Scholl Center programs encourage research in American history, literature, and culture in areas where the Newberry’s collections are strong. The Center’s Current Programs include a variety of institutes, conferences, and professional development workshops.
The Scholl Center’s longest running program is its seminar series. For decades, the Center has sponsored seminars on major themes in American history, literature. and culture. In cooperation with Chicago-area university departments and institutes, scholars gather at the Newberry to discuss ongoing research in a workshop format. The Center’s current seminars are:
- American Art and Visual Culture
- American Literature
- Borderlands and Latino Studies
- Early American History and Culture
- History of Capitalism
- Labor History
- Women and Gender
- Urban History Dissertation Group
In previous years, the Scholl Center also sponsored seminars on Religious History; Rural History; Sport and Culture; and Technology, Politics, and Culture. These seminars are currently on hiatus.
From the ratification of the First Amendment to the conflict over an Islamic community center near Ground Zero, America has been marked by a profound religious diversity. The variety of religious communities in America, and the tensions that often erupt among them, have shaped the nation’s social, cultural, political, and economic development.
By 1920, Chicago had become “the literary capital of the United States,” according to one of the nation’s influential cultural arbiters, H. L. Mencken. Indeed, American literature of the period bore an aesthetic shaped by a palpable confrontation with the city’s railroads, skyscrapers, and stockyards. Chicago helped produce many of the most important writers of the era.