. All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing and will be subject to a $250 per person cancellation fee. Cancellations received between April 25, 2022 and May 9, 2022 will result in a forfeiture of 60% of the program cost per person. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after May 9, 2022. In the event of the cancellation of the program by the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, a full refund of tuition will be given.

The University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies have no responsibility in whole or in part for any loss, death, damage, or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodation, transportation, or other services. The right is retained to decline to accept or retain any person as a Seminar member should such person’s health, mental condition, physical infirmity, or attitude jeopardize the operation of the Seminar or the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of other participants.