Dorothy Day is considered one of the leading figures in 20th century American Catholicism. But in 1914, Day was just another University of Illinois freshman trying to find her place in the world.
After two years, Day dropped out and headed to New York City, where she later co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Yet, those two years in Champaign-Urbana were transformative. Day wrote for the local paper, joined campus literary societies, devoured books in the campus library and fell into fast and furious friendships with the campus literati. “The College Years of a Catholic Radical: Dorothy Day, University of Illinois Dropout,” scheduled for July 18 at 4 p.m. at Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 500 S. Gregory St., Urbana, illuminates Day’s experiences as a U. of I. student, their impact on her later work and the legacy of Day’s presence on campus.
Presenter Nathan Tye is a doctoral candidate in history at Illinois. His dissertation, “The Ways of the Hobo: Transient Mobility and Culture in the United States, 1870s-1930s,” explores the history of mobility and its intersections with gender, sexuality, class and race within the lives of transient and casual laborers, better known as hobos, in the United States. Tye has previously published research on Dorothy Day at Illinois in “America: The Jesuit Review of Faith and Culture.”
This event is part of Spurlock’s Third Thursday Series highlighting people, places and events in University of Illinois history. For more information, contact Spurlock Museum.