Programs for the Public | Newberry

Programs for the Public

The Newberry organizes and hosts programs illuminating topics in the humanities, through a variety of formats tailored to the subject at hand: lectures, staged readings, music and dance performances, panel discussions, workshops, and more. Some events are part of ongoing series, such as Conversations at the Newberry, Meet the Author talks, Programs for Genealogists, the weekly Newberry Colloquium, and exhibition-related programming; others are signature annual events, such as the Newberry Book Fair and the Bughouse Square Debates. Additional public programming may be sponsored by the Newberry’s Research Centers.

Most Newberry public programs are free. Seating is limited and registration in advance is required for many events; see the individual listings for details.

Many of our programs are recorded, and you can listen to them on our website.

Upcoming Public Programs

Friday, January 18, 2019Saturday, April 6, 2019
The Life, Writings, and Influence of Herman Melville, Author of Moby-Dick
Free and open to the public
“Melville: Finding America at Sea” is a free exhibition at the Newberry Library. The show traces the arc of Herman Melville’s life and afterlife through items such as first editions of Moby Dick, rare copies of Melville’s poetry, and a boatload of modern adaptations of the author’s work.
Saturday, February 23, 2019Thursday, November 14, 2019
A series of public programs examining the legacy of the 1919 Chicago race riots
Held at locations across Chicago
Chicago’s 1919 race riots barely register in the city’s current consciousness, yet they were a significant turning point in shaping the racial divides we see today.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Christine DeLucia and Holly Miowak Guise
Free and Open to the Public. Registration required.
Join us for a conversation between two emerging leaders in the field of Native American and Indigenous studies.Christine DeLucia and Holly Guise will discuss the ways in which scholars have approached the field, new trends developing in the 21st century, and the changing role places like the Newberry Library and the American Philosophical Society play in research.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
In their writings, early modern Spanish women such as Ana Caro and María de Zayas appear to isolate themselves from the male literary world.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
How Maps Reveal (and Conceal) History
Open to the public; small donation requested from non-members
Please join us as we celebrate the publication of Susan Schulten’s book, A History of America in 100 Maps. Across five centuries, America has been defined through maps. Whether handmaidens of diplomacy, tools of statecraft, instruments of reform, or advertisements, maps document particular moments in time but also shape the course of history.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Music by Rudolph Ganz and Friends
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
To celebrate the musical legacy and contributions of Rudolph Ganz (1877-1972), a series of three concerts will take place in 2019. Each concert will have a different program, different performers, and a different location in order to reach new audiences.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
In our age, Leonardo da Vinci is regarded as an outstanding genius, the lonely forerunner of modern science and technology, able to read directly in the great Book of Nature without the mediation of culture or literacy.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
For some time, Carl Kupfer (Chicago Map Society) and David Buisseret have been trying to assess historians’ accounts of the trails in Illinois – the Potawatomi Trail, the Shawnee Trace, the Sauk and Kickapoo Trail, the Sauk and Fox Trail and so forth. This presentation will use generally-neglected early nineteenth-century maps to establish where many of these trails ran.
Saturday, April 6, 2019
A Symposium Celebrating Completion of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Editors recall 50 years of work on the 15-volume critical edition, The Writings of Herman Melville, and scholars reflect on its significance for textual editing and on Melville studies today. Schedule 9:30 am Coffee and Continental Breakfast in Rettinger Hall
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Panel Discussion with Illustrative Arias, Chicago Opera Theater
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Join the artists of Chicago Opera Theater’s Moby-Dick and the Melville Society in celebrating the 200th birthday of author Herman Melville.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Julia Guarneri and Michael Stamm
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Join us as authors Julia Guarneri and Michael Stamm discuss the rise and fall of the printed newspaper, in Chicago and nationwide.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Free to attend with advance registration
Our Sisters in Spirit, Directed by Nick Printup (Onondaga & Algonquin) Our Sisters in Spirit explores the question of calling a national public inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women & girls in Canada or whether there may be a better approach. Run time: 35 minutes
Saturday, April 13, 2019
A Poet's Bird Garden with Laura Montenegro
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
Join us for a springtime celebration of National Poetry Month and International Children’s Book Day. Author and artist Laura Nyman Montenegro will read from her book A Poet’s Bird Garden and lead children in a craft workshop to create their own beautiful bird puppets!
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Susan Sleeper-Smith
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792, by Susan Sleeper-Smith, recovers the agrarian village world Indian women created in the lush lands of the Ohio Valley.
Saturday, April 27, 2019Saturday, July 6, 2019
Exhibitions
Free and open to the public
What defines and distinguishes Chicago dance and the city’s dance community? Many dance styles converge and coexist in Chicago, from ballet and flamenco to jazz, tap, contemporary/modern, house, and dances from around the world.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series: Alan Shaw Taylor
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
By examining a map made by natives of the Carolina backcountry in 1721, this presentation reveals efforts to understand and adapt to colonial trade and settlement.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Meet the Author
Free and open to the public; registration required.
Genealogist Kenyatta D. Berry brings her series “Conversations with Kenyatta” to to the Newberry.
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Sara Paretsky’s novels, particularly her V.I. Warshawski series, revolutionized the mystery genre, and paved the way for a good many female writers and characters.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Free to attend with advance registration
Urban Rez, Directed by Larry Pourier (Kiowa)
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
That disease Of which all old men sicken,—avarice. A theatrical reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Wing Foundation Lecture on the History of the Book: Martin Antonetti
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In this lecture, Martin Antonetti will discuss an emerging genre of artists books: printed objects interpenetrated by digital media. These collaborative ecosystems bring poets, technologists, and readers together in visually arresting narrative environments mediated by technology, harbingers of the transit from the age of literacy to the age of visuality.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Schedule 9 am Coffee and Continental Breakfast 9:30 am Introduction to Dance in the Midwest and in the Newberry Collection Susan Manning, Northwestern University, Dance in Chicago
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Conversations at the Newberry
Carl Bialik and Jerry Muller on the Use and Abuse of Data
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Carl Bialik and Jerry Muller discuss our society’s increasing obsession with quantifying performance in all walks of life: education, medicine, business and finance, government, the police and military, and philanthropy and foreign aid. Have we moved from measuring performance to fixating on measurement itself?
Saturday, July 27, 2019
#Bughouse2019
Free and open to the public; no registration or tickets required
At a time when political polarization is intensified by the extremes of digital discourse, the Bughouse Square Debates are a public forum where people can encounter new ideas and share their own—in person!
Thursday, November 7, 2019Saturday, November 9, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
1919 was a year of heightened map production around the world. These maps reflect the instability and the idealistic experimentation of a world attempting to solve the problems that had led to four years of devastating war.