Newberry Teachers’ Consortium | Newberry

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium

E.A. Burbank’s portrait of Pahl-Lee, a Hopi Indian woman. Call number VAULT oversize Ayer Art Burbank No. 60.

To aid Chicago’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Teacher and Student Programs will run virtual programs (via Zoom) for the duration of 2020-21.

The library will regularly post operations updates to our COVID-19 update page.

If you are enrolled in an upcoming NTC seminar, our cancellation policy is as follows:

• Your seminar slot will rollover into the 2020-2021 NTC season.

• If your seminar that was canceled is offered again next year, you will be prioritized on the registration list.

No further action is needed on the above two steps.

Please feel free to reach out via email at with any questions. We thank you for your understanding as we navigate this difficult situation.

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.

Last year’s seminars included exciting topics like “Penelope’s Odyssey”; “Bad Girls in Renaissance Literature”; “A History of American War Cartoons”; “Melville’s Short Fiction”; and “Gerrymandering and Voting in the United States.” Participating teachers represent more than 60 schools and 25 school districts in the Chicago area. Over 700 teachers participated in the 2018-19 Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars.

Here is what some of our participants had to say about our programs:

“Thank you for your programming. Attending a Newberry Seminar is always one of the most enjoyable and beneficial professional development experiences of the school year.”

“It’s hard to find time to take deep dives into various topics, so professors who are experts in the area have valuable information for me.”

“These seminars are some of the ONLY PDs I’ve attended over the past 11 years of my teaching career that treat teachers as professional, intelligent academic leaders.”

“I love that it’s just a day for me to ‘nerd out’ and learn about something interesting to me!”

Subject Groups

NTC offers seminars in ten subject areas:

  • American History
  • American Studies
  • European History
  • Geography & Environmental Studies
  • LGBTQ+ History & Literature (NEW!)
  • Literature & Drama
  • Political Science & Economics
  • Teaching & Learning (NEW!)
  • World History
  • World Languages

Seminar Format

All NTC seminars will be conducted virtually via Zoom for the 2020-21 school year. In order to best accommodate teaching schedules and remote learning, we are offering three different seminar options.

  • One 1.5-hour Seminar (1.5 CPDUs)–Monday-Friday, 9:30-11am or 4-5:30pm
  • One 3-hour Seminar (3 CPDUs)–Monday-Friday, 9:30am-12:30pm
  • Three 1-hour Seminar Series (3 CPDUs)–Same weekday three weeks in a row, 4-5pm

More details on this year’s seminars can be found on this year’s Registration Form.

Participating in NTC

NTC is a professional development program that requires the purchase of an annual registration package.

School districts, schools, departments, and individuals are welcome to purchase at any level to fit their professional development needs. Districts, schools, and departments that are current NTC participants use a central contact person to coordinate seminar requests, track seminar participation, and monitor participation status.

Individual educators not affiliated with a currently registered school district or department, 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.

Each NTC-affiliated district or school may send up to two teachers to any given seminar.

Registration Packages

Unlike past years, in which participants were billed by seminar slot, this year’s offerings will now be billed by credit hour. One hour of credit is equal to 1 CPDU. Rollover credit from 2019-20 will be equated into credit hours; one NTC (1) seminar slot from 2019-20 is equal to three (3) credit hours.

Registration for NTC 2020-21 will open on September 11, 2020.

Download the current NTC Purchase Form, Registration Form, and 2020-21 NTC Seminar Schedule.

For more information about the Newberry Teachers’ Consortium, please contact Teacher Programs staff.

View past Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars.

Upcoming NTC Seminars

Monday, September 28, 2020
Have you ever thought or wondered, “I just wanted to see a little effort from my students - it doesn’t need to be perfect,” “A little participation would be nice,” or “Why didn’t my students reach out to me so I could help?” The truth is, taking academic risks, participating in class, and asking for help all require what are known as “self-determination skills.” Self-determination skills
Friday, October 2, 2020
This seminar provides an introduction to representations of racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual diversity across American film and television of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
This session will look at the fundamentals of elections, which will be the most important factors in the 2020 election. The session will be broken into three parts. The first will cover partisanship and political polarization as it affects social relations, who votes, and vote choice.
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Debates over immigration frequently appear in today’s newspaper headlines and political discourse.
Friday, October 9, 2020
In a world in which the visual is increasingly dominant, teaching with photographs, charts and graphs, infographics, and primary sources such as political cartoons has become very important. It’s also crucial preparation for the current stimulus-based trend in assessment. This seminar gives teachers techniques for helping their students “read” and understand visual material.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
This workshop will focus on the pedagogy of intersectionality and creating an equitable classroom. We will discuss strategies that reach across race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. The workshop will also include pedagogies for first-generation, ESL, and Generation 1.5 speakers, and neurodiverse students. How can we teach our subjects to a complex and diverse student body?
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
As individuals, our perceived racial identities often send messages well before we are able to speak. Just as in everyday living, students and educators engage race from spaces of curiosity, confusion, and trepidation. Currently, classrooms, curricula, and teaching practices are being scrutinized as places where race ‘plays out’ in the school landscape in often harrowing and unbeknownst ways.
Friday, October 23, 2020
In 1920 voters in the United States responded to four years of profound change during which the country entered a worldwide conflict, survived a global pandemic, prohibited a common behavior, expanded the electorate, and experienced a summer of unrest connected to prejudice and inequities around race and class that had existed since before the nation’s founding.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Virginia Woolf, in A Room of One’s Own, chastises Charlotte Brontë for allowing her anger to well up to the surface of Jane Eyre. In this course, we will examine the thread of radical outrage that weaves through three of the sisters’ novels.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
The year 2020 marks (only!) the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. The story of the fight for universal suffrage is dramatic and rich, and intensely relevant in this Presidential election year. The text and imagery associated with the struggle reveals how it was imagined, publicized, debated, and documented.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
From the first European coffee shops of the seventeenth century to the ubiquity of Starbucks in airports around the globe today, coffee has played an important role in the cultural history of the West and its relationship to other parts of the world.
Friday, October 30, 2020
What does the United States of America signify to the rest of the world? How does it appear to recent immigrants or to travelers passing through? In this seminar, we will examine works that engage with the U.S. from the “outside,” in either the metaphorical or literal sense of the word.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Full. Waitlist only.
This seminar emphasizes the different political, economic, and social conditions faced by Black Americans in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement, and centers on rap music’s unique ability to weaponize the voice as an instrument in response to worsening local conditions. In particular, we will look at 25 local, underground rap music scenes in the U.S. (with approximately five regions).
Thursday, November 5, 2020
This session will look at the fundamentals of elections, which will be the most important factors in the 2020 election. The session will break into three parts. The first will cover partisanship and political polarization as it affects social relations, who votes, and vote choice.
Friday, November 13, 2020
This seminar will provide a brief introduction to the history of photography while critically analyzing how Native American and Indigenous Peoples were documented by non-Native photographers in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will explore photographs from the American Indian and Indigenous Studies collection (otherwise known as the Edward E. Ayer Collection) at the Newberry Library.
Monday, November 16, 2020
Apocalyptic fiction is more relevant than ever in the era of looming climate catastrophe, viral pandemics, and the omnipresence of surveillance technology. From fears of nuclear war to biological terrorism and environmental collapse, pressing historical fears have shaped dystopian and post-apocalyptic narratives from the 1950s to today.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Recent literature in inclusive leadership education has emphasized the need for using insights from Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to cultivate empathetic, caring, empowered, and culturally-aware student leaders. But, as the Harvard Graduate School of Education EASEL Lab notes, implementing SEL in our teaching practice can be confusing.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
This session will explore the legacies of the Crusades. Far more than a series of military conflicts, the Crusades represented an intensive interaction between Latin Christendom and Dar al-Islam, one that shaped the political, social, intellectual, and religious culture of both in ways that continue to resonate today.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
“It’s weird.” So goes a frequent, reluctant student response when asked to provide a first impression of a Shakespearean text. And while teachers often take this response to mean that students are disengaged, this approach misses something critical: Shakespeare is weird.
Friday, November 20, 2020
Those assigned female who “transed” gender, lived as men, and married women in the eighteenth and nineteenth century U.S. and U.K. were described as female husbands. They persisted in living as men despite tremendous risk, violence, and punishment.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
The debate over the origins of the Cold War has been a heated one for the last seventy-plus years. Important government files in the United States, Great Britain, the former Soviet Union, and other participants have been declassified and made available to historians. New motivations have been discovered and new interpretations advanced.
Friday, December 4, 2020
The Great Migration of the early 20th century—the decision of more than a million African Americans to leave southern states to find greater economic opportunities and the possibility of more political and social freedom in northern cities—defined the history of the United States. In doing so, it posed significant challenges to writers and artists.
Monday, December 7, 2020
Did Chicago always have police? This seminar will explore the origins of the city’s police force in the nineteenth century. We will examine how local politics shaped early policing while connecting Chicago’s story to national trajectories.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Hull-House was world-renowned for supporting immigrants and world peace, but did you know it paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights? With the changing landscape of human rights today, it is important to ask ourselves, where do we learn about LGBTQ+ history? How do public institutions uplift different narratives for visitors to see themselves in all spaces?
Friday, December 11, 2020
The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in England were punctuated by a series of cataclysmic events that permanently altered the social, political, and institutional structures of society.
Monday, December 14, 2020
If seeing is believing, then maps are belief in hard copy. This seminar explores three key questions related to historical cartography: What kind of historical evidence do maps provide? What can we learn about the era of European colonial settlement in North America by reading the maps that were made to depict discoveries, conquests, and land claims?
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Contemporary cooking is driven by engaging recipes, but for students and scholars, historical recipes can provide valuable insight into the past, as these texts have been recorded for thousands of years to document ways to feed, preserve, heal, and transform.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
“I belong and my voice matters.” This is a mindset we as educators hope all of our students experience, and our classrooms need to support this. While ‘student voice’ is often seen in the purview of civics classes and education, the importance of this transcends grade level or subject area.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Full. Waitlist only.
This virtual walking tour will explore how history is remembered in the cultural landscape of Chicago. From monuments and murals to historic buildings and the lakefront, the seminar will interrogate how the city remembers certain events and people, and how other histories are actively silenced.
Monday, January 25, 2021
We and our world are intensely visual. Ninety percent of information that comes to the brain is visual. Sixty-five percent of the population are visual learners. Visual aids in the classroom improve learning by as much as four hundred percent. Given these realities, students should be empowered with the tools to judge and discuss visual artifacts.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Two of the biggest misconceptions about American Indian peoples in the United States is that they 1) have disappeared, and 2) are just like any other racial group. Instead, American Indian nations are sovereign nations that are still here.
Monday, February 1, 2021
What does the Declaration of Independence declare? This seminar investigates the origins, meanings, and contested legacies of one of the most consequential political documents in world history. What did the Declaration’s language of equality, liberty, and rights mean to its authors and earliest readers? How and why have understandings of the document changed over time?
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
School is a fact of life. Every year since 1900, schoolhouses have enrolled an ever-greater share of American children, produced ever-larger cohorts of high school graduates, and received ever-increasing investment and oversight by all levels of the American state.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
In 1951, Langston Hughes published Montage of a Dream Deferred, a book which contains several of his most taught and anthologized poems, including “Theme for English B” and “Harlem” (“What happens to a dream deferred?”).
Friday, February 12, 2021
This seminar applies the techniques of micro-history – the intense exploration of a tightly-focused time or place – to a tiny slice of twentieth-century Chicago. It starts on the Fourth of July 1961 on the 6100 block of W. Eddy Street, out in the north side’s Bungalow Belt.
Friday, February 19, 2021
“Not marble, nor the gilded monuments / Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme,” begins Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet 116. And as Shakespeare predicted, the “powerful rhyme” of the fourteen-line sonnet form has fascinated Anglophone writers for centuries, outlasting not only “gilded monuments,” but other poetic styles and fads, too.
Monday, February 22, 2021
In his recent magisterial biography of Frederick Douglass, historian David W.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Since the 1950s, James Baldwin has prodded the political and ethical blind spots of the United States and has attended to those who find themselves at its social margins. Baldwin’s writing hones in on minoritarian experience and deftly inhabits the complex feelings that come with being judged, feelings like the self-hatred or pleasure that comes from living in defiance of social taboos.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
The Age of the Witch Hunts coincided with the European Reformation and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution. But what was the relationship between religion, magic, and science? Was it possible to believe both in the Church and the ability of cunning-folk to heal, read palms, find lost property, or cast horoscopes?
Friday, March 5, 2021
The October 2019 airing of HBO’s show, Watchmen, brought one of the most brutal episodes in American history—the Tulsa Race Massacre—to the attention of millions of people across the United States. In this seminar, we will examine primary sources that deconstruct the massacre and its aftermath through the eyes of those who experienced it.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Despite sugar’s ubiquity in the modern Western diet, it was once reserved as a medicinal ingredient for the wealthiest consumers. From the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, sugar transformed from a rare luxury item to a commonplace ingredient, shaped by dramatic shifts in health, trade, and politics.
Friday, March 12, 2021
This seminar provides an overview of the contributions of U.S. Latinx authors and artists of the 20th-21st centuries (with an emphasis on the output of the Nuevo Latinx Boom).
Monday, April 12, 2021
Please note this seminar will be conducted in French. This seminar focuses on how the Second World War has been remembered in France from the postwar period until today. Participants will explore how representations of the Shoah, the understanding of the Resistance, and the process of coming to terms with Vichy collaboration have changed over time.
Monday, April 12, 2021
Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Margaret Atwood are towering figures in feminist speculative fiction, using the techniques of science fiction to explore issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and bodily autonomy in works that question the moral framework of the present by imagining different worlds.
Friday, April 16, 2021
After its appearance in 1936, Henry Luce’s photographic pictorial weekly––the first all-photographic American news magazine––became wildly popular and was found in nearly every home. It documented important world events, cultural news, sports, and daily life with the help of often-brilliant photographers, incisive writers, and perceptive editors.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
What do Grant Park, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Jackson Park, South Shore Cultural Center, and Steelworkers Park all have in common? They all are located on Chicago’s lakefront. Chicago’s 27 miles of lakefront have undergone significant physical, social, and cultural transformations since the time of European exploration.
Friday, April 23, 2021
This seminar will take up questions of origins, the histories they tell, and the stories they erase by examining how as institutions, local communities, and educators are reconsidering how to commemorate 2020 as the 400th anniversary of the Plymouth colonists’ settlement on Wampanoag homelands.
Monday, April 26, 2021
Shelter is an essential need, but has never been a human right in American society. Instead, housing is a commodity left largely – though not entirely – to the market. Moreover, housing policies in the U.S. have often had the effect of dividing Americans by race or class, rather than uniting us.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
The seminar studies the rise, development and decline of the first ‘civilization’ in South Asia. Based on the floodplains of the river Indus, it was unknown to modern humans until a chance discovery in 1922. The excavations at Harappa and Mohenjodaro unearthed great cities, and radically altered the history and historical chronology of the subcontinent.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Please note this seminar will be conducted in Spanish. This seminar provides an overview of the contributions of U.S. Latinx authors and artists of the 20th-21st centuries (with an emphasis on the output of the Nuevo Latinx Boom).