But of course, when archiving any collection, unexpected and often forgotten material turns up. At WFMT there’s a large, splitting-at-the-seams box of printed materials collected during Studs’ lifetime–things that won’t necessarily be thrown away, but won’t be spotlighted in any collection of Studs’ work, either…Between some of Studs’ hand written notes, unpublished essays and forgotten photos I found the obituaries of two Chicago giants–Mahalia Jackson and the late Major Daley. (Analeah Rosen)
One Sunday afternoon in 1975, a group of ten young video experimenters had finished an editing a version of the first “It’s a Living” documentary, based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book, “Working.” Studs comes to view the videotape with, to everyone’s surprise, Nelson Algren. A post by Tom Weinberg of Media Burn Archive.
Reading Studs Terkel’s “Good War:” An Oral History of World War II was a revelation in 8th grade history class. For too long, I had been inundated by “Great Men History”—an obsession with white and male individuals who propelled history forward. I’m talking about the Abraham Lincolns, Theodore Roosevelt, and Winston Churchills of the world. Studs Terkel’s book, on the other hand, placed importance on “ordinary” people, people who lived the history that I, as an 8th grader, only saw from the top down. This book changed my view of the practice of history. It would begin a lifetime love of the lived history of men and women at all levels of life. (Elisa Shoenberger)
Printers Row Journal spoke with Kotlowitz, author of “There Are No Children Here” and “Never a City So Real,” and Isay, founder and president of StoryCorps. Here’s an edited transcript.
“People sound like people in a Studs Terkel interview— their pies still baking in the oven, their books disheveled on the floor, their unresolved questions about race, work and American dreams lingering on the page. He humanized common traits that could otherwise seem foreign. We like to think we share that same insatiable drive to deliver a holistic experience to the reader.” – The Illustrated Press, designer of the festival’s graphics.
“…if you look beyond just the words, you’ll find something else in these videos that can’t be expressed in any other way. There’s a sense of physicality—the way Studs carried himself and the cadence of his voice. There’s a certain texture and a feel to a person that only video can capture and preserve.” Sean Schönherr, video editor and curator for Media Burn Independent Video Archive, on getting to know Studs Terkel.
Through Studs’ legacy, in books like Division Street: America, we come to better understand what comprises the urban environs and what it means to dwell within them. When we understand Chicago, we understand ourselves better. Anthology of Chicago started out of a curiosity around what the lens of creative forms like poetry and fiction could reveal about the city and everything that dwells within that universe. (Rachel Hyman)
In highlighting professionals for excellence in covering and reflecting Chicago’s diverse communities, the Terkel Awards encourages reporters who take risks in covering social issues by offering new or unusual perspectives on topics of general concern, from housing to neighborhood safety and beyond. Thom Clark, president of Community Media Workshop, on the Terkel Awards.
“Chicago talent seemed to instinctively understand the unique nature of communicating via television. Be authentic. Genuine. Reach out directly to the viewers at home. And if you’re going to tell a story, put your heart into it. Studs Terkel and his team brought that attitude to Studs’ Place.” Walter Podrazik discusses Chicago Television and Terkel’s impact on it.
How do you tell the story of a storyteller? How do you document a life devoted to documenting other lives? You could spend years on this puzzle. Or you could collect an assortment of student-performers and Chicago artists and tackle it in ten weeks. Christopher Deakin, a member of the “Buried in Bughouse Square: A Studs Terkel Circus” ensemble, writes about creating a circus show on Terkel.
This course will try to convey, for both new readers and old, something of the magic that was Studs Terkel. In this inaugural offering of the course, we’ll be focusing on his first oral history Division Street: America. Each session we’ll be joined by a special guest such as Tony Macaluso (WFMT); Sara Chapman and Tom Weinberg (Media Burn Archive); Mark Guarino (Chicago Sun-Times); and Heather Radke (Jane Addams Hull-House Museum) who will share with us unique Terkel clips, texts, and materials. The final session will be a walking tour of Studs Terkel’s Loop.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 12 / 6 – 7:30pm WHAT: An evening of listening and discussion exploring how migration has shaped – and continues to shape – Chicago. WHERE: Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Residents’ Dining Hall 800 S. Halsted St. TIX: FREE but reservations are required For the past year, many Chicagoans have been reading The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story […]
Most of Studs Terkel’s radio work (perhaps 90%) has been completely inaccessible to all but the most determined scholars. We’re talking about enchanting, historically significant interviews with giants of 20th century culture. To pick a tiny sample: Studs archive contains Martin Luther King discussing civil rights strategies while sitting in the south-side Chicago kitchen of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson; filmmakers such as Buster Keaton, Fellini, Sidney Poitier and Jacques Tati chatting about the techniques of their craft; Chinese and Russian artists, activists and common people trying to understand the complexities of the Cold War world…
“Through the stories of everyday Chicagoans from all walks of life, Terkel traces out a host of divisions based on race, sex, class, education, age, and even geography—the city’s sheer size ensures that some communities must struggle to find a common ground. The book is also very much of its moment, revealing Chicagoan’s divergent views toward urban renewal; the Civil Rights movement; the Vietnam War; nuclear annihilation; and all those families from Appalachia that have suddenly settled down in Uptown.”
WHAT WE DO ALL DAY: A Pre-Celebration of Let’s Get Working,
January 24th, 7pm, FREE,
At the Nightingale Cinema:
1084 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60642
Forty years on Studs Terkel’s monolithic book, WORKING stand as an insightful bench mark to our increasingly fraught relationship with our jobs. This screening pairs contemporary video and 16 mm shorts with excerpts from Terkel’s texts to see what meaning we can find in between the now and then. How have our ideas of labor, purpose and prosperity changed under a fully globalized economy, the growing shift away from physical labor, and expanding economic disparity?