Paul Hague Distinguished Writer Lecture Series: Liesl Olson's CHICAGO RENAISSANCE


Scholar Liesl Olson gives a public lecture that examines Chicago's innovative and valuable contributions to American Literature and art from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

Date & Time:

Thursday, May 9, 2019
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


Free and Open to the Public


O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Room 108

We are pleased to announce this special Paul Hague Distinguished Writer Lecture Series event featuring scholar Liesl Olson, sponsored through a generous gift given by James A. Kurpius '60 and family in honor of Paul Hague, a professor in the English Department from 1955-1990.

Liesl Olson is Director of Chicago Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, Olson grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. She received her doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in New York City. Olson's first book Modernism and the Ordinary (Oxford U P, 2009) examines a broad range of twentieth-century writers and how their works present the habitual and unselfconscious actions of everyday life.

In her most recent book, Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis (Yale U P, 2017), Olson traces a literary history of Chicago from the 1893 World's Fair to the Chicago Black Renaissance of the mid-twentieth century. She illuminates how Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the twentieth century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. From Harriet Monroe, Carl Sandburg, and Ernest Hemingway to Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olson’s enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic “renaissance” moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens, and the creative ferment of Bronzeville. Stories of the famous and iconoclastic are interwoven with accounts of lesser-known yet influential figures in Chicago, many of whom were women. Olson argues for the importance of Chicago’s editors, bookstore owners, tastemakers, and ordinary citizens who helped nurture Chicago’s unique culture of artistic experimentation. In addition to anumber of favorable reviews, Chicago Renaissance was awarded the 2018 Pegasus Prize from the Poetry Foundation.

Copies of Olson's book will be available for sale and a book signing will immediately follow the lecture.


Parking (available for $1/hour after 4pm)

Anderson Parking Facility--located at the corner of Cretin Ave. and Grand Ave.

Morrison Parking Ramp--located beneath Morrison Residence Hall, visitors parking in the Morrison ramp should enter campus at the intersection of Selby Ave. and Finn St. Follow the drive aisle south , under the skyway, toward the stadium. Take a hard right at the end of the drive aisle. The visitor ramp entrance is the eastern entrance beneath the residence hall.

McNeely Parking Ramp--visitor parking is available at the McNeely Ramp only after 4:00 pm and on weekends. The McNeely Ramp entrance is located within parking lot K, underneath McNeely Hall.

Anderson Student Center Parking Garage--visitor parking is available at the Anderson Student Center Parking Garage only after 4:00 pm and on weekends. The Anderson Student Center Parking Garage entrance can be accessed from the Anderson Student Center turnaround off of Cretin Avenue.

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.