Chicago 1920: The City Starts to Roar | Newberry

Chicago 1920: The City Starts to Roar

Led by Paul Durica. Three sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Wednesdays, October 14 - October 28

6 - 7:30 pm

Full. Email to be added to the wait list.

As a precaution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars Program’s Fall 2020 term will continue to be held virtually. Virtual seminars meet via Zoom video conference and use email and Google Drive folders to share resources and communicate with instructors and participants. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars and these tools, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please feel free to reach out to

For more information about the Newberry’s response to COVID-19 please visit

Seminar Description

Ever want to step back in time to a specific moment in Chicago’s past? In this seminar, you’ll do just that through a deep exploration of a single year: 1920. These three sessions cover twelve months in the Second City and survey people, politics, art, and culture in Chicago at the start of the Jazz Age. This seminar is offered as part of the Decision 1920 exhibition at the Newberry.

Three sessions. Registration – $125

Paul Durica is the Director of Exhibitions at the Newberry. For five years, he served as the Director of Programs and Exhibitions at Illinois Humanities, during which time he also co-curated Chicago Authored at the Chicago History Museum. Paul has taught classes on Chicago history and literature at the Newberry, Graham School, and the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD, and, with Bill Savage, edited Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America.

Want to dive even deeper into Decision 1920? Explore campaign songs past and present or mix up a few Prohibition-era cocktails.

Materials List


  • There are no required materials for this seminar.

First Reading:

  • For the first session, please read the essay “Jazz Band Impressions” from Ben Hecht’s A Thousand and One Afternoons as well as a short selection of articles from the January 1, 1920 edition of the Chicago Tribune (a digital file of these readings will be sent with the email confirming your registration).

Registration Information

Online registration opens at 9 am (CDT) on Tuesday, September 1st.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars staff is working remotely and will be unable to process registration over the phone. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar has reached capacity. Please email to be added to the wait list.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.