Newberry Teachers’ Consortium | Newberry

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 830 teachers signed up to participate in the 2015-16 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.

The Newberry Teachers’ Consortium Plus seminars (NTC+) are five hour seminars that allow teachers to dive deeper into the seminar content. The extended seminar also provides participants with an opportunity to work with the Newberry’s rich collection of primary sources. NTC+ seminars cost $125 each, and are limited to twenty participants.

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 2016-17 school year begins Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Each NTC member may send up to two teachers to any given seminar.


  • Tier 1: $1,800 for 20 seminar slots / $90 per seminar for each additional slot
  • Tier 2: $1,260 for 12 seminar slots / $105 per additional seminar up to 19 slots
  • Tier 3: $720 for 6 seminar slots / $120 per additional seminar up to 11 slots
  • Tier 4: $145 per seminar for 1–5 slots

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 $1260 plus $105 for the additional 4 seminars, for a total of $1680).

Download the current NTC Membership Form. View the NTC 2016-17 Seminar Listing.

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

View past Newberry Teachers’ Consortium seminars

Upcoming NTC Seminars

Monday, October 3, 2016
The seminar covers the period from the First World War to the end of British rule in South Asia. Critical changes in economics, politics and society affected Britain, India, and the British Indian Empire. These interrelated issues radically affected the nature, pace and direction of nationalist and anti-colonial movements.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Textual Criticism and Virgilian Longings in Hamlet
This seminar explores interconnected approaches to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, centered around the title character’s encounter with a group of traveling players in act 2. We will examine the version of Virgil’s Aeneid, and the description of the fall of Troy, that Hamlet is so keen to “remember,” and then have the players recite for him.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Full, waitlist available
The press and media play a crucial role in providing information to voters about candidates and their party platform. As the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies put it, “The media is the primary means through which public opinion is shaped and at times manipulated.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Legislating Gender and Sexuality in the American Past and Present
Full, waitlist available
It is common to consider sex and gender as personal traits, somewhat removed from the sphere of politics. But as same-sex marriage legislation and recent “bathroom bill” controversies make clear, sex and gender have consequential political and legal dimensions.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Full, waitlist available
From humble beginnings in 1951 as a common market for coal and steel among six countries, the European Union today has 28 member states, an elected parliament, and a common currency used in 19 of those states. It is widely viewed as fostering postwar peace and prosperity in Western Europe and later in guiding the democratization of the post-communist states in Eastern Europe.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Full, waitlist available
Americans living between Andrew Jackson’s appearance on the national stage in 1815 and the end of his second presidency in 1836 experienced profound and multiple transformations of their world, changes that still reverberate today.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Full, waitlist available
This seminar discusses the use of movies to explore philosophical themes, including ethical issues, metaphysical questions and existential quandaries. The study of philosophy can open up vistas of meaning for any student, and films can effectively realize abstract ideas in palpable and compelling ways.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Full, waitlist available
“Globalization” is talked about by some as the savior of our economy and by others as a curse that is leading our economy into ruin. This seminar will explore what globalization is in both economic and social terms and what has been its effect on our economy and the world economy.
Monday, October 24, 2016
What is the value of human life? This is the question posed by Achilles, the beautiful hero of the Iliad. Achilles enters the Trojan War because he wants to be remembered forever. He will perform wondrous deeds on the battlefield, die young, and then live eternally in song.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
This seminar examines the major images and photographers, as well as the social, cultural and aesthetic aspects of American photography. Although the medium was invented in England and France, this country embraced it in ways that reveal the interests of Americans across the decades.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Full, waitlist available
There has been an increasing amount of attention given to the subject of the idea of the nation. This began with the post-World War II rise of various nationalisms and the creation of new nation-states out of the now defunct European empires. The fall of the Soviet Union and its satellites also served to raise national consciousness.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Full, waitlist available
The US Supreme ​Court is one the least understood institutions in American government, but is also one of the most trusted. While students often learn about the Court’s major cases, there is less emphasis on the Court’s day to day functions; what do justices do all day? The goal of this seminar is to encourage teaching Court through the political lens.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Full, waitlist available
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Europeans were mainly relegated to trading posts along the coasts of Africa but by the end of that long century, virtually the entire continent had been partitioned and conquered by seven European powers. This seminar will examine this dramatic change in Africa’s fortunes.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Full, waitlist available
Historians have recovered numerous primary sources pertaining to women from almost every era in history, but pedagogical challenges and time constraints can make it difficult to authentically incorporate these texts into US and World History courses.
Friday, November 4, 2016
Participants in the workshop will explore the geographical dimensions of Chicago history through intensive study of historic maps of the city, its region, and hinterland.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Historians used to portray the Ottoman Empire as a theocracy, a Muslim state ruled by religious figures who formally dealt with Orthodox Christian, Jewish, and other communities through their respective clerical representatives.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Full, waitlist available
The long history of satire in American culture suggests that we’re a witty and cranky people. Part of this comes from a tradition of free speech. American satirical tendencies also seem to follow from the Enlightenment traditions that helped to form our ideological foundations.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Countercultures and Censorship
Full, waitlist available
“Great Chicago glowed red before our eyes We were suddenly on Madison Street among the hordes of hobos,” Jack Kerouac, On the Road. While Beat Generation writers like Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsburg are most often associated with San Francisco and New York, Chicago played a key role in Beat culture, as well as in bringing the Beats (NOT “Beatniks”) to literary prominence.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
75th-Year Commemoration of the U.S Entry into the Second World War
Full, waitlist available
This seminar will examine the world events, and the US response to them, that set the context for the attack at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Full, waitlist available
This seminar will explore the assumptions and beliefs that led Harlem’s writers, artists, musicians, cultural critics, scholars, and political leaders to insist that they formed a vanguard in the fight for racial equality in the US. Analyzing work by the Renaissance’s major participants—Countee Cullen, W.E.B.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Full, waitlist available
Many Native American novels and poetry trace the linkages between past and present, exploring how experiences of colonialism, removal, dispossession, and extermination are not safely in the past but alive and influencing the present.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Full, waitlist available
In this discussion-oriented seminar we will survey, analyze, and debate a number of controversial issues related to the teaching of history at the K-12 level.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Our Environmental Studies seminar focuses on the Mississippi River, looking at a wide variety of topics in an interdisciplinary framework. The course examines many ways the river affects the environment and human activity, as well as how the environment and human activity affect the river.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Full, waitlist available
This seminar will explore the age of the “Witch Hunts.” We will examine some of necessary preconditions for the rise and fall of the hunts while also examining the accused. In addition, we will survey the practice of some forms of magic available to people during this time period - including astrology, alchemy, and various forms of divination - and their practitioners.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Full, waitlist available
This seminar will be in Spanish. It will offer an overview of the history of Latino/a literature in the United States, and will introduce authors and major cultural, social, political and artistic movements. Emphasis will be placed on the construction of identity in terms of race, sexuality, gender, language and class.
Friday, February 10, 2017
Chicago in the 20th Century
Full, waitlist available
The last century saw the rise, fall, and rebirth of cities, as well as the rise and perhaps the peak of suburbs. This seminar will examine the history of the Chicago region as an intertwined relationship between city and suburb.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
While the few headlines we see about Africa in the U.S. generally refer to moments of crisis and violence, the continent’s contemporary development is highly diverse and dynamic. This seminar will discuss democratic standouts (and how they got there), authoritarian strategies of domination and repression, and the challenges of political order.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Full, waitlist available
Nostalgia for Prohibition suffuses popular culture of late. The Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Great Gatsby, the very popular cable series, “Boardwalk Empire,” and consumer desire for artisanal moonshine and “bootlegger balls,” all seem to manufacture a newly romanticized 1920s. How do we debunk stories that glamourize speakeasies and gangsters, violence and crime?
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is one of the great novels of the nineteenth century. It is simultaneously a sweeping story of love and revolutionary politics, justice and mercy, social reform and spiritual inquiry. It has inspired countless readings and adaptations.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Full, waitlist available
Since the early sixteenth century, Mexico has been a multi-cultural and multi-racial society. How was such a diverse society understood and depicted during the “Age of Enlightenment” at the end of the colonial period?
Monday, February 27, 2017
Full, waitlist available
Every English sentence tells the story of historical contact with other people and other languages, including speakers of Celtic, Latin, Old Norse, Norman French, Native American languages, and African languages - just to name a few. Language contact continues to be an important theme in the history of English today.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Full, waitlist available
This seminar will explore how Lin Manuel Miranda has refashioned early American history to resonate with present-day issues such as immigration, citizenship, and upward mobility.
Monday, March 6, 2017
The Middle Ages are all around us: in television shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings, video games about the Crusades, neo-Gothic architecture, even a Pepsi commercial featuring David Beckham fighting thugs in medieval armor.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Full, waitlist available
This seminar explores the history of American ideas and practices of policing, with a particular focus on slavery and the status of free African Americans in the nineteenth century. We will begin by examining the 18th-century concept of “police” and its relationship to more commonly understood ideas about liberty and equality.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Full, waitlist available
On September 30, 1968 George Wallace came to Chicago. From Midway his motorcade raced to the Loop, where his staffers had a glistening open-top limousine waiting for him. He climbed into the back, planted himself between the driver and passenger seats, and braced for the car to start moving.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Full, waitlist available
Defiant daughters and wayward sons, domineering dads and absent mothers-the typical Shakespearean family is anything but functional, characterized by all manner of problematic and contentious relationships.