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Ben Reitman’s Hobo College: celebrating the life and work of former University of Illinois Chicago medical school student Dr. Ben Reitman.
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
800 S. Halsted St., Residents' Dining Hall
From 1907 to the 1930s, the Hobo College was an institution for education and fraternity among the migrant working class of Chicago. “Amidst West Madison Street's missions, cheap eateries, bars, and other establishments that catered to the itinerants' needs, Ben Reitman, dashing physician, reformer, and anarchist, founded a “hobo college.” There, men of the road gathered to swap stories and listen to lectures on everything from philosophy and politics to personal hygiene and vagrancy laws. For nearly three decades, the hobo college provided an educational experience to these men and fostered a spirit of community among them”
-Roger Bruns, Encyclopedia of Chicago
“Ben Reitman’s Hobo College” at the Hull-House Museum channels the energy and eclecticism of the early 20thcentury staged street encounters through a blend of dramatic readings, micro-talks and musical performances. The re-enactments reflect the range of Reitman’s career and interests.
Cast of speakers and performers:
Alma Washington, Illinois Labor History Society, as Lucy Parsons
Rainey Reitman, activist and Reitman’s great-granddaughter
Marc Moscato, activist and Reitman documentary filmmaker
Philip Dawkins, Dil Pickle playwright
Shay DeGrandis and Dmitry Samarov, writers & storytellers reading letters written between Reitman and his longtime partner Emma Goldman
Brittany Mostiller, Chicago Abortion Fund
Light refreshments served.