“The Western District Way:” Reflections on Freddie Gray & The Wire

For the past week, I’ve been trying to follow the news about Freddie Gray’s death this past Sunday, a week after being taken into custody by Baltimore police. Until now, I’ve been bookmarking, saving, and waiting to read a number of articles. I’ve just had a chance to read much of what has published about …

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The Center for Urban Engagement at Wheaton College

I’m excited to announce that we’ve just launched the Center for Urban Engagement (CUE) at Wheaton College.CUE’s mission is to promote just, sustainable, and flourishing urban communities through the academic study of cities and transformational experiences of urban life. The CUE community consists of faculty, staff, students, and community advisors that make our programs a …

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Big Shoulders/Big Data

Carl Sandburg dubbed Chicago the “City of the Big Shoulders” in his eponymous 1916 poem. Sandburg opens by addressing the city directly: Hog Butcher for the World Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders In its industrial heyday, the “City of the …

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Assigning Fiction in Non-Literature Courses

Today I had the honor of joining the University of Chicago Divinity School’s The Craft of Teaching in the Academic Study of Religion for a workshop on “Teaching with Fiction.” Of course, that’s ‘teaching with fiction in non-literature courses.’ Dr. Lucy Pick led off the session with syllabi from two religion courses in which she has used fiction …

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