Eve L. Ewing

Senior Fellow

Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist of education whose research is focused on racism, social inequality, and urban public schools. She is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago; in 2018, she will begin as Assistant Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Eve is also an essayist and poet. Her first collection of poetry, essays, and visual art, Electric Arches, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in fall 2017. Her work has been published in many venues, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, and the anthology The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. She co-directs Crescendo Literary, a partnership that develops community-engaged arts events and educational resources. Despite frequent public attacks, she is unapologetic in her defense of puns and sweet grits.


“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde

Me in Three

What’s a favorite piece of advice you’ve received?
My mother has always told me, “be a door-opener, not a gatekeeper.” I try to live by that and be intentional about bringing others into the room and to the table.

What’s you go to karaoke song?
I do a very heartfelt and not-terrible rendition of “Time After Time,” by Cyndi Lauper. Honorable mention: “All Falls Down” by Kanye West.

Is there a special place or ritual that you go to to get your best work done?
I go to the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago quite often. I have my own office and all kinds of other work spaces available to me as an adult, but there is something comforting about going to the same library where I used to research my middle school science fair projects, and I also am incredibly inspired by the silent presence of Harold Washington’s spirit in the space.

This pretty much sums up my existence