Urban Spaces, Creative Places: A Blueprint for the Humanities in the City


February 14 (9:00AM- 4:00 PM)

February 15 (9:30AM- 3:00 PM)


Marquette Alumni Memorial Union (AMU) Building

1442 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI, 53233

Rooms in the AMU: Henke Lounge and AMU 227, both located on the second floor




Friday, February 14 (9.30 AM - 4:00 PM)

8:30-9:00 AM: Coffee and Registration, Henke Lounge

9:00-9:30 AM: Welcome, Henke Lounge

9:30-10:30 AM: KEYNOTE, Henke Lounge

  • Amy Lippert, Ph.D., scholar of 19th-century American history. “The ‘How,’ the ‘Why,’ and the City: Forging A Path Forward Through the Crucibles of Civilization”


A.) Creating Cities, Creative Cities, Henke Lounge

  • Moderator: Marisola Xhelili Ciaccio (graduate student, Philosophy, Marquette University)
  • Shaila Wadhwani-Greenhalgh (graduate student, Philosophy, Marquette University). “Revaluating our Highest Values – Food, Ecology and Freedom in Communities of the Future. Decolonization in Dialogue with Indigenous and Latin American Philosophy.”
  • Curtis Carter (professor, Philosophy, Marquette University). “Cities as Ways of Worldmaking.”
  • Julia McNeil (undergraduate student, Marquette University). “cItyscape.”

B.) Constructed and Deconstructed Cities, AMU 227

  • Moderator: Jeffrey K. Coleman (assistant professor, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Marquette University)
  • Tyechia R. Price (graduate student, Global & Asian History, Marquette University). “Mikimoto & Ginza: How Pearls and Consumer Culture Built Japan in the 20th Century.”
  • Gabriel Rei-Doval (associate professor, Spanish and Portuguese, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). “Language Maintenance and Shift in Urban Spaces in Contemporary Galicia.”
  • Jen-Li Ko (visiting instructor, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Marquette University). “Urban Space and Ethnic Diversity: Identity in Chicago’s Chinatown.”

11:45AM-1:00 PM: LUNCH


A.) The Humanities and American Legal Education, Henke Lounge

  • Moderator: David Papke (professor, Marquette University Law School)
  • Lenora Ledwon (professor, St. Thomas University School of Law). “Visual Storytelling: Lessons for Lawyers from Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga.”
  • Nancy Marder (professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law). “Lessons from Foreign Remakes of 12 Angry Men.

B.) Ancient Origins, Modern Cities, AMU 227

  • Moderator: Jenn Finn (assistant professor, History, Marquette University)
  • Kristen Mathson (graduate student, Religious Studies, Marquette University). “Enduring Babel’s Legacy: Biblical and Ethical Reflections on Urban Violence.”
  • Noah Nathaniel Neiber (graduate student, Theology, Marquette University). “Alexandria Against Astrology: the Influence of A City on 3rd-Century Anti-astrology Polemics.”
  • Zelda Kieser (undergraduate student, Philosophy and Cognitive Science) and Wynne Thom (undergraduate student, Philosophy, History, and Classics). "From Ancient Rome to New York: The History and Philosophy of Fascism."


 A.) Educating the City (Part 1): How to be a Good Human - Using the Humanities to Teach Students, Henke Lounge

  • Matthew Buckley, Principal, New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
  • Jennifer Fotsch, Associate Principal, New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
  • Diana Hirsig, Teacher, New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
  • Andrew Gerlach, Teacher, New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
  • Jacqueline Hendrickson, Teacher, New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School

B.) Narrating the City, AMU 227

  • Moderator: Brittany Pladek (assistant professor, English, Marquette University)
  • Jack Fennimore (master’s student, Media Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, & Heavy.com Contributor). “The American Dreamland of Disneyland.”
  • Melissa J. Ganz (associate professor, English, Marquette University). “Crime and Vice in the Victorian City: The Case of Oliver Twist.”
  • Danyela M. Fonseca (MA, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi). “Lila Mae’s Literacy: Claiming the Right to the City in Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist.”

3:20-4:00 PM: Educating the City (Part 2), Henke Lounge

  • Moderator: Melissa Shew (visiting assistant professor, Philosophy, Marquette University)
  • Elizabeth Silverstein (senior lecturer, Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). “Ethical Liaisons and Environmental Justice in the City.”
  • Gary P. Klump & Christopher J. Krall, S.J. (graduate students, Theology, Marquette University). “The Modern, Urban University as Agora.”

Saturday, February 15 (9.30 AM - 3:00 PM)

9:00-9:30: Coffee and Registration, Henke Lounge

9:30-10:40 AM: Milwaukee Home, Henke Lounge

  • Moderator: Melissa Shew (visiting assistant professor, Philosophy, Marquette University)
  • Sebastian Bitticks (visiting assistant professor, English, Marquette University). “Reading from ‘Terra Incognita.’”
  • Antonio Paniagua Guzman (doctoral student & lecturer, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). “Analyzing Milwaukee’s Urban and Social Change Through the Lens of Poetry: A Literary Ethnography.”

10:45-11:45 AM: Cities within Cities, Henke Lounge

  • Moderator: Brittany Pladek (assistant professor, English, Marquette University)
  • Eric Michael Miller (undergraduate student, Marquette University). “City of Man: Classical Philosophy and the Unity of Community.”
  • John Thurgood (graduate student, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). “Skateboarding's Counternarratives: How Space is Redefined and Whose Voice is Represented.”

11:45 AM-12:45 PM: LUNCH

12:45-1:45 PM: Creative Presentations by Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Henke Lounge.

  • Moderator: Melissa Shew (visiting assistant professor, Philosophy, Marquette University)

2:00-3:00 PM: KEYNOTE, Henke Lounge

  • Chad Bauman, Executive Director, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, “Theater at the Heart of Civic Life”


“For our philosophic artists differ at once from all others in being unwilling to start work on an individual or a city, until they are given, or have made themselves, a clean canvas.” –Plato, Republic

As both physical place and ideal concept, the city has provided a space for thinkers from every age and culture to explore vital questions of human existence. The city was a key political unit in classical philosophy; particular cities are holy places for many religions; and cities have been key characters in the dramas of ancient and contemporary history. Cities are dynamic, dialogic places, meeting-places and axes of change. They are inherently creative, sources of inspiration for the artists that live in them, as well as canvases on which those artists—working in words and images, but also in laws and institutions—imagine their worlds.

About the Conference: To celebrate the unique relationship of the city to humanistic work, Marquette University’s Center for the Advancement of the Humanities invites presentations that explore any aspect of the city through a humanities lens. 

The conference’s confirmed keynotes reflect the wide-ranging nature of its topic and the conference itself: Chad Bauman, Executive Director of Milwaukee’s Repertory Theater, and Dr. Amy Lippert, scholar of 19th-century American history.

Appointed in 2013, Chad Bauman is now in his seventh Season at Milwaukee Rep. Under his guidance, the theater has grown significantly from a $9M organization to a $13M organization. He currently serves as the President of the Milwaukee Arts Partners, Vice President of the Board of Pathways High School, Chair of the Finance Committee of ImagineMKE, and Coordinator for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for AFS Student Exchange Programs. Bauman is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management program and has a Master of Fine Arts in producing from the CalArts.  

Dr. Amy Lippert is a San Francisco native who earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Her first book, Consuming Identities: Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco (Oxford University Press, 2018), focuses on visual representations of people as essential components in the cultural history of modern life. She is currently teaching in the American Studies Department at Northwestern University and has taught in the Departments of History at the University of Chicago and Colby College. Professor Lippert has held grants and fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Huntington Library; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; to name a few.