Im/Migrant City: Chicago in 20th-C. Literature | Newberry

Im/Migrant City: Chicago in 20th-C. Literature

Led by Sara Černe.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Six sessions. Wednesdays, November 3-December 15. Class will not meet on November 24.



For the Fall 2021 term, we’re offering a mix of virtual and in-person classes. Although we are still primarily virtual, you will find a smaller selection of in-person seminars in the schedule. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. Registration opens on September 1st at 9am (Central time). Registration will take place through our online platform, Learning Stream.

Seminar Description

Over the span of a hundred years, Chicago grew from a town of a few thousand people to a quintessentially American metropolis—all thanks to waves of Black migrants from the South and immigrants from all over the world who made the city their own. Whose voices define the city, which 20th-Century Literature narratives have been forgotten in public memory, and how does this tapestry of different histories, origins, and perspectives contribute to the vision of the city in the popular imagination? What is the relationship between past and present, or between the physical space of today’s rapidly gentrifying Chicago neighborhoods and the literary landscapes created by the writers we will read? This seminar will invite you to actively participate in discussions about literature and to think deeply about the multiple narratives that make up this American city, as well as about the role that literature and culture play in shaping a particular place.

Six sessions. Registration – $210

Sara Cerne is visiting assistant professor of English at Northwestern University, focusing on American literature. Originally from Slovenia, she has come to consider herself a Chicagoan after years of neighborhood wanderings and volunteer work at the Chicago History Museum.

Materials List


First Reading:

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, September 1st . Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning August 25th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: The Newberry is moving to a new registration system called Learning Stream. This will simplify the registration process for participants, instructors, and staff. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.