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Upcoming History, Genealogy, and Social Science 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: Saturday, June 6, 2015
Saturdays, June 6 – August 1 (class will not meet July 4)
"Gaelic and Free": The Gaelic Revival and Irish Nationalism
Led by Frank Biletz

Seminar Description

In examining the complicated interplay between cultural and political nationalism in Ireland, this course will consider such topics as the founding of the Gaelic League; the Irish Literary Revival, including the efforts by W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory to establish an Irish national theater; D. P. Moran and the Irish Ireland...


Starting: Saturday, June 6, 2015
Saturdays, June 6 – June 13
Folly and Fury: The Diplomacy of the Mexican Revolution, 1910–1917
Led by Joseph Harrington

Seminar Description

The Mexican Revolution was an epic event in the history of our continent and hemisphere, and the United States and other great powers were at times deeply involved. This seminar will cover the origins and course of the revolution, how it nearly brought on a second war between the U.S. and Mexico, how it could have brought...


Starting: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Tuesdays, June 9 – July 28
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
Legacies of the Great War
Led by Frank Biletz

Seminar Description

The political, social, and cultural consequences of the First World War continue to shape the world today. New political boundaries in Central and Eastern Europe laid the seeds for future conflict. Discontent with the terms of the treaty contributed to the rise of fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany. Ongoing unresolved...

Starting: Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Wednesdays, June 10 – July 29 (class will not meet July 8)
After the Collapse: Classic Maya Disintegration and Resurgence
Led by Donald McVicker

Seminar Description

Why and how civilizations recover from disintegration are among the most challenging questions facing scholars today. Research agendas are increasingly focusing on the post-collapse dynamics of ancient societies and cultures. Do societies disappear or are they transformed to offer a foundation for facing future challenges?...


Starting: Thursday, June 11, 2015
Thursdays, June 11 – July 23
Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution
Led by Dean Kostantaras

Seminar Description

Seminar participants will gain first-hand knowledge of Darwin’s ideas through readings from his works The Origins of Species, The Descent of Man, and Autobiography. The seminar will also address important matters of historical context, including those qualities of Darwin’s work that were typical...


Starting: Thursday, June 11, 2015
Thursdays, June 11 – July 23
The Medieval Origins of Mass Media
Led by Christopher Fletcher

Seminar Description

This seminar explores the origins of modern mass media in medieval intellectual culture. By examining key medieval texts from St. Augustine through Martin Luther, we will see how religious thinkers’ evangelical approaches gradually transformed intellectual life into a mass market enterprise dedicated to reshaping thought and...


Starting: Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Wednesdays, June 17 – July 22
This seminar is full. Please call (312) 255-3700 for waitlist.
The City That Drinks: Chicago Saloon History, Culture, and Literature
Led by Bill Savage

Seminar Description

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 the speakeasies of the Prohibition era, to generations of ethnically-identified bars, such venues have provided a “third place” where people...


Starting: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Sixty Minutes to Better Genealogy: Day 1
Led by Mike Karsen and Marsha Peterson-Maass

Seminar Description

Sometimes 60 minutes of instruction on a focused topic can help you push through a particular question or task in your genealogical research project. Take all 12 sessions over 3 Saturdays (June 20, June 27, and July 11), or simply those that most appeal to you.

Make sure to check out the full listings for Day 2 (...


Starting: Saturday, June 27, 2015
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sixty Minutes to Better Genealogy: Day 2
Led by Caron Primas Brennan

Seminar Description

Sometimes 60 minutes of instruction on a focused topic can help you push through a particular question or task in your genealogical research project. Take all 12 sessions over 3 Saturdays (June 20, June 27, and July 11), or simply those that most appeal to you.

Make sure to check out the full listings for Day 1 (...


Starting: Saturday, July 11, 2015
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sixty Minutes to Better Genealogy: Day 3
Led by Grace Dumelle and Ginger Frere

Seminar Description

Sometimes 60 minutes of instruction on a focused topic can help you push through a particular question or task in your genealogical research project. Take all 12 sessions over 3 Saturdays (June 20, June 27, and July 11), or simply those that most appeal to you.

Make sure to check out the full listings for Day 1 (...


Starting: Saturday, July 25, 2015
Saturdays, July 25 – August 15
Genetic Genealogy
Led by Karen Stanbary

Seminar Description

All genealogists know the frustration of being stymied when a paper trail ends or there is not enough evidence to prove a relationship. But DNA analysis, combined with traditional documentary research methods, can extend the reconstruction of your family tree. This seminar will explore the biological concepts of genetics and...


Saturday, August 1, 2015
The Irrepressible Conflict: The Slavery Debate in Antebellum America
Led by Joseph Harrington

Seminar Description

How could a nation “conceived in liberty” support human slavery as it expanded? Why were calls to abolish the “peculiar institution” considered so extreme, repugnant, and immoral? Participants in this one-day seminar will discuss the arguments used to attack and defend slavery as the United States moved inexorably toward...