Newberry Teachers’ Consortium | Newberry

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium

Front cover of song and march written about the 1900 presidential election.

Front cover of 1900 Campaign March, featuring photographs of presidential hopefuls William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan, from the Driscoll Collection of American Sheet Music.

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 on topics as diverse as contemporary poetry, sports history, ancient China, the European Union, and Shakespeare. Participating teachers represent more than 60 schools and 25 school districts in the Chicago area. Over 830 teachers signed up to participate in the 2015-16 Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars.

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 $125 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 2017-18 school year begins Wednesday, September 6, 2017. 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).

Download the current NTC Membership Form. View the NTC 2017-18 Seminar Listing.

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

View past Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars

Upcoming NTC Seminars

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
South African history did not begin when Jan van Riebeeck set up a refreshment station on the Cape of Good Hope in 1652; Africans had been living in the area for centuries. However, that historical moment marked the beginning of over 350 years of European settlement, expropriation, and conquest.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
Ever since Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games (2008), dystopian literature—literature that imagines societies worse than our own—has been particularly popular with young adult readers. But other than enticing students to read, does dystopian literature have a particular use value?
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
This seminar will explore the background, origins, evolution, and human toll of the current conflict in Syria. It will begin by situating the country in the context of modern Middle East history and examining the character of the authoritarian regime that solidified under the presidency of Hafez al-Assad (1970-2000) and then his son Bashar (2000—).
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
The Civil Rights Movement is strongly associated with the 1950s and 1960s, when heroic figures such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., came on to the world stage. But in recent years some historians have argued that those decades are best understood in the context of a much longer black freedom struggle, which extends from Emancipation to Barack Obama and beyond.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
Although acknowledged as a foundational work of English literature, the complicated and allusive style of the longest epic poem in Old English often intimidates teachers and students alike. This seminar will help educators to read and teach the work in a new way by illuminating the fascinating mixture of mythic, legendary, and historical material that come together in the poem.
Monday, February 5, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
Numerous primary sources by and about women, from every era of American history, are now widely available. Even so, curricular and standardized test demands, as well as time constraints, can make it difficult for teachers to authentically incorporate the history of women into the larger historical narrative of the typical U.S. survey course.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
The history of death and dying provides a useful window into approaches toward cultural and intellectual history, topics that students might not normally associate with history at all.
Friday, February 9, 2018
The theory and practice of absolute monarchy in Early Modern Europe provides a wide array of examples, some successful and others less so, on how to run the emerging state. This seminar will explore some of the theories behind absolutism and the notion of the “king’s two bodies” before turning to the development of absolutism in practice.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
The success of its baseball teams between 1901 and 1919 catapulted Chicago to the top of the sporting world. In those 19 seasons, Chicago teams won 9 pennants (10 if you count the 1915 Federal League title won by the Chicago Whales) and 4 world championships.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
In the early seventeenth century, Andean native Guaman Poma de Ayala wrote a detailed and richly illustrated “letter” to the King of Spain. In it, he chronicled Andean history and sought redress of the abuses that he observed in colonial Peru.
Monday, February 26, 2018
The attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher supermarket in January 2015 rocked France and shocked the rest of the world. While historians of modern France have long been interested in questions of immigration, race and national identity, these issues have taken center stage in light of recent events.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
What does adulthood look like to different generations? And what tools do we have at our disposal to investigate what has changed - and what hasn’t? This seminar includes historical background on the American conception of adulthood over the past 150 years and offers some classroom ready exercises in data collection and analysis.
Friday, March 9, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
Modernism-as a style, a culture, and a philosophy transformed the world in the twentieth century. Chicago both reflected and generated some of its key aspects, and in its own characteristic ways.
Monday, March 12, 2018
Lead is often referred to as “poverty’s poison” because lead poisoning is most prevalent in young children living in inner-city communities of color stamped with an industrial footprint. The lead crisis in Flint, MI produced splashy and breathless coverage by the mainstream media, giving the impression that lead contamination is a recent phenomenon.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
This seminar will explore the troubled yet still hopeful history of public housing in Chicago from the 1930s to the present day.
Friday, March 16, 2018
Please note that this seminar will be conducted in French. Even more than other European countries, modern France was shaped by its experience of the twentieth century’s two world wars.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
This seminar will offer tools for reading and writing Creative nonfiction, including personal essay, travel writing, memoir and biomythography. We’ll use as our inspiration short writings by James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Zadie Smith, Angela Morales, Gloria Anzaldua and others.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
Many social sciences classes involve economic theories even if they aren’t “economics” classes. This class will provide non economists (or those new to economics) an understanding of important economics concepts. Are supply and demand curves really that important to the market? What is a tariff and do they help protect local jobs? Does a minimum wage hurt or help an economy?
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
Since the Enlightenment, the myth of the African past has depicted Africans as isolated from history, destined to live in static “tribal” societies until the forces of change intruded in the form of colonial conquest.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Full. Waitlist only.
Really short poems-just one, two, three, or four lines long-are a superb resource for teaching the art of close reading. Because they’re so short, they ease the anxiety students often have about poetry as an art form, and they can be integrated into a longer class period as a “warm-up” or “cool-down” exercise, helping teachers cultivate close reading as a habit.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Chicagoans often attribute much of what’s right about our city’s infrastructure to Daniel Burnham and his 1909 Plan of Chicago (co-written with Edward Bennett).