Newberry Teachers’ Consortium | Newberry

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium

E.A. Burbank’s portrait of Pahl-Lee, a Hopi Indian woman. Call number VAULT oversize Ayer Art Burbank No. 60.

The Newberry Teachers’ Consortium offers a series of intellectually stimulating, content-based seminars led by scholars from 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.

The Newberry is pleased to offer dozens of seminars throughout the program year. Our 2019-20 seminars feature topics as diverse as U.S. Latinx Literature and Culture, Penelope’s Odyssey, and Native American and Indigenous Forms of Resistance. Participating teachers represent more than 60 schools and 25 school districts in the Chicago area. Over 700 teachers participated in the 2018-19 Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars.

View the 2019-2020 NTC Seminar Schedule here.

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

Seminars are three hours long and take place on weekdays during the school year at the Newberry. Seminars are scheduled from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, unless otherwise indicated, and are followed by a catered lunch. Participants earn up to three ISBE professional development credit hours for attending an NTC seminar.

The Newberry Teachers’ Consortium Plus seminars (NTC+) are five hour seminars that allow teachers to dive deeper into the seminar content. The extended seminar also provides participants with an opportunity to work with the Newberry’s rich collection of primary sources. NTC+ seminars cost $150 each, and are limited to twenty participants.

Participating in NTC

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

Individual educators not affiliated with a current NTC member, including retired teachers, are welcome to participate. A group of individual educators registering through one contact may purchase slots together for a volume discount.

Registration is limited to 20 participants per seminar and is processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for the 2019-20 school year begins Friday, September 6, 2019. Each NTC member may send up to two teachers to any given seminar.


  • Tier 1: $1,800 for 20 seminar slots / $90 per seminar for each additional slot
  • Tier 2: $1,260 for 12 seminar slots / $105 per additional seminar up to 19 slots
  • Tier 3: $720 for 6 seminar slots / $120 per additional seminar up to 11 slots
  • Tier 4: $145 per seminar for 1–5 slots

Members that would like to purchase additional seminar slots above their membership level will be billed a prorated rate for each additional seminar up to the next membership level (e.g. a member at the School level wishing to purchase 18 slots would purchase their School Membership at the rate of $1260 plus $105 for the additional 4 seminars, for a total of $1680).

Registration for NTC 2019-20 will open September 6, 2019.

Download the current NTC Membership form, NTC Registration Form, and the 2019-20 NTC Seminar Schedule.

For more information about the Newberry Teachers’ Consortium, please contact Teacher Programs staff.

View past Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars.

Upcoming NTC Seminars

Friday, January 24, 2020
A crossed-dressed woman who complains that her life is constrained by men marches into the courtroom and makes sure that a Jewish character is defeated. A wealthy merchant pines for an aristocratic man way above his station, while servants and daughters devise schemes to be free.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Few American poems have intervened as successfully and enduringly in the public sphere as “The New Colossus,” the sonnet composed by Jewish American poet, essayist, and journalist Emma Lazarus.
Friday, January 31, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
This seminar applies the techniques of micro-history – the intense exploration of a tightly-focused time or place – to a tiny slice of twentieth century Chicago. It starts on the Fourth of July 1961 on the 6100 block of W. Eddy Street, out in the north side’s bungalow belt.
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Herman Melville is best known for Moby-Dick, but he also wrote masterpieces of shorter fiction, including “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” “Benito Cereno,” “The Encantadas,” and “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids.” This seminar will explore productive ways to teach and engage with Melville’s short stories and their themes of labor, class struggle, urban life, racial c
Friday, February 7, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
It seems so obvious that we are living in a “Second Gilded Age.” Rampant economic inequality amid an exploding growth in technology, a tidal wave of white supremacy, political corruption at the highest levels, attacks on government programs and even the very idea of a social contract, deeply polarizing conflicts over immigration and nativism, the swelling of populism….
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Cyber politics is a new frontier in the realm of politics, one in which government is the principle actor. This seminar will emphasize the vulnerability of political systems when government lags behind adversaries or hostile parties in developing cyber capabilities.
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
In June 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that federal courts cannot determine whether election maps are overly partisan, effectively leaving the issue to Congress and ensuring that gerrymandering will be a factor in the 2020 elections.
Friday, February 21, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
From the first European coffee shops of the seventeenth century to the ubiquity of Starbucks in airports around the globe today, coffee has played an important role in the cultural history of the West and its relationship to other parts of the world.
Monday, February 24, 2020
In the modern Western world, coffee, tea, and chocolate are viewed as daily necessities, found everywhere from convenience stores to chain restaurants to artisanal markets. These three caffeinated foodstuffs—all originally consumed as beverages—first made their way to Europe in the sixteenth century, awakening a continent accustomed to alcohol.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
Presidential nominations are a battle among candidates and factions for the heart and soul of a political party. Presidential nominees, more than any other person or group, are the personified image of their party, the aspirational goals of the party, and the policies that the party will pursue if they get elected.
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
More than eight years of violence in Syria has left more than 500,000 killed or disappeared, forced over half the population of 22 million from their homes, and registered material destruction in the hundreds of billions of dollars. This seminar will explore the origins and evolution of this conflict and humanitarian catastrophe.
Friday, February 28, 2020
Arguably, Voltaire epitomized and embodied the Enlightenment. Through a vast array of writings spanning disparate literary forms – including poems, plays, short stories and novellas, histories, philosophy, political activism, polemics, science, and a voluminous correspondence – Voltaire’s impact can hardly be overestimated.
Monday, March 2, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
Surely one of the darkest chapters in modern American history is the WWII-era Japanese Internment camps. After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, an intense and racist fear gripped this country. It was thought that anyone of Japanese descent, particularly on the West Coast, posed a threat to security as the U.S. entered World War II against Japan and the Axis powers.
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Presidential nominations are a battle among candidates and factions for the heart and soul of a political party. Presidential nominees, more than any other person or group, are the personified image of their party, the aspirational goals of the party, and the policies that the party will pursue if they get elected.
Friday, March 6, 2020
This seminar studies the Mughal empire, one of the most important pre-modern powers, responsible in surprising ways for the world we live in.Beginning with the unlikely victory of Babur in 1526 we will examine the political, economic, social, and cultural developments resulting from the establishment of this powerful Islamic empire in a region where Muslims were always a minority.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) was the subject of both promotional campaign songs and musical critiques. The posthumous Lincoln repertoire, however, has flourish to a degree that sets him apart from other chief executives.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Timbre, loudness, attack, decay, distortion, softness. We have many descriptors for sound that convey its aesthetic qualities, and that suggest what (not) to listen for. But how exactly does listening take place and what are the broader effects of listening? This seminar explores the emergent field of sound studies from the perspective of listening.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
With the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment on August 18th,1920, American women finally secured the most fundamental right of citizens in a democracy.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
This seminar provides an overview of the contributions of US Latinx authors and artists of the 20th-21st centuries (with an emphasis on the output of the Nuevo Latinx Boom).
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
In this seminar, we’ll explore Toni Morrison’s commitment to providing rich, complex subjectivities for black girls in her novels The Bluest Eye and Sula. We’ll approach issues of black girlhood intersectionality, thinking about the connections of gender, race, sexuality, class, education and mobility.
Friday, April 17, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
What do Grant Park, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Jackson Park, South Shore Cultural Center, and Steelworkers Park all have in common? They all are located on Chicago’s lakefront. Chicago’s 27 miles of lakefront have undergone significant physical, social, and cultural transformations since the time of European exploration. This NTC seminar will examine these transformations.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
The Renaissance, as the period’s name tells us, is generally conceived of as a time of “rebirth” when there was an intense interest in looking back to antiquity. This seminar will consider another aspect of Renaissance studies and question what was new in the Renaissance through an exploration of a renowned print series, entitled the Nova Reperta.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
Two of the biggest misconceptions about American Indian peoples in the United States are that they 1) have disappeared, and 2) are just like any other racial group. Instead, American Indian nations are sovereign nations that are still here.
Friday, April 24, 2020
Please note this seminar will be conducted in French.