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University of Chicago Works of the Mind Lecture Series


May 7, 1-3pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater

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Claudia Cassidy Theater

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These lectures are offered on selected Sundays at 1pm October through May at the Chicago Cultural Center.


Upcoming Schedule

Baudelaire, the Poet Proud to be Insane

May 7

The lecture will center on a prose poem by Baudelaire, a work that that mentions two “alienists” — contemporaries of his. Alienists were early psychiatrists. The two mentioned in the poem argued (among other things) that Socrates, Pascal, and Joan of Arc were insane. Why does Baudelaire feel happy in his conviction that he too is insane? Among other things, the talk will include historical aspects of early psychiatry, descriptions of famous people dubbed “insane,” Baudelaire’s own situation, the self-help books (that Baudelaire is making fun of) popular after the revolution of 1848 in France, and the culture surrounding these issues.

Françoise Meltzer, Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor, Chair - Department of Comparative Literature, Professor in the Divinity School and the College, Co-editor of Critical Inquiry, the University of Chicago

FREE; Space is limited; registration is recommended. Register

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Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center
Claudia Cassidy Theater
2nd Floor North
78 E. Washington St.

Chicago, IL 60602

FREE Admission

Chicago Cultural Center
Building Hours:

  • Monday–Thursday, 9am–7pm
  • Friday, 9am–6pm
  • Saturday, 9am–6pm
  • Sunday, 10am–6pm

Closed Holidays, except:

    • Lincoln's Birthday (Feb. 13),
    • Pulaski Day (Mar. 6), 9am-7pm
    • Easter (Apr. 16), 10am-6pm
    • Columbus Day (Oct. 9), 9am-7pm
    • Veterans' Day (Nov. 10), 9am-6pm

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