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 tailored to the subject at hand: 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 registration 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

Thursday, September 14, 2017Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Exhibitions
Now open! Plan your visit to the Newberry to see the exhibition.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Meet the Author
Meet the Author
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Americans today have a love/hate relationship with France, but in this illuminating new history, Tom Shachtman shows that without France, there might not be a United States of America.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
Women were highly sought-after as piano and organ accompanists for silent films, signifying the presence of morality and good taste in the nascent cinema industry.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts …”
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
Join us for a performance and panel on the history and future of immigration and refugees in Chicago, in advance of Chicago Opera Theater’s upcoming production of The Consul, Gian Carlo Menotti’s 1950 opera about political refugees.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
This remarkable cultural history celebrates the great Midwestern city of Chicago for its centrality to the modernist movement.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Focus on the Book Lecture
As part of the “Focus on the Book” program series sponsored by the Newberry and the Loyola University Chicago Libraries, Dr. Helena Pycior, Professor Emerita of the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will discuss how Marie Skłodowska Curie, renowned scientist and twice Nobel Prize recipient, became known
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
Venice during the early modern era expanded its position as a major crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa. A commercial powerhouse, the independent republic mediated between Roman, Protestant, and Byzantine Christian as well as Islamic lands.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Theologians, philosophers, and church-leaders discuss Luther’s “Protestant” reform as a “churchly” event. But it had (and continues to have) enormous consequences in political, cultural,economic, personal, and social life.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Nathaniel Philbrick will speak about his latest book, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, which appeared for seven consecutive weeks on the New York Times
Sunday, November 5, 2017Monday, November 6, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
A History of the Book Symposium
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
The Newberry Library and Spertus Institute each house a rich collection of medieval and early modern Jewish manuscripts and printed materials, including two jointly owned books. This one-day symposium celebrates and examines these collections in relation to the social and religious lives of Jews from roughly 1300 to 1700. How did the shift to print affect Jewish thought?
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Conversations at the Newberry
Brad Gregory and Mark Noll on the Protestant Reformation and Its Continuing Impact
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Brad S. Gregory and Mark Noll engage in a conversation about the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and its continued impact on today’s world.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Meet the Author
Meet the Author
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Heralded as America’s most quintessentially modern city, Chicago has attracted the gaze of journalists, novelists, essayists, and scholars as much as any city in the nation. And, yet, few historians have attempted big-picture narratives of the city’s transformation over the twentieth century.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Free and open to the public. No registration required.
Over many years, the rich archival collections of the Newberry Library have inspired and sustained some of the most significant research and writing in Native American and Indigenous Studies, making it a central site of what we may call “indigenous Chicago.” This panel of prize-winning authors, whose research was based at the Newberry and other major archives, will reflect not only on the power
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Dolls, Toys, and Winter
Free and open to the public; no registration required
This month, join in a unique interactive melange of music and story activities, from long ago through today, from the Newberry collection, including selections from Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux/The Toybox; Why Be a Goop?; and Down-adown-Derry: A Book of Fairy Poems. We’ll close with a hands-on Musical Instrument Petting Zoo!
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
History textbooks, once they get over describing the Jesuits as the shock troops of the Counter Reformation, often mention that Ignatius of Loyola wrote a book called Spiritual Exercises, and that the order ran a lot of schools. Those two aspects of the Jesuit enterprises will be the subject of Professor O’Malley’s lecture.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Thornton Wilder's Prize-Winning The Eighth Day
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary and new edition of Wilder’s National Book Award-winning novel with a reception, actors, commentators, and cake!
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Free; open to all high school students, registration required
Attention high school students! Come to the Newberry for an exciting, immersive three-hour workshop, and learn how to make Shakespeare come alive in your performances. Facilitated by actors from the Shakespeare Project of Chicago, you will learn tools and techniques for unlocking emotion and meaning in Shakespeare’s texts.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has been a part of Chicago since its founding. In very public expressions of indigeneity, they have refused to hide in plain sight or assimilate.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
The Schola Antiqua early music ensemble will lead participants in singing medieval and early modern religious music from the Newberry collection. Listen to a range of compositions reflecting the diverse vocal manifestations of early modern music on our Voices of Reform digital project page.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
It is Christmas night at the Windmill Inn, Shakespeare’s favorite pub in Stratford-Upon-Avon. While the Bard quaffs his favorite beverage at his usual table, he encounters a series of visitors, each with an unrealized dream and unanswered questions.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“Let me have war, say I: it exceeds peace as far as day does night: it’s sprightly waking, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible: a getter of more bastard children than war’s a destroyer of men.”
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
Why are sex and jewelry, particularly rings, so often connected? Why do rings continually appear in stories about marriage and adultery, love and betrayal, loss and recovery, identity and masquerade? What is the mythology that makes finger rings symbols of true (or, as the case may be, untrue) love?
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
Harris Feinsod and Rachel Galvin discuss their new books on how poetry intertwined with the geopolitics of the modernist era, moderated by the Newberry’s director of Chicago Studies, Liesl Olson.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
It was a hunting accident—that much Charlie is sure of. That’s how his father, Matt Rizzo—a gentle intellectual who writes epic poems in Braille—had lost his vision. It’s not until Charlie’s troubled teenage years, when he’s facing time for his petty crimes, that he learns the truth.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“Never were finer snares for womens’ honesties Than are devis’d in these days; no spider’s web’s Made of a daintier thread, than are now practis’d To catch love’s flesh-fly by the silver wing”
Thursday, March 8, 2018
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Conversations at the Newberry
Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf on the History of Democracy and Its Contemporary Discontents
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S.
Monday, April 23, 2018
The Board of Trustees invites you to join the Newberry in honoring Carla Hayden for her outstanding contributions to the humanities. Dr. Hayden is the current Librarian of Congress, former head of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, former Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library, and former President of the American Library Association.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“ ‘I can see he’s not in your good books,’ said the messenger. ‘No, and if he were I would burn my library.’” A staged reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Free and open to the public; registration in advance required
Explore the history of the American postcard!
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Free and open to the public; registration in advance required.
Explore the proliferation of clubs and small arts organizations in Chicago from the 1890s through the 1920s to consider what clubs and “club-ability” contributed to Chicago art and design in the first decades after the Great Fire.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
A discussion and holiday card-making workshop
Free and open to the public; registration in advance required
Explore the aesthetic and technological dimensions of typography and book design in Chicago, with an in-depth look at the Newberry’s collection of type specimens, book designs, and advertising.