Campus Theme

The Compelling Questions We All Face

The Campus Theme program facilitates and coordinates a host of events, lectures, and discussions centered around an enduring and ultimate question of human experience—a fresh question each academic year. Events are open to the general public.

2014–2015 Campus Theme: What Is Food?

Unless otherwise noted, all Campus Theme events will be held in Anderson Chapel on North Park's Chicago campus. Get directions to our campus or download a campus map.

Campus Theme: What Is Food?

Upcoming Events

Our Campus Theme events for the fall semester have concluded, but will pick back up in the spring with a schedule that includes a film week in January; a February address from Kim Stein, a scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute; and a March lecture from Dr. Norman Wirzba, professor at Duke University and author of Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating. Stay tuned for more details including dates, times, and locations for these events.

Monica Eng

Trick or Treat: The Questions of Food in Chicago

Monica Eng | Friday, October 31 | 10:30 am

News Release: WBEZ's Monica Eng to Help North Park Explore 'What Is Food?'

Once considered a light subject, today food has become inextricably linked with politics, health, ethics, economics, and the environment. From food deserts and lunchrooms to factory farms and slaughterhouses, our daily food choices reverberate with implications across our community and world. Join Monica Eng as she offers her take on some of the thorniest food issues today and shares what she’s learned from reporting on them.

Having served as both a food and dining writer and a food policy reporter, Ms. Eng has chronicled the rising relevance of the food we eat and the forces that influence it. A reporter and producer at Chicago Public Radio, Ms. Eng co-hosts WBEZ’s weekly food podcast, Chewing the Fat. Prior to joining WBEZ, she covered food, culture, and food policy at the Chicago Tribune for 16 years. Her food writing there was nominated for five James Beard awards.

Bich Minh Nguyen

Are We What We Eat?
Stories of Cultural Identity and Cuisine in America

Bich Minh Nguyen | Thursday, November 6 | 7:00 pm

News Release: Common Read Encourages Reading for Pleasure

Bich Minh Nguyen (pronounced Bit Min New-`win) is the author of the novel Short Girls, this year’s North Park University Common Read. Short Girls received the American Book Award and was named one of the Library Journal’s best books of the year. She has appeared on programs such as NewsHour on PBS and All Things Considered on NPR to discuss the themes of immigration, food, and family. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, the FOUND Anthology, and the Huffington Post.

Ms. Nguyen was a baby when her family fled Vietnam in 1975. They eventually settled in Michigan, where she grew up. These experiences formed the basis of Ms. Nguyen’s memoir, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, which received the PEN/Jerard Fund Award and was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s best books of the year.

Related Events

Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living

Faith, Food, and Youth
Honoring the Ancestors: Sustainable Urban and Rural Living

CYMS Lecture Series | Monday, October 27 | 6:30 pm

Join in-person or online for this event sponsored by the Center for Youth Ministry Studies, featuring Frederick D. Carter, the co-founder and director of Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living in Pembroke Township, Ill. This nonprofit organization works to heighten the African American community’s awareness of impending resource depletion, climate change and alternative food supply. Learn more and register online through CYMS.

This event will take place in the Johnson Center, room 325, and be shared via webinar.