Workshops and Colloquia

Gerhard Richter - With Permission from the Artist
Gerhard Richter, “Rot-Blau-Grün” (1994), oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

German Studies Seminar

The German Studies Seminar, which convened for the first time in AY 2020-2021 provides a forum for scholarship-in-progress in the area of German Studies, broadly defined. Colloquiums take place at the Newberry Library and are sponsored by the Germanic Studies Department in collaboration with colleagues from UIC, Northwestern and DePaul. We welcome work on modern and pre-modern topics from all disciplinary perspectives, including but not limited to Literature, History, Art History, Philosophy, Music, and the Social Sciences. The seminar is particularly interested in papers that cross disciplinary boundaries, and that reconceptualize the materials and conventions of German Studies as a field beyond the frames of the German language and nation state.

Dissertation Writing Group

The Dissertation Writing Group is an optional, student-run workshop for members of the department who are working on their dissertation or on their dissertation proposal. We meet on a weekly basis during the academic year to discuss chapter and proposal drafts. The workshop provides an informal structure to the dissertation writing process and enables students to receive peer feedback on their written work before submitting it to faculty. Meetings will take place in 2020-21 via Zoom.  


The Germanic Studies colloquium is a student run, student focussed workshop that meets three times per quarter. It’s an informal space where students can receive feedback on work in progress, practice a job talk, conference presentation, or present on past work that they would like to develop further. The format is open; students have, in the past, presented anything from drafts and outlines to work that’s ready for submission. The colloquium is an important mainstay of graduate student life: a forum in which to discuss ideas and find out more about what other Germanic Studies grads are working on. Meetings will take place in 2020-21 via Zoom.

Literature and Philosophy Workshop

The Literature and Philosophy Workshop at the University of Chicago is a forum for discussion among graduate students, faculty, thinkers, and writers interested in questions raised at the intersection of philosophy and literature. We work across traditional disciplinary boundaries to encourage a conversation that transcends historical and geographical divisions. Topics of interest to the workshop include, but are not limited to: the philosophy of literature, philosophy in literature and literary philosophy, the influence of philosophy on literature and vice-versa, the overlap of philosophy and literature in the intellectual imaginary, intellectual and/or literary exchange between philosophers and literary figures, and hybrid forms of cultural production (e.g. myth). The workshop is in its fourth year and enjoys consistently strong attendance and enthusiastic participation.

Theater & Performance Studies Workshop

The workshop in Theater & Performance Studies seeks to provide a forum for questions of performance that have arisen in a host of disciplines across the divisions, including Anthropology, Cinema & Media Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, Germanic Studies, History, Music, Romance Languages, and Slavic Languages.  In addition, the workshop seeks to extend to the graduate level a systematic reflection on the longstanding divide between the theories and praxes of performance that has, for the past few years, animated work in the undergraduate committee on theater and performance studies.

The workshop also provides forums in which to prepare for international conferences, such as The Praxes of Theory, which was held on campus in May 2010 in collaboration with the Institute for Theater Studies at the Free University of Berlin. Like that conference, this workshop seeks to query the nature and limits of the split between artistic practice on the one hand (in dance, opera, film, and theater) and academic thinking about that practice.

Renaissance Workshop

The emphasis of this workshop is on a multidisciplinary study of English and Continental culture during the Renaissance, in areas such as literature, politics, theology, and natural science. Our interests include early modern poetry, prose, and drama, humanist pedagogy, politics and law, theological controversy, book history, the literature of trade and exploration, the history of the emotions, and much more. Student presentations in the form of article drafts, dissertation proposals or chapters, practice job interview presentations, and practice campus visit talks are given priority. We also host scholars from other institutions and hear from members of Chicago’s faculty. 

Affect and Emotions

The Affect and Emotions Workshop is an interdisciplinary community of scholars at all stages of their career at the University of Chicago. The workshop was founded in 2019 to foster conversation among researchers in the humanities and social sciences whose work focuses on the phenomenon of emotional life.

We feature work by doctoral students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows from across the University, as well as a few guest speakers per year. Our aim is to offer an informal but committed environment for exploring the diverse questions that drive research on the emotions in multiple fields of knowledge production: What are affects and emotions? Have we always felt the same? How do cultural discourses shape our understanding of the emotions, and how do feelings make a nation? Are emotions rational? What does it mean to be happy?

German Philosophy Workshop

The German Philosophy Workshop began life in the Fall of 2010 as a forum for the study of German philosophy. In 2018, the German Philosophy Workshop joined forces with the Wittgenstein workshop to form a new workshop with a broader scope.

The workshop operates with a very broad understanding of the tradition of German Philosophy, encompassing the following seven dimensions of the tradition:

  1. German Idealism and its precursors (with a special emphasis on the close reading of Kant’s and Hegel’s major works).
  2. 19th-century Germany philosophy (especially Schopenhauer, neo-Kantianism, neo-Hegelianism, Marxism, and Nietzsche).
  3. 20th-century German philosophy (especially the phenomenological and hermeneutic traditions).
  4. The elucidation and development within the Anglophone tradition of central concepts, methods, and concerns of the German tradition (such as transcendental argument, genealogical critique, phenomenological method, etc.).
  5. The German tradition in analytic philosophy (from its roots in Frege, through the Vienna Circle, up until the present).
  6. The Wittgensteinian tradition, both as it contributes to the analytic tradition and where it departs from it.
  7. Cutting-edge work by contemporary German philosophers on topics in all areas of philosophy.

Meetings will be more or less evenly divided between sessions devoted to discussion of graduate student work in progress and presentations by outside speakers working in one of the seven aforementioned areas.

If you have signed up for the workshop mailing list, you will receive an invitation to the Zoom meeting as well as a link to the paper about one week in advance of the meeting date. If you would like to sign up for the mailing list, please send an email to

Jewish Studies Workshop

The Jewish Studies Workshop provides an intimate, interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students to engage in vibrant discourse and critical reflection on work and topics that range across all things related to Jews, Jewishness, and/or Judaism. The Workshop is not methodologically or temporally bound and welcomes theoretical, empirical, and comparative work from all fields and disciplines. We aim to engage students and faculty interested in Jewish Studies while encouraging them to think beyond the strictures of institutional disciplines.

Workshop sessions feature discussion of student and faculty work in progress, conference papers, journal articles, dissertation chapters, and special presentations by invited speakers. Through both detailed and general commentary, the presenters are then able to receive a wide array of comments to take into consideration while preparing final versions of their work. Graduate students and faculty from any field, division, or discipline are welcome and encouraged to attend. In addition, the Workshop also invites graduate students to serve as respondents, thus gaining experience in critical assessment of academic work.

Council on Advanced Studies Workshops

For a list of additional workshops, please visit the Council on Advanced Studies page. CAS provides the opportunity for Interdisciplinary workshops that bring together students and faculty in the Divinity School, Humanities Division, and the Social Sciences Division for an ongoing and collaborative exchange of ideas around particular areas of interest. By providing graduate students with a forum for presenting their research and writing, the workshops, which have been widely replicated at other universities, have become an important part of the UChicago graduate education experience. Workshops facilitate the dissertation-writing process and create opportunities for professionalization as they encourage students to engage rigorously with their own and their fellow students’ work through discussion, debate, evaluation, and critical feedback.

Hölderlinturm, Tübingen
Hölderlinturm, Tübingen