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Midwest Events

The Problem of South Shore

Story and History on Chicagos South Side with Professor Carlo Rotella, director of BC’s American Studies Program and the Lowell Humanities Series

Thursday, May 8, 6:308:30 p.m.
Union League Club, 65 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Ill.

South Shore, a neighborhood by the lake characterized by neat bungalow blocks, desolate commercial strips, and a persistently high crime rate, has over the years attracted the attention of novelists, playwrights, sociologists, memoirists, entrepreneurs, policy intellectuals, reformers, activists, and other observers of city life. They have found it to be an inspiring but remarkably difficult subject. For the past half-century, ever since its swift turnover from white to black in the 1960s, South Shore has seemed to promise some kind of crucial lesson of wider significance for those who care about the city, and yet that lesson often seems to collapse into cliché or float maddeningly beyond their reach. This talk will consider the problem of South Shore and the surprisingly robust and various literature it has produced.

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