Programs and Events | Newberry

Programs and Events

The Newberry offers programming in the humanities for lifelong learners, students, teachers, scholars, and genealogy researchers. Please visit the individual program pages below for information about how to register in advance.

Watch or listen to past programs on the Newberry’s YouTube channel.

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E.g., 06/24/2021
E.g., 06/24/2021
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Led by C. Mitchell
If you've ever thought “I don't understand poetry!" then this class is designed for you! We will have the chance to enjoy and discover various poems using the hypothesis that poetry can be a form of “capture.”
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Led by Bill Savage
Chicagoans create their identities in the dynamic of the city’s private, semi-public, and public spaces. In summer, public spaces--streets, parks, and beaches--become especially important, as finer weather and higher temperatures encourage people to connect, or come into conflict, with each other.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Led by Julia Kriventsova Denne
This seminar will introduce you to the prose of Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, two writers famous primarily for their poetry but whose panoramic, witty, ironic, and precise fiction had a tremendous impact on the subsequent development of the Russian novel.
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Led by Margaret Farr
Full. Email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list.
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.
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Led by Richard Reeder and Bob Boone
Take an unforgettable literary trip to William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County. Meet the Compsons, Sutpens, and dozens of other utterly unique characters who dwell there, and encounter the complex relationships that slavery left in its wake.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Led by Joseph Heininger
Full. Email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list.
Explore the contemporary Irish short story through the fiction of some of Ireland’s best writers, including Colm Toibin, Edna O’Brien, Clare Boylan, Sean O’Faolain, William Trevor, and Claire Keegain.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Led by Julia Bachrach
This seminar explores the fascinating making of the fairgrounds for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, including the challenges faced by lead architects Daniel H. Burnham, John W. Root, and Charles Atwood, and landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Henry Codman.
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Led by Julie Benesh
Ironically, mashing -- compression, constraint, and juxtaposition -- can be freeing! From using particular words or letters or doing 10 minute free-writes to pouring a lot of material into a tiny container, juxtapositions may include turning a meditation on mortality into a shopping list . . .
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Led by Dr. Brian Oberlander
Rediscover Shakespeare's plays by exploring the ballads, fanfares, marches, dances, and ingenious musical imagery that abound in his texts.
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Led by Amber Pouliot
Charlotte Brontë's story of a poor, plain, disconnected governess valiantly making her way in the world has captured the imaginations of scores of writers, artists, and producers who have adapted her novel for a wide range of media, including ballet, radio, film, theatre, and television.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Led by Julia Miglets-Nelson, PhD
This seminar will explore the social and cultural implications of the plague of 1348 in Italy, also known as the Black Death, using written sources and material culture. Was the plague a pivotal event in Western history, as some historians have argued?
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Led by Jaymie P. Middendorf
Focusing on emigration from Europe to the United States between 1850 and 1940, this seminar will explore the major European ports of departure, major American ports of arrival, passenger lists, and ships.
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Led by Seth Wilson
This workshop will teach the principles of playwriting through script analysis. Topics will include dramatic action, exposition, characterization, and visual storytelling.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Led by Cindy Juyoung Ok
In this poetry-focused workshop, we will consider the body as landscape, the landscape as a body, and language as both body and landscape, questioning each relationship as we explore five contemporary poetry collections.
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Led by Judy Pomeranz
Full. Email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list.
What is it that draws us to the golden, brilliantly patterned paintings of Gustav Klimt and to the disturbing, contorted, haunting figures of Egon Schiele?
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Led by Jen Farrell
The late nineteenth century witnessed an explosion in typographic styles alongside the growth of consumer products and the need to advertise them. Job printers explored creative ways to decorate their existing type through the use of “word ornaments” and other unique tools of letterpress printing.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Led by Matthew Nickerson
Family stories are the building blocks of history - so let's start building! Participants in this workshop will learn how to use interviews, archives, newspapers, history books, and images to discover their ancestors' secrets.
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Led by C. Mitchell
What is the difference between a novel and a poem? When we think of work by Dickinson or Dickens, we might answer that poems are shorter or that novels are written in prose.
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Led by Judy Pomeranz
A working knowledge of the eight key elements of fiction is essential to any writer’s ability to bring their work to life. In this workshop, we will examine the use and mastery of these elements.
Saturday, July 31, 2021
Led by Jeff Nigro
Full. Email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list.
Created during the 5th and 6th centuries at a time of political and theological conflict, these mosaics are poised between the style and sensibility of late classical antiquity and what we call Byzantine art.
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Led by Margaret Denny, PhD
Over the course of photography’s relatively short history, certain photographs have become iconic, revealing compassion, love, unrest, controversy, and innovation in fleeting moments. This seminar will introduce you to photography’s most iconic images and the stories behind them.
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Led by Dr. Richard Bell
Between the early fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, the transatlantic slave trade became the largest forced migration in human history. This three-part course explores the rise of the transatlantic slave trade from a new perspective.
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Led by Julia Bachrach
Chicago’s remarkable architectural legacy includes the contributions of many Jewish architects. Some are quite famous while others have long been overlooked. This seminar explores the lives and work of more than a dozen Chicago Jewish architects from the 1870s through the 1970s.
Saturday, August 7, 2021
Led by Sarah Wilson
Images of death dominate the Middle Ages, and it can be tempting to assume that medieval people were inured to loss, given its ubiquity. However, we can find moving accounts of how people dealt with grief across medieval art, literature, theology, and philosophy.
Saturday, August 7, 2021
Led by Emilie M. Brinkman
Explore the history of fashion and dress in Regency Britain from 1790 to 1820. Shaped by tumultuous domestic politics, international conflicts, and social unrest as well as the flourishing of neoclassicism, Regency fashion continues to inspire contemporary popular culture.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Led by Jacquie Schattner
In this genealogy workshop, you will learn how to identify your ancestor’s place of worship, access surviving records, and solve common family history puzzles such as maiden names and overseas birthplaces.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Led by Molia Dumbleton
You've got a poem, story, or essay sitting in a drawer or on your hard drive somewhere, and you've always meant to send it somewhere--but where? It all seems more complicated than it should be, and it's hard to know where to start.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Led by Sarah Kernan
In this cooking demonstration and workshop, we will study, prepare, and taste early modern English recipes from manuscript and print sources.