Center for American History and Culture Programs

Gertrude Stein visiting Chicago, 1935
Bobsy Goodspeed, Gertrude Stein, Fanny Butcher, Alice Roullier, Alice B. Toklas, Thornton Wilder. Mdwst MS Butcher Bx44 Fl#1846.

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:

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.

Upcoming Programs

Friday, April 25, 2014
History of Capitalism Seminar
History of Capitalism Seminar Book Group : The Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776–1941

The History of Capitalism Seminar Book Group will meet three times this year to discuss recent publications in the history of capitalism. The third session will focus on Rebecca M. McLennan’s The Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776–1941.

Friday, May 9, 2014
Labor History Seminar
Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Sex and the ILO: Seafarers, Emigrants, and the Politics of Protection”

Friday, May 9, 2014
Seminar in British History
Matt Houlbrook, University of Birmingham

“The Prince of Tricksters: Cultures of Confidence in Interwar Britain”

Saturday, May 10, 2014
Urban History Dissertation Group
Sam Kling, Northwestern University and Courtney Wiersema, University of Notre Dame

“Imagining Downtown Real Estate: Mobility and the Discovery of Property Values in Chicago, 1917-1933”
Sam Kling, Northwestern University

“Where Have All the Gardens Gone? The Domestic Pastoral and the Decline of Urban Agriculture in Chicago, 1833-1893”
Courtney Wiersema, University of Notre Dame

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
American Political Thought Seminar
'The Pursuit of Happiness': On John Adams and Egalitarianism in the Declaration of Independence

John Adams played a much more significant role in the development of the Declaration of Independence than is conventionally recognized. Among his central contributions was to provide the definitive grounding for its egalitarianism in the concept of “happiness.” This was a move away from the slave-holding sections’ preferred commitment to “property.”