Press Release


College-level course for low-income Spanish-Speaking students will be offered in Pilsen.

CHICAGO The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for the Spanish Language Odyssey Project (El Proyecto Odisea). This course is an intensive, college-level introduction to Academic Writing, Philosophy, Literature, History, and Art History for low-income adult Spanish speakers. Classes are taught exclusively in Spanish by faculty from the University of Chicago and DePaul.  The course is offered at no charge to students and provides books, CTA fare, and on-site childcare.

Applications are available at Gads Hill Center in Pilsen (1919 West Cullerton Street) and at the Illinois Humanities Council (17 N. State Street, Suite 1400). The application deadline is August 31. Late applications may be considered at the discretion of the coordinator. The course will run from September 28 to mid-June, meeting on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Gads Hill Center.

Visit to download an application. Please send the completed application to Irena Cajkova, Illinois Humanities Council, 17 N. State Street, Suite #1400, Chicago, IL 60602 or as an attachment to  Selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.  For more information, call El Proyecto Odisea Coordinator Irena Cajkova at 312.375.2541.

Spanish Language Odyssey Project, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, is supported by the University of Chicago, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Bard College in New York, and Gads Hill Center in Pilsen. 

Founded on the premise that engagement with the humanities can offer a way out of poverty, the Odyssey Project offers instruction to course participants in humanistic disciplines.  The English language Odyssey Project is in its tenth year in Chicago, while its Spanish language counterpart, El Proyecto Odisea, is in its seventh.

Syllabi and reading lists are roughly equivalent to those a student might encounter in a first-year humanities survey course at a first-rate universityThe UNAM will grant a certificate of achievement to any student who completes the course, while Bard College will grant college credit to those students who successfully complete all the course requirements.

  • Curriculum: The course will include Academic Writing, Philosophy, Literature, History, and Art History.


  • Students: Low-income Spanish speakers age 18 and older with a desire to further their education.  Students should be able to read and write in Spanish and should have finished elementary school (Primaria= 6th grade).


  • Faculty includes:

Academic Writing: Maria Cecilia Lozada, Senior Lecturer, Department of Romance Languages andLiterature, University of Chicago.

Philosophy: Aaron Lambert, Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Chicago.

LiteratureJuana Goergen, Associate Professor, Department of Modern Languages, DePaul University.

The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities.  Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

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