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Upcoming Chicago Interest Seminars

This list is of upcoming seminars only. Since most seminars meet more than once in a term, if a class has already met at least once, it will no longer show up on this list. To find a seminar that has already started or has finished, use the calendar and set the date range to include the seminar's starting date.

Starting: Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Tuesdays, June 10 – August 12
Public Art and Public Life in Chicago
Led by Diane Dillon

Through a series of walking tours, we will explore Chicago’s public art riches, including murals, commemorative statues, architectural sculpture, commercial decorations, and park designs. We will pay special attention to the role of public art in shaping the civic, national, and ethnic identities of its audiences, and consider the role of public art in promoting tourism, commerce, and...


Starting: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Wednesdays, June 11 – July 30
Jazz: A Listener's Guide
Led by Karl E.H. Seigfried

Gain a deeper understanding of America’s original music–from a listener’s perspective. We will explore jazz from the ground up, starting with the instruments and idioms of jazz and then focusing on key eras of jazz history. We will study the development of early jazz in New Orleans, the Swing Era, bebop, jazz on Chicago’s South Side, and more. No previous familiarity with the idiom is...


Starting: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Thursdays, June 12 – July 31
Chicago Playwrights and Their Plays
Led by Todd Bauer

Explore Chicago theater directly with its makers. Each week, a different Chicago-based playwright will discuss one of their plays with the class. Ranging from established works which have had a number of productions, to scripts still in development, participants will gain a glimpse of the creative process and engage directly with playwrights. Guest speakers will include Douglas Post, Jon...


Starting: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Thursdays, June 12 – July 24
Great Chicago Journalists and Journalism
Led by Matthew Blake

Through an examination of the Newberry’s journalism collection, including writers like Mike Royko and institutions like the shuttered City News bureau, we will explore the particular role of Chicago journalism in the mid-to-late twentieth century. From the words and works of Chicago-based journalists, we will analyze shifts in the politics and culture of Chicago, as well as changes in...


Starting: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Wednesdays, June 18 – July 23
Chicago Political Art
Led by Daniel Tucker

We will investigate how Chicago emerged as a site for artists to advocate for social and political transformation. Through readings and discussion, participants will be introduced to a wide range of art practices focused on social engagement from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will study artists Ellen Gates Starr, Upton Sinclair, members of the Dill Pickle Club, Gwendolyn Brooks...


Starting: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Wednesdays, June 18 – July 23
Online Registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
The City That Drinks: The Chicago Saloon in History, Film, and Literature
Led by Bill Savage

Bars, taverns, and saloons have long been central to Chicago culture. From the city’s first election—held in the Sauganash Tavern—through the opulent saloons of the Gilded Age and Prohibition-era speakeasies, to generations of ethnically-identified bars, such venues have provided a “third place” where people create community and negotiate identity. We will discuss how writers and film-makers...