Programs for the Public | Newberry

Programs for the Public

The Newberry organizes and hosts programs illuminating topics in the humanities through a variety of formats, including lectures, staged readings, music and dance performances, panel discussions, workshops, and more.

Some events are part of ongoing series, such as Conversations at the Newberry, Meet the Author talks, Programs for Genealogists, the weekly Newberry Colloquium, and exhibition-related programming; others are signature annual events, such as the Newberry Book Fair and the Bughouse Square Debates. Additional public programming may be sponsored by the Newberry’s Research Centers.

Most Newberry public programs are free. Seating is limited and obtaining free tickets in advance is required for many events; see the individual listings for details.

Many of our programs are recorded, and you can listen to them on our website.

Upcoming Public Programs

Friday, January 24, 2020Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Exhibitions
Jun Fujita: American Visionary, copresented by the Newberry Library and the Poetry Foundation, focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Discussion and Performance with Chicago Opera Theater
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
When the Congress of Racial Equality comes to New Orleans in the sweltering summer of 1961, Sylvie Davenport is torn. Handed a pamphlet and asked to board a Greyhound bus, Sylvie is forced to choose between her academic future and the future of the nation.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
Domingo Chimalpahin, an indigenous chronicler from Amecameca, Mexico, wrote annals of his hometown in his native language of Nahuatl. But he also transcribed part of Francisco López de Gómara’s best-selling History of the conquest of Mexico (1552), complete with his own commentary.
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
First Nations Film and Video Festival (FNFVF)
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
In the year’s second installment of the First Nations Film and Video Festival, we feature two films: The Peoples’ Protectors and Healing Voices.
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Programs for Genealogists
Free and open to all. No ticket required.
Want to branch out and fill in your family tree? Eager to take your genealogical research to the next level? In this free, hour-long orientation, Newberry staff will introduce you to the Newberry and the huge selection of genealogical resources we offer. Aimed at researchers new to the library and its genealogical collections, this session will be followed by a short tour of the library.
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Exhibitions
Curator Talk with Katherine Litwin, Fred Sasaki, and Graham Lee
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
In this curator talk, Katherine Litwin, Fred Sasaki, and Graham Lee will give visitors a behind-the-scenes overview of the development of our winter exhibition, Jun Fujita: American Visionary.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
Running for reelection in 1919, Chicago Mayor William Hale Thompson attacked “the lying, crooked, thieving, rotten newspaper editors.” When he left office in 1931, the Chicago Tribune argued that “Thompson has meant filth, corruption, idiocy, and bankruptcy.” How did such stark hostilities develop between this politician and the press?
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Jeremy Popkin
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
In his new book A New World Begins, Jeremy Popkin puts the reader in the thick of the French Revolution.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
French Catholic missions in colonial North America have been much studied, but little is known about those of the early 19th-century Western Great Lakes. This talk analyzes the stakes of 19th-century French missions for both Catholic missionaries and Odawa and Potawatomi Indians. While the missionaries hoped to win the Catholic-Protestant rivalry to Christianize the U.S.
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Exhibitions
Speakers: Takako Day, Graham Lee, and Ryan Yokota
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
This Valentine’s Day-themed program is devoted to the lives and love of early 20th-century poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita and the journalist Florence Carr and their struggles against the racist marital norms, miscegenation laws, and xenophobia that complicated their relationship.
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Part I: We Shall Not Be Missed!
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
Jonathan Lear of the University of Chicago delivers the first of three lectures on how our fears of catastrophe—from climate crisis to political collapse—shape the ways we imagine the ends and purposes of human life.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
In the 1980s, the national organization 9to5 set up a hotline for women to call and report discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's February Meeting
Just as the conduct of war has, throughout modern history, necessitated the production of a massive cartographic archive, so have the geographical complexities of battlefields and campaigns defied the comprehension of battlefield tourists, in ways that would seem to call for purpose-made maps.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
Shakespeare’s drama of feuding families and star-crossed lovers established the template for romantic tragedy.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
The Seldoms with Carrie Hanson and Daniel J. Vimont
Free and open to all. Reserve your free tickets now.
Join us for a staging of FLOE, a multimedia performance addressing climate instability produced by the dance company The Seldoms. The performance will occur alongside a talk by climate scientist Daniel Vimont about the effects of climate change in the Midwest.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
The Newberry’s Alma/Primo VE Team is in the process of implementing our new library system, Alma/Primo VE. The Newberry and all 91 CARLI/I-Share libraries will go live with this system on June 24, which will change the platforms used by staff for cataloging and other functions, and by readers to access the Newberry catalog and other information sources.
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
A Roundtable Discussion
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
These days, “Midwestern cuisine” is likely to evoke brats, gelatin-based salads, hot-dish casseroles, and perhaps a few regional specialties like deep dish pizza or deep-fried cheese curds. But the region’s culinary history is far more complex than these stereotypes suggest.
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
First Nations Film and Video Festival (FNFVF)
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
In the third installment of the First Nations Film and Video Festival, we feature a screening of Sydney Freeland’s coming-of-age drama Drunktown’s Finest (2014). On the Navajo reservation in New Mexico, three young people—a college-bound, devout Christian; a rebellious and angry father-to-be; and a promiscuous and gorgeous trans person—search for love and acceptance.
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Programs for Genealogists
Free and open to all. No tickets required.
Want to branch out and fill in your family tree? Eager to take your genealogical research to the next level? In this free, hour-long orientation, Newberry staff will introduce you to the Newberry and the huge selection of genealogical resources we offer. Aimed at researchers new to the library and its genealogical collections, this session will be followed by a short tour of the library.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Exhibitions
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
In this program, director, documentary photographer, and cinematographer Carlos Javier Ortiz will reflect on the legacy of Jun Fujita’s Chicago photos.
Monday, March 16, 2020
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Louise Erdrich
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
Join National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) as she discusses her latest book, The Night Watchman.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Part II: Good Mourning in Gettysburg and Hollywood
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
Jonathan Lear of the University of Chicago delivers the second of three lectures on how our fears of catastrophe—from climate crisis to political collapse—shape the ways we imagine the ends and purposes of human life.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Programs for Genealogists
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
Join experts from the Ulster Historical Foundation as they describe the ins and outs of genealogical research focused on the Emerald Isle.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's March Meeting
George Ritzlin, a founding member of the Chicago Map Society, will return with the second half of his two-part presentation on map collecting. In his first presentation, George explained how to determine the authenticity of an antique map and explored the process of paper production, printing, coloring and atlas assembly.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Free and open to all. No ticket required.
Interested in exploring the Newberry’s vast collection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, and primary sources but not sure where to start? Then this session is for you. In an informal orientation, Newberry librarians will introduce you to the Newberry and break down how to use our collection.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Bill Moran and Jim Moran of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
Since its founding in 2000, Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum has been a national center for print and type history. In this talk, the museum’s directors, Bill and Jim Moran, will discuss the museum’s historical and contemporary role in fostering type design and production in the Midwest.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Bill Moran and Jim Moran of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Feb. 3.
In this hands-on printing workshop, we’ll use wood type from the permanent collection of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum to produce A-Z specimen sheets you can customize with brayers, stencils, and your imagination. No printing experience is necessary. We’ll provide aprons, but be sure to wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting ink on!
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Part III: And the Pursuit of Happiness
Free and open to all. Reserve your free ticket starting Mar. 2.
Jonathan Lear of the University of Chicago delivers the last of three lectures on how our fears of catastrophe—from climate crisis to political collapse—shape the ways we imagine the ends and purposes of human life.
Saturday, April 18, 2020Friday, July 3, 2020
Exhibitions
During a time of globalization, colonization, and warfare, Europeans in the Renaissance embraced new technology even as they lamented its destabilizing consequences.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Conversations at the Newberry
Jacqueline Stewart and Alexandra Zapruder
Why do we take videos of our personal lives? How do they affect individuals, families, and communities? Who “owns” these artifacts of history? Now that everyone with a phone has the power to document their daily lives in living color, how do we determine what is worth recording and watching and what to preserve?
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's May Meeting
The Midwest is a region that’s difficult to define, especially to those that reside outside of America’s heartland. What states are included? Does the idea of the Midwest change over time? What does it mean to be Midwestern? Fellow CMS member Amanda Murphyao explores possible definitions of the region in her presentation on carto-caricatures of the Midwest.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's June Meeting
In June, we will take our annual field trip to the MacLean Collection in Lake Forest, Illinois. The MacLean Collection is one of the premier map destinations in the United States, with close to 40,000 individual items, and we’re grateful for their generosity in sharing their collection.