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Maxwell Street: Capturing the Essence of a Remembered/Forgotten Place


Book discussion by author Tim Cresswell, moderated by Daniel Black

For decades, people from across the city flocked to Maxwell Street to buy and sell goods, play and listen to blues, and encounter new foods and cultures. Yet, remnants of what some had described as “the Ellis Island of the Midwest” have long been lost to redevelopment and urban renewal.

In Maxwell Street: Writing and Thinking Place (University of Chicago Press, 2019), geographer Tim Cresswell looks to the iconic Chicago neighborhood to offer a new model of studying and writing about the nature of place. Cresswell demonstrates that the “assemblage” of things, meaning, and practices in archival, ephemeral, and photographic sources attempt to capture the essence of place. Tim Cresswell is Dean of the Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Trinity College. He will become the Ogilvie Professor of Human Geography at University of Edinburgh in July. He is also a widely published poet with two collections, most recently Fence (Penned in the Margins, 2015).

Chicago State University is at  9501 S. King Avenue in Chicago but the program is at their Gwendolyn Brooks Library, off 95th Street and St. Lawrence. Program is free, but parking at CSU costs $5. For questions, contact CSU Archivist Raquel Flores-Clemons   Phone: 773.995.2246