Newberry Teachers’ Consortium

An Illustrated Map of Chicago. Tudor Press (Boston). 1931. Map 6F G4101.C6A3 1931.T8
An Illustrated Map of Chicago. Tudor Press (Boston). 1931. Map 6F G4101.C6A3 1931.T8

The Newberry Teachers’ Consortium offers a series of intellectually stimulating, content-based seminars led by scholars from Chicago-area universities and colleges. The seminars aim to reconnect teachers with the world of scholarship in their content areas and re-inspire them to model the love of learning for their students.

Over 820 teachers are signed up to participate in the 2014-15 Newberry Teachers’ Consortium. The Newberry is pleased to offer 38 seminars on diverse topics, such as “Art as a Weapon: The Black Chicago Renaissance of the 1930s and 1940s,” “Challenges Facing Russia and Ukraine in the 21st Century,” “The Great Gatsby on Screen and In Context,” “The Economics of Emerging Markets,” “The Mexican Revolution and Its Legacy,” and “First World War: The Significance of the “Great War” Then and 100 Years Later.” Participating teachers represent 61 schools and 28 school districts in the Chicago area.

Subject Groups

NTC offers seminars in eight subject areas:

  • American history
  • American studies
  • European history
  • Geography and environmental studies
  • Literature and drama
  • Political science and economics
  • World history
  • World language

Seminar Format

Each seminar is three hours long and takes place on weekdays at the Newberry. Seminars are always scheduled from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm unless otherwise indicated. Participants earn three CPDU credit hours for attending an NTC seminar.

Participating in NTC

NTC is a subscription-based program that requires the purchase of an annual membership. School districts, schools, departments, or individuals are welcome to purchase any level of membership to fit their professional development needs. Districts, schools, and departments that are NTC members use a central contact person to coordinate seminar requests, track seminar participation, and monitor membership status.

Registration is limited to 20 participants per seminar and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Each NTC member may only send two teachers to any given seminar.


  • Individual Membership: $140 per seminar
  • Department Membership: $690 for six seminar slots
  • School Membership: $1,200 for 12 seminar slots
  • District Membership: $1,700 for 20 seminar slots

Download the current NTC Membership Form.

Access the seminar readings.

For questions or more information, please contact Teacher Programs staff.

View past Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars

Upcoming NTC Seminars

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
La Malinche/Malinali/Doña Marina/Malintzín

That one woman is known by so many names is a first clue to the complex identity of the indigenous woman who served as a translator to Hernán Cortés during the Spanish conquest of what is now Mexico and Central America. She has been alternatively vilified and commended for the linguistic and intercultural skills that made her vital to negotiations between Mexica (Aztec) and Spanish leaders.

Friday, January 30, 2015
Serious Clowning
Wait list only

Shakespeare created two kinds of comic characters: the clown and the fool. In this seminar we will explore the way his drama uses these comic creations for serious purposes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015
The 1960s
Wait list only

Mention the 1960s and a handful of places come to mind: Dallas, Selma, San Francisco, Saigon. This seminar will add another place to the list, exploring the key dynamics of that iconic decade as they played out in the nation’s Second City.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Black Rivers, Green Ambitions : The Politics of Climate Change in China

Over the last decade, China has made a dramatic investment in green technology. In 2013, China installed more solar power capacity than exists in the entire United States. Despite its embrace of clean energy at home, China is often regarded as a major obstacle in international climate change negotiations, where it has consistently advocated against binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions....

Monday, February 9, 2015
Hard-Heartedness, Freedom of Expression, and the Romantic Response

The modern tradition of freedom of expression stems from Western religious traditions. What we call the classical liberal tradition today represents an adaptation of Christian thought, blended with market-derived doctrine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Sensing the Stockyards : Smoke, Slaughterhouses, and History
Wait list only

How did Chicagoans interpret the rise of the Union Stockyards in the half-century after the Civil War through their five senses? What might the evidence of the sensory past teach us about their perspectives on the major issues of the day including public health, adulterated food, industrial pollution, the conflict between labor and capital, and political radicalism?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
South Asia from World War II to the War on Terror

This is a longue-durée look at South Asia from the fall of the British Empire to the current period.

Thursday, February 12, 2015
The Cultural Enlightenment (1650-1800)
Wait list only

In this seminar we will discuss the social and cultural history of the Enlightenment. Through an exploration of the forms and locations of the Enlightenment—such as the press, salons, clubs, and coffeehouses—we will explore how Enlightenment ideas were disseminated.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
American Populisms

“The People” have rampaged throughout American history. But for good, or for ill? This seminar will explore how populism has influenced the course of our past, from the 18th century to the present.

Friday, February 20, 2015
Food and Politics
Wait list only

This seminar explores the relationships and connections between food and politics. To study the politics of food is to study the power relationships involving the production, distribution, subsidizing and marketing of food. Although not always apparent, government and corporations are inextricably bound in food policies that directly and profoundly affect our lives.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
America's Response to the Holocaust
Wait list only

Although there is widespread agreement that American authorities knew by 1942 of Hitler’s plan to annihilate Europe’s Jews, there is no consensus about the nature and effectiveness of America’s response to the Holocaust.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
"A comic book can be true!?!" : Considering Non-fiction Comics
Wait list only

While the term “non-fiction comics” may not be familiar, you have likely heard of the following comics, even though they are often referred to as “graphic novels”: Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and, of course, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, to name a few.

Thursday, February 26, 2015
The Politics of International Law

Aerial drones, humanitarian intervention, cyber attacks, torture. The big debates in world politics today are entangled with international law and with controversy over what is legal and what is not.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
The Vikings : Medieval Ambassadors of Terror, Trade, and Multiculturalism
Wait list only

This seminar explores teaching methods and tools (e.g. images, sources, documentaries) for approaching the social, religious, economic, political and cultural history of the Vikings, from the first recorded Viking attacks in England, c.

Friday, March 6, 2015
Le cinéma "français" accenté : Construire les faces et les espaces de "l'Autre"

On ne peut définir le cinéma et la culture de la France métropolitaine actuelle, sans se référer au mélange des cultures et espaces identitaires qui forment le paysage français actuel. Une façon d’examiner la culture française d’aujourd’hui est d’interpréter comment le cinéma reflète le métissage courant ou les frictions culturelles qui se voient en métropole.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Family in Latin American Cinema

This seminar will examine the strategies that Latin American filmmakers use to represent families, and the trope of the family more broadly, to explore the social, political and historical realities that mark the region.

Friday, March 13, 2015
Are We Running Dry? : The Future of Water Supply and Demand in the USA

Water resources are essential to society and ecosystems. Unabated urbanization has placed incredible stress on water supply, demand, and quality, and these stresses are likely to be compounded by climate change. In some areas climate change is likely to increase the demand for water, while at the same time shrinking already scarce water resources.

Friday, April 17, 2015
Shakespeare's Women on Film : Sorcerers, Celebrities, Grrrls, and Other Upstarts
Wait list only

This seminar has been rescheduled. Please note the new date above.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The Great Gatsby on Screen and in Context
Wait list only

This seminar cultivates strategies for teaching F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in relation to its film adaptations, privileging the 1974 and 2013 versions. First, we will discuss prompts students can answer during their reading or before a screening, facilitating richer responses to the movies’ images, sounds, and scene structures.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Wait list only

The economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of gentrification are all important, both in terms of the foundations of the process and potential responses to it. This seminar will overview the key terms and theories necessary to understand the process of the ‘upgrading’ or ‘revitalization’ of previously disinvested urban neighborhoods.