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Rebecca Graff’s new book prompts national interest

profile of Rebecca Graff
November 12, 2020
Katy Knuckles ’21

Associate Professor of Anthropology Rebecca Graff spoke at a Columbia Center for Archaeology Online Salon about her new book, Disposing of Modernity: The Archaeology of Garbage and Consumerism During Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair. 

Graff participated in the online discussion with Columbia University’s Associate Professor of Anthropology Cassie Fennell on October 16. 

Released in August 2020, Graff’s book explores the changing world of urban America at the turn of the twentieth century through the trailblazing method of analyzing unearthed trash from the 1893 World’s Fair. It was published in cooperation with the Society for Historical Archaeology.

In addition to her talk at Columbia, Graff was interviewed by Alison Cuddy of the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) about her work at Chicago's Mecca Flats, an apartment complex orginally built as a hotel for visitors to the World's Columbian Exposition that later became a gathering spot for the Chicago Black Renaissance.  

CHF Program Manager Ira Murfin interviewed Graff for Q&A: Archaeologist Rebecca Graff on Jackson Park and the Chicago World's Fair. The World’s Fair was located on what is now Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side. The Obama Presidential Center is planned to be built on a portion of the park.