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., 02/19/2019
E.g., 02/19/2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Led by Debra Mancoff. Six sessions, 5:45 – 7:45 pm
What does it feel like to own a renowned work of art? Can it embody your legacy, even your own self worth? The answers lie partly in the history of art, but the emotional experience is more richly explored in fictional writings about the relationship of art and ownership…
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Led by Lesa Dowd. Five sessions, 5:45 – 7:45 pm
Plain and decorative papers have been incorporated into book coverings for centuries. From simple blue wrappers to embellished paste, printed, and marbled designs, paper has been both an economical and a beautiful covering material for the protection of the printed book…
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Led by Ronald Corthell. Six sessions, 2 – 4 pm
While based on the biblical accounts of the creation and fall, Milton’s masterpiece is boldly designed to engage its narrator, characters, and readers in debates about the beginning of the story of the human race…
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Led by Tom Irvine. Seven sessions, 5:45 – 7:45 pm
Harry Truman founded the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after World War II to gather information that he couldn’t get from newspapers. Though the U.S. was late to the intelligence business, the CIA has grown dramatically since its inception and now gathers, processes, and analyzes national security information from around the world…
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Led by Sheryl E. Reiss. Six sessions, 2 – 4 pm
This seminar has been cancelled.
This course examines women, gender, sexuality, and visual culture in the Renaissance period in Europe, ca. 1400-1600. Topics considered will include visual constructions of male and female identity and understandings of homoeroticism; the functions of works of art and objects of material culture in the lives of Renaissance women and men…
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Margaret Farr. One session, 9 am - noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Take an in-depth look at Edvard Munch’s 1893 painting The Scream in this half-day seminar. We will explore the work’s place in Western art history, Norwegian culture, trends in late 19th-century art, and Munch’s artistic production…
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Minnerly. One session, 10 am – 3 pm (with an hour-long lunch break)
This follow-up to a 2016 seminar will first introduce the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering its present form and stages of construction, age, history of investigation, and early interpretations. The rest of the seminar will present the dramatic results of the Stonehenge Riverside and Hidden Landscape Projects, as well as…
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Laurel Harig. Ten sessions, 1 – 3 pm
This course is designed to deepen and advance students’ comprehension and composition abilities in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). By the end of the course, each student will be able to read and write full pages in grammatically correct MSA, describing themselves and their hobbies, work, and studies…
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Katrina Kemble. Six sessions, 1 – 2:30 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In this course, we will read Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray; his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest; and a novella that greatly influenced him, R.L. Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Harrison Sherrod. One session, 10 am – 2 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
Last year, a rediscovered oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci was auctioned for $450.3 million, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold. Art is clearly one of the most valuable commodities of our time, but what’s not clear is what makes it so valuable…
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Frank Biletz. Ten sessions, 10 am - noon
Winston Churchill’s extraordinary leadership of Britain during its “darkest hour” and through the ultimately victorious campaigns of the Second World War will be the subject of this seminar. Topics will include Churchill’s opposition to appeasement at the Munich Conference; the fall of France…
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Alexis Culotta and Jeff Nigro. Six sessions, 1 – 3 pm
This seminar will assess the role of the portrait in the ancient Roman world. We will trace the origins of the portrait tradition, examine the central themes of both male and female portraiture and the messages these genres broadcast…
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Led by Sarah Peters Kernan. Four sessions, 10 am – noon
This seminar has been cancelled
French medieval and Renaissance noble courts embraced the art of dining, producing celebrity chefs and cookbooks, exquisite entremets, and, eventually, national dishes and customs. The feast was the vehicle for dramatic developments in these areas…
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Led by Esther Hershenhorn. One session, 9 am – 4 pm (with an hour-long lunch break)
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Hoping to realize your dream of writing a children’s book? Anxious to learn what to do once you write it? This workshop introduces newcomers to the world of children’s books and offers rules of the road and proven short cuts to make navigating easier…
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Led by Laurel Harig. One session, 10 am – 4 pm (with an hour-long lunch break)
This seminar has been cancelled
This seminar will introduce students to the rich world of poetry in Arabic. Beginning with pre-Islamic women poets who lamented the loss of their relatives in battle and spurred their warriors on to victory with fierce odes, we will proceed through the classical period to the beginning of the modern era…
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Led by Steven Venturino. Seven sessions, 2 – 4 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
To celebrate the bicentennial of George Eliot’s birth, this seminar will present the author’s first full-length novel in manageable weekly installments for serial reading and discussion—with no spoilers!
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Led by Jeff Nigro and John Nygro. Three sessions, 9 am – noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
The Medici of Florence were the first ruling family to realize that their path to immortality lay through the arts. This seminar will focus on the most significant Medici patrons during the family’s Renaissance heyday…
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Led by Julia Denne. Five sessions, 10 am - noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
f the great 19th-century Russian writers, Nikolai Gogol was among the most enigmatic and original. In this seminar, we will perform a close analysis of his novel Dead Souls, a brilliantly imaginative and bitingly written satire of Russian society featuring a con man who buys the identities of dead serfs…
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Led by Debra Mancoff. One session, 1 – 4 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Costumes for Pre-Raphaelite paintings were designed and crafted by models who also wore them outside the studio. This one-day seminar traces the relationship between Pre-Raphaelite (1848-1914) art and fashion in paintings, photographs, surviving garments, and popular media…
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Led by June Sawyers. Five sessions, 5:45 – 7:45 pm
She was born a queen and died a queen, but Mary Stuart’s life was tumultuous, filled with controversy, intrigue, and betrayal. This course will examine Mary’s life by exploring her various roles…
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Led by Barbara Lanctot. Three sessions, 10 am – noon
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
P. D. James has been described as a novelist who happens to write mysteries. Indeed, the intricacy of James’s plots, the depth of her characters, and the relevance of her themes go well beyond the traditional boundaries of the genre…
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Led by Linda Levine. Six sessions, 2 - 3:45 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
In this course, we will read four contemporary novels of significant literary merit: Jane Gardam’s Old Filth; William Maxwell’s So Long See You Tomorrow; Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach; and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. We will consider how each novel exquisitely captures the complexity of relationships in our time…
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Led by Joseph Harrington. Six sessions, 2 – 4 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In this seminar, we will analyze major decisions made during the largest global conflict in history. We will examine the reasoning behind appeasement of Axis aggression in the 1930s; the German invasion of the Soviet Union; the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor…
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Led by Molia Dumbleton. Five sessions, 5:45 – 7:45 pm
In each session, we will investigate a different trick, tool, or “firestarter” to generate new creative material and story ideas. In addition to honing the “how” for shaping your new work, you’ll learn ways to push through the blocks between those great ideas and actually getting something on paper…
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Led by Margaret Farr. Six sessions, 2 - 4 pm
Discover how artists transformed portraiture after the invention of photography. The portraitist’s traditional role involved capturing a sitter’s likeness, status, and character…
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Led by John Nygro. Three sessions, 1 – 4 pm
Tchaikovsky’s music displays his distinctive personality through expansive and passionate melodies, strong dramatic contrasts, and a romantic sensibility unmatched during the nineteenth century. Drawing on Tchaikovsky’s rich and varied ouevre, we will listen to and discuss representative works from a variety of genres…
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Led by Bruce Boyer. Six sessions, 10 – noon
This seminar provides an introduction to “the other Elizabethans”—Shakespeare’s major playwright peers—as a way of both deepening our appreciation of the ways these writers influenced Shakespeare’s development as a poetic dramatist…
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Led by Diane Dillon. Ten sessions, 2 - 4 pm
This seminar will explore the origins and development of several Chicago parks through a series of walking tours. We will study their evolving landscape designs, goals, and patterns of use, along with their architecture and sculpture…
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Led by Kathleen Murphy Skolnik. Three sessions, 5:45 – 7:45 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In the 1920s, contemporary themes and a highly stylized approach to design better suited to the machine age began replacing the monumental allegorical figures and academic style typical of American murals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries…
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Led by Douglas Post. Six sessions, 5:45 – 7:45 pm
Stephen Sondheim is widely considered to be the most accomplished composer and lyricist ever to write for the American musical theater stage. A firm believer in the collaborative process and the power of the perfect rhyme, Sondheim has created a series of daring and indelible scores for Broadway…
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Led by Jean Iversen. Four sessions, 1 – 3 pm
A seminar on Chicago food that doesn’t include deep dish pizza or hot dogs? You bet! Led by author Jean Iversen, this seminar will examine Chicago’s culinary presence primarily through its restaurants, which will serve as the lens through which we will view evolving local tastes, trends, and demographics…
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Led by Marsha Peterson-Maass. One session, 9 am – noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
The Newberry has one of the nation’s strongest genealogy collections. This one-session course will acquaint you with accredited research methods for tracing your family’s history in America…
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Led by Marsha Peterson-Maass. One session, 1 – 4 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Curb your dependence on Ancestry.com’s shaky leaf hints by taking your genealogical project to the next level! This single-session class will focus on three areas…
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Led by Alexis Culotta. One session, 9 am - noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death in 1519, this one-session three-hour seminar explores the legacy of Leonardo da Vinci as artist, architect, and draftsman both within his own era and in the generations following…
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Led by Patrick Del Percio. One session, 9 am – noon
This seminar will serve as an introduction to the basics of the Cherokee language. First, we will learn about the history of the Cherokee language, including Sequoyah and the creation of the Cherokee syllabary, then we will turn our focus to learning conversational phrases…