Smart Museum: Metropol Drama Exhibition Research Associate

Undergraduate Research Associate focusing on Metropol Drama Exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art

The Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at the Smart Museum of Art seeks an undergraduate for general research into archives and collections for an exhibition scheduled to take place in 2023 under the theme of the Metropol Drama. Working closely with staff of the Feitler Center and the exhibition curator and Associate Professor of Practice, Visual Arts, the Associate will assist with early research and general correspondence for this project.


This exhibition clusters together a set of ideas about the ways in which the relations between homeplace and mobility interact, producing new social and economic conditions and, most importantly for this project, peoples. The show orbits around the concept of the cosmopolitan. Historically a person filled and defined by multitudes of distinctly diverse influences, values and cultures. Rather than one who is a “globalist”, the cosmopolitan is a citizen of a particular place, most often his or her city state, but their sense of self is itself a hybrid - a mashup (however incoherent) of diverse ideas about life and love, intellectual pursuits and money. The exhibition will argue that those contradictions are the source material of much of the production of avant-garde life and ideas that have defined human innovation; economically and politically, technologically as well as in our understanding of the subjective. This in turn has affected the things we call art.


Learning outcomes:  The Research Associate will gain in-depth knowledge of the exhibitions process and inter-workings of a university art museum.


Opportunity term/commitment: This opportunity will begin in Winter 2021 with the potential for a continuation during Spring 2021; undergraduate researchers should anticipate giving approximately 10 hours/week of time to this opportunity; given the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is anticipated that most of the associate’s work will be done remotely (if things change and in-person/on-site work is required during the associate’s tenure, this will be discussed and worked out with the student based on their location, availability, and comfort with such work).


Additional notes: All Smart Undergraduate Research Associates will be expected to participate in the 2021 University of Chicago Undergraduate Research Symposium during the Spring Quarter and the annual research scholars curriculum organized by the College Center for Research & Fellowships. The selected student will receive more information from the College about these expectations separately.

Deadline Information

November 15, 2020 by 11:59pm Central Time: Sunday, November 15, 2020


Assisting the exhibition curator with research and basic communications in association with an exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art in 2023.

Eligibility Requirements

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: Independent research capabilities, basic skills in Microsoft Excel, and good written communications.


Preferred Skills: Technical proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Google SketchUp.


Additional eligibility:  Open to all majors who are 3rd or 4th year undergraduate students at the University of Chicago. 

Application Process

Email the following in *one* pdf. document to aaronwilder@uchicago.eduwith the subject “Metropol Drama URA Application”: 

  • 350-word statement of interest in the research opportunity (this is not a cover letter but should detail why you are interested in the research experience, what particular research skills you may bring, what you hope to learn and how this may impact your future studies and/or research in the field); 
  • Current curriculum vitae (academically focused resume) with the names and contact details of two references; and, 
  • A copy of your unofficial transcript.

Faculty Contact

Facutly Name: 
Aaron Wilder,