Programs and Events | Newberry

Programs and Events

The Newberry offers programming in the humanities for lifelong learners, students, teachers, scholars, and genealogy researchers. Please visit the individual program pages below for information about how to register in advance.

Watch or listen to past programs on the Newberry’s YouTube channel.

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E.g., 10/26/2021
E.g., 10/26/2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Led by Andrew Schultze.
Virtual
This seminar traces the development of American music from the American Revolution to the admission of California to the Union. We will explore the influence of English and European music, as well as French, Spanish, Native American, and African American cultural influences.
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Led by Jill Howe.
Virtual
Beginning to advanced students are welcome in this intimate workshop examining vulnerability, personal storytelling, performance, and craft. Along with the art, science, and psychology of vulnerability as it relates to the art of storytelling, participants will learn the elements of good stories, how to mine our lives for resonant tales, and how to shape them for the page and stage
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Led by Kellie D. Brown
Cancelled
In this course, we will focus on the stories of orchestras, composers, and musicians who stubbornly clung to music, wherever and however they could, to preserve their culture, to uplift the human spirit, and to triumph over oppression, even amid incredible tragedy and suffering.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Led by Harrison Sherrod.
Cancelled
Conspiracy theories, secret histories, fake news—paranoia seems to have permeated mainstream culture as the prevailing affect of our strange, uncertain times. Cinema has provided us with many textbook illustrations of paranoia, from portrayals of delusional psychosis to mysteries in which everyone is a suspect.
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Led by Mark Pohlad
Cancelled
This course examines how Abraham Lincoln has been represented in American films (rather than documentaries or television productions) through in-class viewing of select scenes and informed discussion.Throughout, we shall discuss how all aspects of these productions—their direction, actors, costumes, musical scores, etc.—contribute to the treatment of Lincoln
Saturday, October 30, 2021
Led by Toby Altman
Cancelled
This one-day course will supplement the Newberry’s new exhibition, Chicago Avant-Garde: Five Women Ahead of their Time, by looking at a selection of key figures of Chicago’s avant-garde today.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Led by Maggie Taft.
Virtual
Why do the Shakers, a utopian sect founded in the eighteenth century, matter today? This seminar explores the Shakers as radicals who imagined an alternative way to live, outside of conventional American culture.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Led by Sara Černe.
Virtual
Over the span of a hundred years, Chicago grew from a town of a few thousand people to a quintessentially American metropolis. Whose voices define the city, which narratives have been forgotten in public memory, and how does this tapestry of different histories, origins, and perspectives contribute to the vision of the city in the popular imagination?
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Led by Judith M Wilks
Virtual
In this six-session course, we will sample five works by three major figures in medieval Islamic mysticism. We will explore these mystics’ different approaches to spirituality and the quest for nearness to the divine. While our main emphasis will be on the content of their work, we will also devote attention to literary form.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Led by Toby Altman.
Virtual
This workshop is designed to get you thinking about new ways to write poetry. Over the course of the seminar, we’ll encounter a range of methods for writing poems—some experimental, some traditional.
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Led by Caron Primas Brennan
Virtual
If you have exhausted your old standby resources and need some new records to review, there are some other databases to check out. In this two-session seminar, we will learn about frequently overlooked online genealogy resources like Fold3.com, a primarily military site; Newspapers.com; American Ancestors; and FindMyPast.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Led by Emilie M. Brinkman.
Virtual
Have you ever wondered about the origins of today’s high heel? Did you know that high heels were once a male style in the Western world, worn by warriors, aristocrats, and kings? Explore the rich cultural history of heeled footwear and discover how the high heel was transformed into a thoroughly female fashion and symbol of sexualized femininity by the late nineteenth century.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Led by Tara Betts.
In person
Imagine five dramatically different women creating in several artistic disciplines the same vibrant city at the same time. In this seminar, we’ll consider the work of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, visual artist Gertrude Abercrombie, choreographers Katherine Dunham and Ruth Page, and art critic, curator, and collector Katherine Kuh.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Led by Margaret Denny.
Virtual
Over the course of photography’s relatively short history, certain photographs have become iconic, revealing compassion, love, unrest, controversy, and innovation in fleeting moments.This seminar will introduce you to photography’s most iconic images and the stories behind them.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Led by Brian Oberlander. Four sessions.
Virtual
Explore the sound, construction, and social significance of musical instruments in this global survey: from the bone flutes of the Upper Paleolithic to Tutankhamun’s trumpets, we examine musical instruments as archaeological artifacts.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Led by Sarah Kernan.
Virtual
In this seminar, conducted as a cooking demonstration and workshop, we will study, prepare, and taste early modern English recipes from manuscript and print sources. We will explore the background, methods, and meanings behind a few historic preparations for dishes with ingredients harvested or served each autumn.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Led by Richard Bell
Virtual
The American Revolution was a transformative moment in African American history, a freedom war second only to the Civil War in significance. The chaos of the war itself brought many enslaved men new opportunities for independence. But after the British surrendered and evacuated, black fortunes would diverge dramatically.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Led by Patricia Scanlan.
Virtual
In this seminar, we will survey the history of American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the Civil War—decades of dramatic upheaval that witnessed the birth of the new nation, Western expansion, encounters with Indigenous peoples, and a rapidly changing society.
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Led by Julia Bachrach.
Virtual
North Lake Shore Drive has a fascinating history. Conceived as a pleasure drive at the Lake Michigan edge of Lincoln Park, the Drive was built in stages between the 1870s and late 1950s. As the lakefront boulevard was extended to the north and south, it attracted the development of nearby residences in the adjacent Near North, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, and Edgewater communities.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Led by Steven J. Venturino.
Virtual
This seminar will focus on a three-part reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s most recent novel, Klara and the Sun. The sequential format of reading and discussion will allow participants to explore and appreciate Ishiguro’s engaging yet challenging style as the novel unfolds its own exploration of technology, love, memory, neglect, and perception.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Led by Katrina A Kemble.
Virtual
“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf. This seminar will explore famous and successful women writers who hid their gender identity by publishing under gender- neutral or male names or by simply signing off “Anonymous.”
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Led by Kathleen Murphy Skolnik.
Virtual
This seminar examines American murals of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, including both non-government-funded murals and those produced under New Deal programs designed to assist struggling artists during the Great Depression.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Led by Amy Cook.
Virtual
You’ve tackled the creative aspect of your writing; now be sure you’re business-savvy. In this seminar, we’ll discuss how to get your work in front of editors, protecting your work and to what extent you can use the work of others, and how to understand and negotiate a publishing contract