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.

Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive updates on Newberry programming.

E.g., 04/23/2021
E.g., 04/23/2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Led by Teresa S. McMillin, CG
Full. Email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list.
Learn how to research your immigrant ancestor’s German origins. This seminar guides you through the process of using reliable genealogical sources for investigating German immigrant history.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Led by Caron Primas Brennan
Full. Email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list.
So, you think you know Ancestry.com? In this seminar, we will take a tour of the Ancestry.com website to see what it has to offer genealogy researchers and discuss tips and tricks for how to get the most out of Ancestry.
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Led by Marsha Peterson-Maass
The Newberry has one of the nation’s strongest genealogy collections. This one-session seminar will introduce you to accredited methods for tracing your family’s history in America.
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Led by Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch
Jane Austen’s 1815 novel is a satirical proto-mystery novel, though instead of corpses we have couples that need proper matching up. Austen provides us with a clueless heroine, hidden hints, and red herrings, so that reading this novel is an exercise in literary detection.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Led by Caron Primas Brennan
Full. Email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list.
Have you exhausted your old standby resources? Do you need some new records to review? This genealogy workshop will introduce you to family history databases you may have heard of but never utilized . . .
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Led by Rachel Boyle, PhD
Did Chicago always have police? This seminar will explore the origins of the city’s police force in the nineteenth century.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Led by Michael Menendian
This seminar provides a unique insight into how productions are created in the vibrant Chicago theatre community.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Led by Steven J. Venturino
Charles Dickens’s challenging novel Little Dorrit explores poverty and privilege, fact and fiction, history and memory, the human capacity for fiction, and the experience of confinement.
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Led by Esther Hershenhorn
Eager to revise your current picture book manuscript for submission? This instructor-led workshop will provide you with the opportunity to share your manuscript with other writers and help you continue to hone your craft.
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Led by Steven J. Venturino
This seminar offers a lively survey of some of the artistic techniques, styles, innovations, and traditions that we encounter everyday.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Led by Stephen Kleiman
In this course, we will develop our awareness of female composers of the past 500 years.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Led by Harrison Sherrod
Once understood as an insidious flight of fancy reserved for crackpot conspiracy theorists and unglued skeptics, paranoia now seems to have permeated mainstream culture as the trademark affect of our uncertain times.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Led by Nina Wieda
This seminar will explore the current condition of Russia–including its conflicted relationship with the West–through the prism of its literature and popular culture.
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Led by C. Mitchell
If you’ve ever thought “I don’t understand poetry!” then this class is designed for you! We will have the chance to enjoy and discover various poems using the hypothesis that poetry can be a form of “capture.”
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Led by Bill Savage
Chicagoans create their identities in the dynamic of the city’s private, semi-public, and public spaces. In summer, public spaces–streets, parks, and beaches–become especially important, as finer weather and higher temperatures encourage people to connect, or come into conflict, with each other.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Led by Julia Kriventsova Denne
This seminar will introduce you to the prose of Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, two writers famous primarily for their poetry but whose panoramic, witty, ironic, and precise fiction had a tremendous impact on the subsequent development of the Russian novel.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Led by Margaret Farr
This seminar examines the artistic legacy of Vivian Maier through close examination of her photographs and their connections to the work of earlier photographers and those of her contemporaries.
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Led by Richard Reeder and Bob Boone
Take an unforgettable literary trip to William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County. Meet the Compsons, Sutpens, and dozens of other utterly unique characters who dwell there, and encounter the complex relationships that slavery left in its wake.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Led by Joseph Heininger
Explore the contemporary Irish short story through the fiction of some of Ireland’s best writers, including Colm Toibin, Edna O’Brien, Clare Boylan, Sean O’Faolain, William Trevor, and Claire Keegain.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Led by Julia Bachrach
This seminar explores the fascinating making of the fairgrounds for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, including the challenges faced by lead architects Daniel H. Burnham, John W. Root, and Charles Atwood, and landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Henry Codman.
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Led by Dr. Brian Oberlander
Rediscover Shakespeare’s plays by exploring the ballads, fanfares, marches, dances, and ingenious musical imagery that abound in his texts.
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Led by Julie Benesh
Ironically, mashing – compression, constraint, and juxtaposition – can be freeing! From using particular words or letters or doing 10 minute free-writes to pouring a lot of material into a tiny container, juxtapositions may include turning a meditation on mortality into a shopping list …
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Led by Amber Pouliot
Charlotte Brontë’s story of a poor, plain, disconnected governess valiantly making her way in the world has captured the imaginations of scores of writers, artists, and producers who have adapted her novel for a wide range of media, including ballet, radio, film, theatre, and television.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Led by Julia Miglets-Nelson, PhD
This seminar will explore the social and cultural implications of the plague of 1348 in Italy, also known as the Black Death, using written sources and material culture. Was the plague a pivotal event in Western history, as some historians have argued?
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Led by Jaymie P. Middendorf
Focusing on emigration from Europe to the United States between 1850 and 1940, this seminar will explore the major European ports of departure, major American ports of arrival, passenger lists, and ships.
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Led by Seth Wilson
This workshop will teach the principles of playwriting through script analysis. Topics will include dramatic action, exposition, characterization, and visual storytelling.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Led by Cindy Juyoung Ok
In this poetry-focused workshop, we will consider the body as landscape, the landscape as a body, and language as both body and landscape, questioning each relationship as we explore five contemporary poetry collections.
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Led by Judy Pomeranz
What is it that draws us to the golden, brilliantly patterned paintings of Gustav Klimt and to the disturbing, contorted, haunting figures of Egon Schiele?