Events

Upcoming Events at a Glance:

(please scroll down for more info. on each event)

Make a reservation by clicking below:

“The Vanishing City:” Excavating the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 . Rebecca Graff, Thursday, January 24, 2019, 7pm (reception starts at 6:30pm)

“The Way of Coyote:” Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds. Gavin Van Horn, Thursday, February 28, 2019, 7pm (reception starts at 6:30pm)

“A Life Worthwhile:” Lorraine H. Morton. Film Screening, Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7pm (reception starts at 6:30pm)

Have a suggestion for an event topic or speaker? Please email Jenny Thompson: jthompson@evanstonhistorycenter.org


“1968: Seasons of Change”
Film Screenings

Freedom Riders (2010)
Film Screening at the Evanston Public Library

Film Screening at the Evanston Public Library
Main Branch, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston
Sunday, January 20, 2019, 3 p.m. (running time 1 hr, 57 min)
Admission: Free! Reservations not required.

Based in part on Raymond Arsenault’s book, Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, the documentary Freedom Riders tells the story behind the women and men who risked their lives to challenge racial segregation in America’s transportation systems. Hundreds of “freedom riders” rode on buses and trains, defying the laws that segregated facilities along routes throughout the country. Their courageous nonviolent activism drew the world’s attention, challenged the country’s racist laws and attitudes, and inspired thousands of Americans to take part in the civil rights movement.

Under the Buffalo Lecture Series, Winter 2019

Layers of Landscape: Historical, Urban, Memorial

Horticultural Hall, World’s Columbian Exposition, Winters Art Lithographing Co. Library of Congress

“The Vanishing City:”
Excavating the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893
Rebecca Graff

Thursday, January 24, 2019, 7 p.m.  (reception starts at 6:30 p.m.)
$10 admission. Payable at the door (cash, MC or Visa).
EHC members are free!
Click here to make a reservation.

The 1893 World’s Fair lasted for only six months before its structures “vanished.” But the fair’s permanent impact on American consumer culture, city planning, and questions around citizenry and foreignness was deeply tied to and reinforced by its ephemerality. Professor Rebecca Graff discusses her archeological and archival research focused on the Fair’s ephemeral “White City” and Midway Plaisance. The results of the excavation in Jackson Park revealed a robust archeological signature of the extensive sanitary infrastructure of the Fair and, surprisingly, delicate plaster remains of the Fair’s Ohio State Building. Graff’s work links the Fair, as a catalyst for structural change and its material record, to the larger social structures of late nineteenth-century America.

Rebecca Graff is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the American Studies Program at Lake Forest College. She is an historical archaeologist with research interests in the 19th- and 20th-century urban United States. She explores the relationship between temporality and modernity, memory and material culture, tourism, and nostalgic consumption through archaeological and archival research. Her dissertation (soon to be published) is titled: “The Vanishing City: Time, Tourism, and the Archaeology of Event at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.” Other Chicago archaeological projects she has directed include excavations at the Louis Sullivan-designed Charnley-Persky House (2010, 2015), the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument (2016), the Gray-Cloud House (2018), and Mecca Flats (2018). She has an MA and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of and a BA in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

“1968: Seasons of Change”
Film Screenings

The Swimmer (1968)
Film Screening at the Evanston Public Library

Film Screening at the Evanston Public Library
Main Branch, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston
Saturday, February 9, 2019, 3:30 p.m. (running time 1 hr, 35 min)
Admission: Free! Reservations not required.

Based on John Cheever’s 1964 short story, the film “The Swimmer” offers a chilling view of middle-class America in the 1960s, trapped in a suburban “dream.” Burt Lancaster stars as Ned Merrill, a man who sets out on a kind of hero’s journey, swimming through his neighborhood by dipping in swimming pools that dot the idyllic landscape. Along the way, he encounters various characters, each revealing some component of his life and his own dark state. The film soon reveals its allegorical nature, as one man struggles to find his way home, encountering hidden truths about the stark reality of his own life.

Under the Buffalo Lecture Series, Winter 2019

Layers of Landscape: Historical, Urban, Memorial

“The Way of Coyote:”
Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds
Gavin Van Horn

Thursday, February 28, 2019, 7 p.m. (reception starts at 6:30 p.m.)
$10 admission. Payable at the door (cash, MC or Visa).
EHC members are free!
Click here to make a reservation.

Join us for a talk by Gavin Van Horn, director of cultures of conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature in Chicago. Van Horn will discuss his recent book, The Way of Coyote, in which he reveals the stupendous diversity of species that can flourish in urban landscapes like Chicago. The city has been altered dramatically over a relatively short timespan—its soils covered by concrete and its wetlands drained and refilled. Van Horn’s stories in The Way of Coyote occasionally lament lost abundance, but they also point toward incredible adaptability and resilience, such as that displayed by beavers plying the waters of human-constructed canals or peregrine falcons raising their young atop towering skyscrapers. Bookends and Beginnings hosts a book signing following the presentation. Books will be available for sale at the event.

Gavin Van Horn is the Director of Cultures of Conservation at the Center for Humans and Nature, a nonprofit organization that focuses on and promotes conservation ethics. Van Horn develops and directs a series of interdisciplinary projects relevant to the resilience and restoration of human and natural communities in the Chicagoland region He is co-editor of City Creatures and Wildness and writes and edits the City Creatures blog. He received a BA from Pepperdine University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a doctorate from the University of Florida, with a specialization in Religion and Nature.

Many thanks to our partner Bookends and Beginnings for making the book sales and signings possible!

“A Life Worthwhile:”
Lorraine H. Morton.
Film Screening. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 7 p.m. (reception starts at 6:30 p.m.)
EHC members are free!
Click here to make a reservation.

Educator, Alderman, and Evanston’s first African American Mayor, Lorraine Hairston Morton served the Evanston community for over 50 years, guided by a simple statement her father passed down to her: “only a life of service, is a life worthwhile.” Join us for a screening of A Life Worthwhile, a film which documents and honors Morton’s life, career, and many accomplishments. The film is a production of Shorefront Films. A panel discussion will follow the screening. Presented in partnership with the Evanston Women’s History Project, the Frances Willard House Museum, and Shorefront Legacy Center.

EHC’s Women’s History Month programming is dedicated to Lorraine Morton.