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 820 teachers signed up to participate in the 2014-15 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.

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 2015-16 school year begins Wednesday, September 2, 2015. Each NTC member may send up to two teachers to any given seminar.


  • Individual Membership: $140 per seminar for 1–5 slots
  • Department Membership: $690 for 6 seminar slots / $115 per additional seminar up to 11 slots
  • School Membership: $1,200 for 12 seminar slots / $100 per additional seminar up to 19 slots
  • District Membership: $1,700 for 20 seminar slots / $85 per seminar for each additional slot

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 $1200 plus $100 for the additional 4 seminars, for a total of $1600).

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
“If we accept the unprovable assumption that a complete education requires the reading of certain books, and the well nigh universal belief that good books, plays, and art lift the spirit, improve the mind, enrich the human personality, and develop character,” the Supreme Court declared in 1973, then a legislature reasonably can assume that some other books “have a tendency to exert a corruptin
Friday, December 4, 2015
Full, wait list available
“If we accept the unprovable assumption that a complete education requires the reading of certain books, and the well nigh universal belief that good books, plays, and art lift the spirit, improve the mind, enrich the human personality, and develop character,” the Supreme Court declared in 1973, then a legislature reasonably can assume that some other books “have a tendency to exert a corruptin
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Ce cours offre une introduction sur l’origine des concepts du mouvement francophone dans le cadre de la littérature française. Par la suite il explore des développements plus récents dans le contexte de la littérature francophone.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Change and Continuity
Full, wait list available
We often hear that China enjoys a rich history spanning 5000 continuous years, but how much change was paired with that continuity? During the seventh to ninth centuries, China came under significant Turkic influence. During the 14th century it was part of the Mongol empire. Finally, during the Qing dynasty it was ruled by foreign conquerors from Manchuria.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Contemporary Poetry in the U.S., 2000–2015
This seminar will examine some very recent poetic projects (conceptual, computer-generated, collage, concrete) that seek to locate the limits of the genre at a moment when the genre can be imagined to have no limits. To borrow from the title of a famous essay by Stanley Fish, how do we know a poem when we see one, if a poem can seemingly take any shape at all?
Friday, January 29, 2016
Full, wait list available
This seminar will look at how European interests and African actions intersected to inform the economic, cultural, and political histories of colonial Africa from 1880-1975. In particular we will look at how Africans experienced, resisted, and influenced colonial systems in contrast to how Europeans imagined the meaning and operation of colonialism.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Rangos y Rasgos Sociales
Figuras de varios estamentos sociales—cada uno con sus correspondientes características, preocupaciones, y concepciones del honor—poblan las páginas de la literatura del llamado “Siglo de Oro” español. ¿Cómo es el contexto histórico del que surgen tales ideas e imágenes?
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Full, wait list available
Even though borders are frequently located at the peripheries of empires and nations, they nevertheless shape how centers of national power—cities, national capitols, etc.—have defined their relation to issues such as territorial expansion, sovereignty, defense, immigration, labor, community formation, difference, and race and ethnicity.
Friday, February 5, 2016
A Social and Cultural Assessment (1500–1800)
Was there a revolution in science in early modern Europe? If so, just what was revolutionized and by whom? In this seminar we will explore the nature of the “Scientific Revolution” in Europe during the period from 1500 to 1800. The focus will fall on where and how science was practiced as well as who the practitioners were.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Africa and the Middle East
Full, wait list available
Over 59.5 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes on account of conflict, persecution and environmental disasters as of the end of 2014, the highest number on record. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Trends Report, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Full, wait list available
This discussion-oriented seminar will combine intellectual and pedagogical reflections on the uses of history in important recent works in American film. We will explore large philosophical and intellectual issues related to truth, fiction, facts, storytelling, and representation. At the same time, we will talk about how to best use film in the history classroom.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Civic Engagement among Millennials
Full, wait list available
This seminar explores the politics of the Millennial generation. We will discuss their entry into the political scene, their effect on the contemporary political landscape, and various predictions of their future political engagement.
Monday, February 22, 2016
Colonialism, Decolonization, and Their Legacies
Full, wait list available
Historians used to think of French colonialism as something that happened “over there”—beyond the borders of the hexagon and distinct from the territory of the nation. Now historians are reconceptualizing French empire as a single field comprising the metropole and its colonies.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
From Broad Shoulders to Third City
Full, wait list available
This seminar examines the fundamental changes that have occurred in Chicago since the era of Mayor Richard J. Daley.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Full, wait list available
This seminar will examine some of the exciting and innovative Latina/o literary works produced since the beginning of the new millennium, including short stories by Daniel Alarcón and Junot Díaz, poems by Rigoberto González, Rosa Alcalá, and Cynthia Cruz, and essays by Ruben Martínez and Carmen Giménez-Smith.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Full, wait list available
What is American Studies? Is it the study of “America” (a notoriously slippery and porous category) or an interdisciplinary methodology that puts literary and cultural studies in rich dialog with history and the social sciences—and therefore can be transposed to the study of other national cultures?
Monday, February 29, 2016
Full, wait list available
Comics, along with YA literature, have become the target—or scapegoat—yet again for those who decry the downward spiral of American culture.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Reconstruction and the Right to Vote
This seminar will explore Reconstruction as a crucial moment in the long and complicated history of the right to vote in the United States. We will look at Congress’s 1867 Reconstruction Acts, the first measures to enfranchise African American men in the former Confederacy.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
How Sports Inform World Politics
This seminar explores the role that sports play in international politics.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Full, wait list available
This seminar will invite participants to explore and understand Hollywood movie stars and stardom as vehicles for American beliefs, myths, anxieties, hopes, wishes, and fears.
Friday, April 15, 2016
The United States and Latin American Independence
The half-century that followed U.S. independence was an age of American revolutions. By 1825, most of the Western Hemisphere had broken away from Europe, including Brazil and the entire Spanish American mainland. We will begin our discussion by examining how and why Latin American independence occurred. How did it compare to—and was it influenced by—the U.S. struggle for independence?