Programs and Events | Newberry

Programs and Events

The Newberry offers programming in the humanities for scholars, teachers, and the general public. Unless otherwise noted, events are free, and no reservations are required. Many of our programs are recorded, and you can listen to them on our website.

E.g., 02/18/2019
E.g., 02/18/2019
Friday, January 18, 2019Saturday, April 6, 2019
The Life, Writings, and Influence of Herman Melville, Author of Moby-Dick
Free and open to the public
“Melville: Finding America at Sea” is a free exhibition at the Newberry Library. The show traces the arc of Herman Melville’s life and afterlife through items such as first editions of Moby Dick, rare copies of Melville’s poetry, and a boatload of modern adaptations of the author’s work.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Meet the Author: Adina Hoffman
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In Adina Hoffman’s Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures, Chicago becomes its own character. Hoffman writes in detail about Hecht’s years here and his involvement both with the city’s newspapers and with the Chicago Renaissance.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
A Newberry Colloquium
This talk examines the materials and meanings of “home” for diverse Native American communities of the eighteenth-century American Northeast, a time of pervasive transformations for tribal people and nations.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Book Party for Emily Talen's Neighborhood
Please join us as we celebrate the publication of Emily Talen’s book Neighborhood, which is a critical evaluation of the idea of neighborhood.
Saturday, February 23, 2019Thursday, November 14, 2019
A series of public programs examining the legacy of the 1919 Chicago race riots
Held at locations across Chicago
Chicago’s 1919 race riots barely register in the city’s current consciousness, yet they were a significant turning point in shaping the racial divides we see today.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A gritty realist drama about Irish Americans in one of Chicago’s toughest early 20th-century neighborhoods, in which a cop and a priest collaborate to save a young man at risk.
Saturday, March 2, 2019
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce visitors to the Newberry and explain how to use its collections at an informal orientation. Aimed at researchers new to the library and/or new to genealogical research, this session will last approximately an hour followed by a short tour of the library.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Meet the Author: Brian McCammack
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Situated at the intersection of race and place in American history, Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago traces the contours of a black environmental consciousness that runs throughout the African American experience.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Storytelling and drawing activity for Children, with Brenda Child and Steve Premo
Free and open to the public; registration recommended
Dr. Brenda Child, author of Bowwow Powwow, and Steve Premo, Ojibwe artist and muralist, will lead children in traditional Ojibwe storytelling and a drawing activity.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Free to attend with advance registration
#stillhere, Directed by Desmond Hessing (Oklahoma Choctaw) Short Video Art piece which challenges traditional representations of Indigenous people as being trapped in the past. Run time: 1 minute 20 seconds
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Clarence Darrow Symposium: Nina Barrett
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
The 1924 murder of fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, and their defense by Clarence Darrow, raised profound and disturbing questions about social class, criminal psychology, morality, justice, and mercy.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Staged Reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A Shakespearean company puts down their rehearsal sides of Lear and curiously take up those of a new play entitled Moby Dick.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
How Maps Reveal (and Conceal) History
Open to the public; small donation requested from non-members
Please join us as we celebrate the publication of Susan Schulten’s book, A History of America in 100 Maps. Across five centuries, America has been defined through maps. Whether handmaidens of diplomacy, tools of statecraft, instruments of reform, or advertisements, maps document particular moments in time but also shape the course of history.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Music by Rudolph Ganz and Friends
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
To celebrate the musical legacy and contributions of Rudolph Ganz (1877-1972), a series of three concerts will take place in 2019. Each concert will have a different program, different performers, and a different location in order to reach new audiences.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
In our age, Leonardo da Vinci is regarded as an outstanding genius, the lonely forerunner of modern science and technology, able to read directly in the great Book of Nature without the mediation of culture or literacy.
Friday, April 5, 2019
In connection with a Newberry exhibition devoted to its renowned dance collection, the Center will host a symposium focused on early modern dance and music in the book. The event will include lectures, a session with rare books, a demonstration of Baroque dance, and a performance by the Newberry Consort.
Saturday, April 6, 2019
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce visitors to the Newberry and explain how to use its collections at an informal orientation. Aimed at researchers new to the library and/or new to genealogical research, this session will last approximately an hour followed by a short tour of the library.
Saturday, April 6, 2019
A Symposium Celebrating Completion of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Editors recall 50 years of work on the 15-volume critical edition, The Writings of Herman Melville, and scholars reflect on its significance for textual editing and on Melville studies today. Schedule 9:30 am Coffee and Continental Breakfast in Rettinger Hall
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Panel Discussion with Illustrative Arias, Chicago Opera Theater
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Join the artists of Chicago Opera Theater’s Moby-Dick and the Melville Society in celebrating the 200th birthday of author Herman Melville.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Meet the Author: Julia Guarneri and Michael Stamm
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Join us as authors Julia Guarneri and Michael Stamm discuss the rise and fall of the printed newspaper, in Chicago and nationwide.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago’s 18th Annual Cervantes Symposium provides scholar through the United States a forum to share and discuss emerging research in the field of Cervantes studies. The event will include a keynote lecture, eight scholarly talks and a Newberry Collection presentation.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Free to attend with advance registration
Our Sisters in Spirit, Directed by Nick Printup (Onondaga & Algonquin) Our Sisters in Spirit explores the question of calling a national public inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women & girls in Canada or whether there may be a better approach. Run time: 35 minutes
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Meet the Author: Susan Sleeper-Smith
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792, by Susan Sleeper-Smith, recovers the agrarian village world Indian women created in the lush lands of the Ohio Valley.
Saturday, April 27, 2019Saturday, July 6, 2019
Free and open to the public
What defines and distinguishes Chicago dance and the city’s dance community? Many dance styles converge and coexist in Chicago, from ballet and flamenco to jazz, tap, contemporary/modern, house, and dances from around the world.
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Colonial History Lecture Series: Alan Shaw Taylor
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
By examining a map made by natives of the Carolina backcountry in 1721, this presentation reveals efforts to understand and adapt to colonial trade and settlement.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Free and open to the public; registration required.
Genealogist Kenyatta D. Berry brings her series “Conversations with Kenyatta” to to the Newberry.
Saturday, May 4, 2019
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce visitors to the Newberry and explain how to use its collections at an informal orientation. Aimed at researchers new to the library and/or new to genealogical research, this session will last approximately an hour followed by a short tour of the library.
Monday, May 6, 2019
Purchase tickets for this event
The Board of Trustees invites you to join the Newberry in honoring Marilynne Robinson for her outstanding contributions to the humanities. Ms. Robinson is the author of Housekeeping (1980), Gilead (2005), Home (2008), and Lila (2014).
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Sara Paretsky’s novels, particularly her V.I. Warshawski series, revolutionized the mystery genre, and paved the way for a good many female writers and characters.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Free to attend with advance registration
Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock, Directed by Cody Lucich “Standing Rock, 2016: the largest Native American occupation since Wounded Knee, thousands of activists, environmentalists, and militarized police descend on the Dakota Access Pipeline, in a standoff between Big Oil and a new generation of native warriors.”
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
That disease Of which all old men sicken,—avarice. A theatrical reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Wing Foundation Lecture on the History of the Book: Martin Antonetti
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In this lecture, Martin Antonetti will discuss an emerging genre of artists books: printed objects interpenetrated by digital media. These collaborative ecosystems bring poets, technologists, and readers together in visually arresting narrative environments mediated by technology, harbingers of the transit from the age of literacy to the age of visuality.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Schedule 9 am Coffee and Continental Breakfast 9:30 am Introduction to Dance in the Midwest and in the Newberry Collection Susan Manning, Northwestern University, Dance in Chicago