Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man | Newberry

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

Led by Richard Reeder.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Four sessions, Wednesdays, April 21 - May 12

2 - 3:30 pm (Central Time)

Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet virtually via Zoom. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to seminars@newberry.org.

Seminar Description

Published in 1952, Invisible Man won the National Book Award in 1953 and remains one of the great American classics. In the first paragraph of its “Prologue,” the unnamed Black protagonist declares, “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” Today, this statement resonates more than ever, having become part and parcel of our nation's ongoing public dialog on racism. In this seminar, we’ll explore Ellison’s novel and its profound relevance to contemporary American society.

Four sessions. Registration – $170

Richard Reeder is the author of Chicago Sketches and 1001 Train Rides in Chicago. He moderates the monthly Chicago-themed book club at the Cliff Dwellers Club. Richard is the past president of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

Materials List


  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Vintage International, 1995. ISBN: 9780679732761

First Reading:

  • For the first session, please read the Prologue and Chapters 1-4 of Invisible Man.

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 13th. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 7 at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at seminars@newberry.org.

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.