Women in Early Chicago Politics | Newberry

Women in Early Chicago Politics

Led by Rachel Boyle. Five sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Tuesdays, September 29 - October 27

6 - 7:30 pm

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 seminars@newberry.org.

For more information about the Newberry’s response to COVID-19 please visit www.newberry.org/covid19.

Seminar Description

Women were active in Chicago politics well before the passage of the 19th Amendment. This seminar will focus on women who participated in and challenged ward politics in early twentieth-century Chicago, examining everything from early reform efforts to women’s aldermanic campaigns after gaining the right to vote in Illinois in 1913. We will explore how women’s local civic work was shaped by class, race, and gender politics and foreshadowed the power and limitations of the national suffrage movement.

Five sessions. Registration – $185

Rachel Boyle, PhD, is a historian, consultant, and co-founder of Omnia History, a public history collaborative dedicated to using the past to promote social change.

Materials List


  • A selection of shorter materials distributed by the instructor.

First Reading:

  • For the first session, please read the provided excerpt from Lloyd Wendt and Herman Kogan’s, Lords of the Levee: the Story of Bathhouse John and Hinky Dink (a digital file of this reading 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 seminars@newberry.org.

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

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.