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 1,129 teachers signed up to participate in the 2017-18 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 2018-19 school year begins Friday, September 7, 2018. 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.

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

View past Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars

Upcoming NTC Seminars

Thursday, October 4, 2018
In the nearly three decades since critical race theorist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw first published “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex” to describe the complexity of identity and injustice, the term “intersectionality” has become a cultural meme.
Friday, October 12, 2018
Those of us who work with adolescents and young adults are working with the most anxious generation of young people in recent history. Educators and researchers alike believe that social media is a contributing factor to the anxiety epidemic. What exactly does social science research tell us about the link between social media and anxiety?
Friday, October 12, 2018
Because of its intimidating grandeur, Shakespeare’s King Lear is rightly regarded by many as the Mount Everest of English literature. The masterwork can certainly be overwhelming in its scope. Therefore, reading is sometimes easier if one starts with a particular angle of approach.
Monday, October 15, 2018
“You too have been spellbound by magical voices, sweet voices with strange melodies… . You have angered people you should not have.”
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
How has current US foreign policy impacted globalization and trade in the world economy?
Thursday, October 18, 2018
The history of the relationship between Ireland and Britain is one fraught with religious tensions, rebellion, political activism, outright war and sometimes fragile peace. In this seminar, we will examine the history of the “Irish Question,” or the Irish pursuit of national autonomy, within the wider context of European, colonial, and contemporary history.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
The 2014 film Belle was inspired by a late eighteenth-century painting featuring two well dressed young women, one apparently black and one apparently white. Each of the historical figures depicted had spent part of her youth in the home and care of Britain’s powerful Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, who was related to both.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Americans tend to associate Islam with the Middle East, but in fact far more Muslims live outside that area than within it. Nearly 100 million Muslims live in Nigeria alone, more than the population of Egypt and more than the population of all the Arabian states combined.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
The theme of this seminar is TRANSFORMATION. The location of cities and their patterns of growth are dependent in part on the characteristics of their physical environment.
Friday, November 2, 2018
The last 25 years have witnessed growing partisan polarization and intensifying party conflict. Some evidence indicates that partisanship has supplanted race as the main social cleavage in America. Anecdotally, we see it as people de-friend and block each other on social media.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
This seminar explores representations of immigration to France in literature and culture, focusing on the topics of responses to French universalism and the choice to write in French as an adopted language.
Monday, November 12, 2018
American politics has become increasingly charged and seemingly more polarized over the past few national election cycles. Elections seem more high-stakes than ever, and we see heightened scrutiny of campaign strategies, voter turnout levels, and voting districts.
Thursday, December 6, 2018
The war and its aftermath created legacies that are still with us. While we will not cover specifics of the conflict, we will examine the historical impact of the war on the the rest of the twentieth century, as well as its lingering aftershocks to the present.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
“Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,” Whitman asks in “Live Oak With Moss.” This would be a seminar on Whitman as a love poet, reading him not only historically, in terms of what his poems can teach us about love in mid-to-late-19th century America, but also aesthetically, in terms of how he enacts ideas of love in his compositional choices, and more philosoph
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
This seminar will explore the visual culture of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, in conjunction with the Newberry’s fall 2018 thematic exhibition, Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World’s Fair. The seminar will begin with a classroom discussion of the readings and of images of the fair in various artistic media.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
In this seminar we will discuss two classic works of gothic fiction, both of which explore the problem of the divided self: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Or, the Myth of the Modern Prometheus and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Recently “capitalism” has emerged as a major category for analysis and debate. This seminar will explore some of this new research and how it can challenge the way we teach major topics in global and US history. The seminar will explore how the history of capitalism can helpfully frame three major historical junctures.
Monday, February 4, 2019
Spices were an important commodity in medieval Europe with an allure and mythology dating back to Antiquity. Europeans used spices in culinary, medicinal, and religious applications, driving an enormous demand for these products. Prices rose to astronomical levels as all types of spices, from pepper to sugar to saffron, became revered luxury items and status symbols across Europe.
Thursday, February 7, 2019
This three-hour seminar discusses the global re-writings of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, relating the novel to newer materials from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Why is Conrad’s novella echoed in so many texts from the global south, including in works by authors that trenchantly dismiss Conrad’s politics?
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Early America was a violent place. Competing cultures, clashing agendas, and a series of unsettling conditions all encouraged conflict. This is the prevailing historical narrative today that defines Early America, circa 1492-1800. However, violence was only one response to the complex and intimate interactions between Native Americans, African Americans, and Europeans in the New World.
Friday, February 15, 2019
Cities can be understood as mosaics of different sorts of places where we construct identity, starting with the home and workplace, where we are defined by family relationships and by what we do for a living. But sociologist Ray Oldenburg has theorized the “third place,” where city dwellers voluntarily form communities based on shared interests and concerns beyond the ties of blood or money.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Few expected the recent Red Uprising of teachers in conservative states such as West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona. In this seminar, we will look at that uprising in historical perspective. We will also look at the political history of teachers’ unions more generally over the last century.
Friday, February 22, 2019
This seminar will discuss how eighteenth-century thinkers developed and understood the idea of individual human rights. They espoused the idea, embodied in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789), that “all men are born free and remain equal in rights.” But putting this notion into practice during the age of Enlightenment proved somewhat difficult.
Monday, February 25, 2019
Most Americans think of the civil rights movement as a southern phenomenon, aimed at toppling the legal system of segregation that stripped African Americans of the rights the Constitution guaranteed them. But the movement also swept through the north, where it confronted a set of racial practices every bit as devastating as the South’s.
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Since the early 1990s, the United States government has increasingly militarized its border with Mexico, with far-reaching effects. The increased enforcement infrastructure in southern California and Texas, for instance, has funneled migrants into southern Arizona’s dangerous deserts, where thousands have died of heat exposure.
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Herman Melville acted as both champion and critic of the rapidly changing, expanding United States of the nineteenth century.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
This course will explore what it means to be diverse in America. While Americans are a people of wide-ranging races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation and levels of wealth, this diversity presents challenges.
Monday, April 29, 2019
This seminar provides a framework for teaching and reading Asian American literature at three levels of scale: world, nation, and city. At the world scale, we will discuss the political origins of the phrase “Asian American” in the late 1960s and its associations with radical forms of political activism such as the Third World Liberation Front.