The Newberry’s program in Chicago Studies illuminates Chicago’s dynamic history, literature, culture, and politics through an array of scholarly and public programs inspired by the library’s unique archival collection. Chicago Studies encompasses multi-year research projects, summer institutes and seminars, public programming, training for graduate students, youth outreach programs, and collaborations with other cultural institutions in Chicago. The program draws upon the expertise of Newberry staff and the library’s deep and rich primary source material related to Chicago’s past.
Chicago Studies is directed by Dr. Liesl Olson, a literary historian and the author of two books, Modernism and the Ordinary (Oxford, 2009) and Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis (Yale, 2017). She received her doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in New York City and taught for four years at the University of Chicago as a Harper-Schmidt Fellow. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Newberry Library.
Current and Upcoming Programs
Chicago: City of Commerce and Design, 1890–1990, monthly scholarly seminars Fall 2017 through Fall 2018, funded by the Terra Foundation of American Art
Art and Public Culture in Chicago, an NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, June 11 - 29, 2018, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities
The Archive: Form, Theory, Practice: a seminar for graduate students on archival practices and theory, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, held on Fridays from October 5- December 7, 2018 (no class Nov. 9 or Nov. 23). Click here for a copy of the flyer.
Recent Projects and Grants
Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Twentieth-Century Chicago, 1893-1955, an NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers, June 17 - July 12, 2017, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities
Chicago Studies and the Archive, a three-session seminar for graduate students on archival methods, April 2017
Making Modernism website, based on the work of NEH Summer Institutes in 2013 and 2017