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., 04/24/2018
E.g., 04/24/2018
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Led by Jeffrey Nigro. 6 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
Explore ancient Greek and Roman culture by focusing on six great works of visual art or architecture, from the Parthenon to the Aphrodite of Cnidus and the Apollo Belvedere.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Led by Molia Dumbleton. 5 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Flash fiction is an explosive genre of very (and sometimes very, VERY) short stories. In this course, we will mine our minds, our histories, our surroundings, and the Newberry Library’s rich archives for material fit for fiction…
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Led by Susan Pezzino. 10 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Would you like to try a laid-back and enjoyable way to start studying French or to improve your French pronunciation? This course, with multimedia support, (intended for students at any level of proficiency) uses an accepting classroom atmosphere…
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Led by Debra Mancoff. 4 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Was Queen Victoria the original working mother? This seminar explores the popular image of the queen as docile wife and devoted mother…
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Led by Roger Pines. 5 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Opera lovers, take note! This seminar introduces attendees to legends of operatic singing, many of whom have been unjustly forgotten…
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Led by Riad Ismat. 5 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
There have been many layers of the so-called “Arab Spring,” which often seems to be an enigma to many in the western world. But filmmakers explored and warned of the turbulence ahead of their time…
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Led by Alexis Culotta. 4 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
A travel opportunity designed by wealthy European families as a means to educate their younger generation in the history and culture of Europe, the Grand Tour drew aristocratic youths to all of Europe’s major metropolises. As a result, a new artistic market for elegant souvenirs emerged…
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Led by Todd Bauer. 8 sessions, 6 - 7:30 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In this discussion-based seminar we will examine what makes Chicago a leader in American theater by having conversations with the people who make it. Each week, actors, directors, playwrights, critics, and other theater artists will explain their role in bringing a play to life.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Led by John Gibbons. 8 sessions, 2 - 4 pm
Beethoven’s legacy proved an inspiration and obstacle to the next generation of symphonists. They struggled with the implications of Beethoven’s formal innovations, but they managed to infuse the symphonic genre with greatly expanded thematic dimension inspired by…
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Led by John Nygro. 5 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
Shakespeare’s enduing, effervescent comedy about a sibling reunion, practical jokes, and hidden love will serve as the basis for reading, viewing, discussing, and appreciating the Bard’s genius for a writer of comedy. A variety of video performances of the play will be viewed and discussed.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Led by Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch. 3 sessions, 6 - 7:30 pm.
In this seminar we will examine the importance of The Moonstone as a supreme nineteenth-century mystery novel and as an example of popular Victorian fiction, which reflects and engages with anxieties and issues of its times…
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Led by Esther Hershenhorn. 6 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Are you eager to revise your current picture book manuscript to prepare it for submission? This workshop will provide writers the opportunity to continue to learn and hone their craft via the workshopping of shared manuscripts. This seminar is for those who already have a manuscript and have taken a previous picture book writing course.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Led by Barbara Lanctot. 3 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, who first appeared in 1982 in A Is for Alibi, is one of the first female professional detectives in modern fiction. We will explore the history of the detective novel before Kinsey…
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Led by Guy Marco. 8 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
An operetta is a musical work for the stage, with songs and spoken dialogue, and a light-hearted romantic plot in a faraway setting. We will hear selections from the operettas of Jacques Offenback (inventor of the genre), Johann Strauss, Jr., Gilbert and Sullivan…
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Led by John Nygro. 4 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
Beyond his most famous violin concertos in The Four Seasons, Antonio Vivaldi’s works reveal an ability to express a wide range of emotion, a gift for writing attractive melodies, and a remarkable ability to capture a dramatic moment…
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Led by Aleco Julius. 6 sessions, 6 - 7:30 pm.
The writer H.P. Lovecraft declared that “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” This seminar’s essential question is this: How can we express that which is unknown?
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Led by Christopher Reed. 5 sessions 19, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
We will explore the evolution of black Chicago’s intellectualism from the formation of the city’s first black think tank in 1888 with the Prudence Crandall Club to the nation’s acceptance of the African American as a full citizen who possesses mental acuity during the 1960s…
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Led by Stephen Kleiman. 6 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
This class will be a detailed look at musical instruments: where they came from, what they look like, how they are used, what family they are part of, what they sound like alone and when played with other instruments…
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Led by Stephanie Ettelson. 8 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
The symphonic repertoire goes beyond absolute music, where only the notes have intrinsic meaning. It includes many compositions with stories to tell, scenes to portray, or even dreams to evoke…
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Led by Robert Sprott. 5 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Two of Shakespeare’s most interesting plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, offer a Venetian venue and two of his most fascinating characters: Shylock the Jew and Othello the Moor. We will read both plays, paying special attention to the role of Venice itself…
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Led by Linda Miller. 1 session, 10 am - 2 pm.
Who is telling your story? Through whose eyes and minds do readers experience it? These questions relate to point of view and influence the writing process. Whether you write fiction or creative nonfiction, you have point of view options beyond “I.”
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Led by Judy Pomeranz. 1 session, 9 am - 4 pm. 1 session. (1 hour lunch)
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In the seventeenth century, Holland and Flanders were buzzing with an amazing creative vitality. Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Rubens, and Van Dyke were all at work, along with a host of their equally talented compatriots…
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Led by Maurice Champagne. 2 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
This seminar will explore the underappreciated Art Nouveau in Chicago…
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Led by Douglas Post. 6 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
It is said that when Death of a Salesman was first performed on Broadway, grown men wept in the aisles. Arthur Miller is arguably America’s foremost playwright as well as one of our fiercest social and political commentators…
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Led by Margaret Farr. 1 session, 9 am - noon.
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
This seminar examines the artistic legacy of Vivian Maier through close examination of her photographs and their connections to the work of earlier photographers and those of her contemporaries.
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Led by Beatriz Gartler. 5 sessions, 10 am - noon.
Poetry comes in many forms, with different numbers of lines, rhyme schemes, and lengths of verses, and so forth. In this class we will read, discuss, and practice some of the better known forms, including sonnets, odes, and villanelles.
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Led by Melinda Rooney. 6 sessions, 1 - 3 pm.
Emily Wilson’s recently published translation of Homer’s epic poem treats it like a diamond, revealing new facets and polishing old ones. The Odyssey is the story of a man, a war hero, making his way home, living—and almost dying—by his wits. But it is also a story of women…
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Led by Tom Irvine. 1 session, 1 - 4 pm.
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Victorian London plays an important character in the Sherlock Holmes stories. Many of the mysteries describe a bustling city of neighborhoods, buildings, and transportation in detail…
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Led by Julia Denne. 4 sessions, 10 am - noon.
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Pushkin’s masterpieces, “The Bronze Horseman” and “The Queen of Spades”, will transport the participants from their armchair to St. Petersburg—from its foundation in 1703 to the mid-nineteenth century.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Led by Laura MacKay Hansen. 7 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm
This seven-week course will look at two twentieth-century novels—The God of Small Things by Booker Prize-winning Indian writer Arundhati Roy and Age of Iron by Nobel-prize winning South African author J.M. Coetzee—in order to consider how colonization and its effects…
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Led by Harrison Sherrod. 6 sessions, 6 - 7:30 pm
What if Franz Kafka and Jorge Luis Borges, in addition to being modernist masters of magical realism, were also secretly groundbreaking architects? Both authors shared a keen eye for spatial anatomy, and their stories frequently feature characters tasked with navigating bizarre buildings and structures…
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Led by Jeffrey Nigro. 1 session, 1 - 4 pm.
Explore the visual arts during the reign of Napoleon, from the challenges artists faced in glorifying the regime and the splendors of the imperial court to the responses of anti-Napoleonic artists.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Led by Carol LaChapelle. 4 sessions, 1 - 3 pm.
The news is no longer new: the boomer generation (those between the ages of 53 and 71) has changed the way we age. Not only are boomers living longer than any previous generation, but they are doing so more productively and in better health…
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Led by Tom Irvine. 6 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
For almost half of the twentieth century, the world was divided in two by the Cold War. This caused fear, repression, and “small wars” as two superpowers vied for supremacy…
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Led by Margaret Farr. 6 sessions, 2 - 4 pm.
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
The year 2018 marks a unique citywide celebration with Art Design Chicago. This seminar will explore the city’s past and present as a visual arts hub by visiting five different arts institutions…
Saturday, June 23, 2018, Saturday, July 14, 2018
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
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 eight sessions, or simply those that most appeal to you.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Led by Katrina Kemble. 6 sessions, 5:45pm - 7:45 pm.
This course will take a close look at female authors who have been influenced by the Gothic. We will begin by reading the “Mother of the Gothic,” Anne Radcliffe. We will also read the works of Mary Shelley, the Brontë sisters, Flannery O’Connor…
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Led by Donald G. Evans. 5 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Sherwood Anderson’s literary career blossomed because of his three stays in Chicago, during which he committed himself to his art. Though Winesburg resembles Anderson’s Ohio hometown, the author populated the stories with characters he met living at his Chicago rooming house…
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Led by Frank Biletz. 6 sessions, 1 - 3 pm (Section A) or 5:45 - 7:45 pm (Section B)
This exploration of the monarch and her era will treat such topics as the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Victorian ideals of domesticity, the industrial dominance of Britain…
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Led by Frank Biletz. 6 sessions, 10 am - noon.
To enhance enjoyment of Jane Austen’s novels, this course will survey English society in the late Georgian period, including such topics as the emergence of romanticism, the roles of women, the life of the gentry on their country estates…
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Led by David Pituch. 1 session, 10 am - 4 pm (1 hour lunch)
American music has always been engaged with the catch-22 of cultural assimilation versus cultural diversity. By examining the fusion within American music, we will consider American cultivated and vernacular music from pre-colonial times to the present…
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Led by Rachel Boyle. 5 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Explore Chicago’s past through one of its defining characteristics: conflict. By analyzing historical documents, consulting secondary literature, and engaging in lively discussion, seminar participants will investigate the historical riots and protests…
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Led by Colleen Delegan-Sichrovsky. 3 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
In this creative writing workshop, we will advance our writing skills through thoughtful analysis of plot, structure, character, and voice…
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Led by Kathleen Murphy Skolnik. 4 sessions, 1 - 3 pm.
In the 1920s and 1930s many American architects rejected historicism for Art Deco, an aesthetic more representative of modern life. Initially applied to commercial buildings in major cities, it soon spread to building types throughout the country…
Saturday, June 23, 2018, Saturday, July 14, 2018
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
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 eight sessions, or simply those that most appeal to you.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Led by Sarah Kernan. 4 sessions, 1 - 3 pm.
Food was central to everyday life in medieval and Renaissance Europe. In this seminar, we will explore how the culture of food was connected to social status, economics, religion, law, art, literature, and so much more…
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Led by Lee Minnerly. 1 session, 10 am - 2 pm.
The world’s most mysterious book, the Voynich manuscript, is a fifteenth-century volume by an unknown author consisting of roughly 240 parchment pages of enigmatic botanical, astrological, biological, and pharmacological color illustrations accompanied by…