Press Release


The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and the Chicago Cultural Center present a City-Wide Café Society discussion focused on Rania Matar’s photography collection.

CHICAGO – Join The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council for the next City-Wide Café Society for a tour of a stunning photography exhibit, a thought-provoking presentation, and an engaging discussion. This event features Lebanese artist Rania Matar’s photography exhibition, Women of Islam in the Aftermath of War, an intergenerational study of women and the volatile issue of the head scarf in Muslim culture.

Join us on Wednesday, February 27th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for a special viewing of this exhibitat the Chicago Cultural Center (1st Floor Garland Room, 77 E. Randolph St., Chicago). After touring the exhibition, Norma Claire Moruzzi, Associate Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will give a presentation on Matar’s exhibition and weave together the meanings and impact of women’s experience of war. Following the presentation, attendees will participate in small, facilitated discussionsto share reflections on the exhibit.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required and can be made by e-mailing events@prairie.orgor calling 312.422.5580. The Chicago Cultural Center and the Arab American Action Network are the co-sponsors of this event.

More about Women of Islam
Boston-area photographer Rania Matar originally hails from Lebanon, where she has repeatedly returned in pursuit of images of her homeland. This exhibit is organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

More about the speaker
Norma Claire Moruzzi is Associate Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies and Director of the International Studies Program at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is the author of Speaking through the Mask: Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Social Identity and has published scholarly articles about Iranian cinema, politicized veiling in France and Algeria, contemporary feminist approaches to female circumcision, and nineteenth century intersections of religious revivalism and imperial policy.

The Public Square at the IHC fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social, and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations.

Café Society is a project designed to foster a more robust civil society, more cohesive and interactive communities, greater media literacy and a more informed and engaged citizenry through weekly coffee shop conversations about contemporary social issues. Current media reports (along with ample doses of caffeine) serve as stimulants for the conversations.

For more information about The Public Square at the IHC, please visit

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.

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