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Upcoming Courses

Comedy, Space, Chicago 2016

The Program & Academics

Join the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry (CII) on a weeklong travel integrated course exploring the city of Chicago and its unique comedic impact and history. This course seeks to explore the relationship of space (geography) and comedy. In the 20th century, Chicago became its own cultural hub. Labeled “Second City,” the city provided opportunities for those in the Midwest to congregate and collaborate. While every city has a “scene,” Chicago’s became majorly influential, particularly in the realm of comedy. Improvisation, in particular, became a staple to Chicago, with Improv Olympic and Second City training comedians who would go on to help shape our national sense of humor. Students will experience Chicago, gain knowledge of its history, and examine the relationship between Chicago as a place and its sense of humor. Through touring spaces and talking with various theatre directors and performers, we will also discuss various facets of comedy performance, mentorship, and arts management.

This course entails a final project and is worth 1 academic credit applied to the summer term. Planned activities will include daily class discussions, workshops, tours, and attendance at evening performances at various theatres and venues across Chicago.


All student attendees are required to take at least one of the following 2015-2016 Great Works Symposium (GWS – Listed as UNIV 241) courses as a pre-requisite to this trip:

  • Fall 2015-2016 - Comedy in Historical Context
  • Winter 2015-2016 - Dark Comedy
  • Spring 2015-2016 - Comedy as Practice for Every Day Life

Students must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered. Space is limited.


Student attendees will be responsible for booking and paying the cost of round trip airfare to and from Chicago, Illinois, as well as meals and incidentals. The Honors College will cover the cost of housing for five nights, 2 group meals, and all event/activity fees.

Required Deposit

All student attendees will be responsible for submitting a non-refundable $80.00 deposit that will be used towards trip expenses. This deposit is due by Monday March 4th, 2016 at the Pennoni Honors College main office, 5th Floor of MacAlister Hall. Please request a deposit receipt. Cash or check accepted, make checks out to Pennoni Honors College and write your name in the notes section of the check. 

Travel Dates

June 13th through June 17th, 2016 (The week between the end of Spring term and the beginning of Summer term)

Students are required to arrive in Chicago by the first class meeting at 11AM Monday June 13th. Final trip activities will take place on Friday June 17th.

Application Process

Apply Now

The application is due by 11:59PM Sunday, February 21st.

Starting on Monday February 1st, student applicants are required fill out a biographical information form and answer the following essay question (500-word maximum):

What can we learn about American culture through comedy? 

Tentative Timeline

February 1st              Applications open

February 21st            Applications are due at 11:59PM

February 29th              Student attendees are selected and notified

March 4th                  Non-refundable $80.00 deposit due at the PHC main office.

May 2nd                    All student safety/liability and emergency contact forms due   

June 1st                    Mandatory Trip Logistics Meeting for all attendees

June 13th                  Students must be present for first class meeting 11AM

June 17th                  Final day of trip activities

June 18th                  Accompanying staff departs for Philadelphia

Download the syllabus*

*Subject to change