On Friday, September 4th, the Ramonat Scholars took a field trip down to the Special Collections Research Center Gallery at the University of Chicago’s Library to see the temporary exhibition, Mapping the Young Metropolis: The Chicago School of Sociology, 1915-1940. The pathbreaking work of the University’s Sociology faculty and their graduate students opened new fields of inquiry and new methods for studying the city.
Harvey Choldin, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Urbana-Champaign, curated the exhibition and was on hand to talk with the students about the importance of the School and its contribution. Highlights of the exhibition included:
- original drafts of important doctoral dissertations and monographs, including Nels Anderson’s The Hobo and Louis Wirth’s The Ghetto;
- a fascinating series of maps of Chicago’s wards plotting a variety of different social phenomenon, such as family size, dwelling types, and public relief dispensed;
- and examples of the life histories that Chicago school faculty and their students collected from early twentieth-century Chicagoans whose stories might not otherwise be recorded.
The Ramonat Scholars were joined by students in Professor Gorn and Shermer’s classes, who are also studying Chicago this semester. The exhibition is only open through September 11th, but there is also an online exhibition that includes some of the material from the exhibition.