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.

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E.g., 06/18/2019
E.g., 06/18/2019
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Led by Rachel Boyle, PhD. Five sessions. 2 - 4 pm
The Midwest is a place of movement and encounter; sometimes peaceful, often contested, and frequently violent. Using a number of surprising materials from the Newberry’s collections, this seminar will tell the stories of people who moved within and through the Midwest…
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Led by Jeff Nigro. Four sessions. 1 - 3 pm
A literary tour de force as well as a compelling exploration of social ideals, Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier has exerted a huge influence since it was first published in 1528. Through a series of witty conversations, the book examines the qualities of the ideal courtier in appearance, abilities, and character. This seminar will explore Castiglione’s masterpiece…
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Led by Robert Sprott. Eight sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In his last book, Ecce Homo, Nietzsche wrote, “I am no man, I am dynamite.” What he intended as an ironic exaggeration has turned out to be an understatement: Nietzsche’s “philosophy of the future”…
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Led by Bill Savage. Six sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In the century since Charles Comiskey’s White Sox threw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, the story of the Black Sox has developed into an American myth of greed, criminality, sin, and redemption. In this seminar, we will examine the growth of the Black Sox myth…
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Led by Nina Wieda. Seven sessions. 2 - 4 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
Although the Cold War-era Iron Curtain has been lifted, our understanding of contemporary Russia remains limited due to strict censorship, challenging language barriers, and differences in culture and history. This seminar seeks to help bridge the gap between our culture and Russia’s…
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Led by Daniele Macuglia. Five sessions. 2 - 4 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
This course will provide an intensive five-week introduction to the Italian Renaissance. Through a combination of readings and class discussion, we will develop a taste for the flowering of arts, science, and letters…
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Led by Daniele Macuglia. Five sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In this course we will survey the major scientific and cultural developments that took place during the Enlightenment in Europe. Our focus will be on the “exact sciences,” as well as natural history, physiology, and moral philosophy…
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Led by Melinda Rooney. Eight sessions. 1 - 3 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
Caroline Alexander’s translation of the Iliad is the first and only translation by a woman of what is sometimes referred to as “the war book.” This seminar will explore the epic’s status as one of the founding stories of the Western literary tradition, focusing in particular on its depictions of women, from slave girls to queens to goddesses…
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Led by Edward E. Gordon, Ph.D.. Four sessions. 1 - 3 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, this seminar will focus on the impact of leadership struggles within the Anglo-American “Grand” alliance upon the course and length of the Normandy campaign, Operation Overlord….
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Led by Christopher Hagenah, PhD. Five sessions. 2 - 3:30 pm
This seminar has been cancelled.
The stories told by slaves comprise some of the most compelling work in American literature. In this course, we will read Frederick Douglass’s genre-defining work Narrative of the Life (1845) and then explore the ways that the slave narrative has continued to influence literary works…
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Led by Joseph S. Harrington. Four sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
The U.S. Constitution is recognized by Americans for its protection of individual liberty, but most of us overlook the way another document—the Declaration of Independence—expresses a counterbalancing commitment to another value, that of equality…
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Led by Douglas Post. Six sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm
When asked what his plays were about, Harold Pinter famously replied, “The weasel under the cocktail cabinet.” Though he later came to regret this comment, there’s a certain truth to it: his work, filled with the comedy of menace, often combines two stories—one that is spoken and one that is not. This seminar will center on eight plays…
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Led by Caron Primas Brennan, Ginger Frere, and Marsha Peterson-Maass. Saturdays, 9 am – noon and 1 – 4 pm
Take this whole four-part series on the building blocks of genealogy or just the individual sessions that appeal to you.
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Led by Alexis Culotta, PhD. One session. 9 am - noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
With the National Gallery in London pledging to double its holdings of work by women artists by the time its landmark Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition opens in April 2020, we are reminded that our understanding of the history of women in art is still evolving in light of newly available collections displaying the brilliance and novelty of their work…
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Led by John Nygro. Five sessions. 2 - 4 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
This course will focus on Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, using the play’s treatment of the Antony and Cleopatra myth as a springboard for discussions about the strength and weakness of character, the expansion of gender roles, and the conflict created when one’s integrity and one’s duty to country are in contradiction…
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Led by Chad Beharriell. Three sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm
This seminar has been cancelled
This seminar will explore the historical Jesse James as well as the development of the myths surrounding his life and the ways they intersect with the traditions of social banditry. Drawing upon Newberry sources as well as modern media treatments….
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Led by Dr. Brian Alberts and Liz Garibay. One session. 9 am - noon
Lager-drinking German immigrants to Chicago and the Midwest brought with them a lot more than just a love of the beverage. They also redefined the way Americans thought about, produced, and consumed beer. In “From Bier to Beer,” we will embark on a complex journey through immigrant ethnicity, politics, and…
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Led by Dr. Margaret Denny, Ph.D. Three sessions. 2 - 4 pm
Focusing on women in photography between the 1850s and 1930s, this course will explore how the experiences of women photographers were shaped by many factors, including personal circumstance, technological change, and shifts in societal norms…
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Led by David Pituch. Four sessions. 1 - 3 pm
Many of the standard conventions of opera as we know them today—use of a libretto, an aria/recitative structure, and the presence of a full orchestra, costumed actors, and elaborate staging—were fully established by the time this new musical genre first appeared in the early 1600s. Yet while operatic conventions have remained the same in certain ways…
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Led by John Nygro. Three sessions. 1 - 4 pm
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
George Gershwin’s music reflects the many influences that surrounded him, including European classical music, American jazz, Yiddish theater music, the songs of New York’s Tin Pan Alley, and early 20th-century experimental music. In this course, we will seek to identify how Gershwin’s music channeled these traditions by examining a range of compositions…
Saturday, August 3, 2019
The Skidi band of the Pawnee Indians, a tribe whose traditional homeland was on the Great Plains, is distinctive among indigenous North American people for its complex traditions involving the sun, moon, and especially the stars. This seminar will explore the band’s diverse beliefs about the cosmos and their expression in Skidi culture…
Saturday, August 3, 2019
 Alexis Culotta, PhD and Jeff Nigro. One session. 9 am - noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
In this team-taught, single-session seminar, we will explore the aesthetic, political, social, and cultural implications of the “eternal return” of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman dress in Western fashion between the late-18th and early-20th centuries….
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Led by Alix Anne Shaw. Four sessions. 1 - 3 pm
This seminar has been cancelled.
Quirky, incisive, and iconoclastic, Marianne Moore’s poetry has been recognized as an important contribution to 20th century American literature. This course will illuminate Moore’s poetic innovations by placing them within their broader cultural context. Discussions will focus on a number of related questions…
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Led by Judy Pomeranz. One session. 9 am - noon
This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.
This seminar will examine the art of Constable and Turner, renowned 19th-century British painters who showed the western world just how lyrical, dramatic, and romantic landscape painting could be…
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Led by Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch. Two sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm
Online registration is closed. Call (312) 255-3700 to register.
Raymond Chandler is recognized as a master of the genre of hard-boiled detective fiction, having distinguished himself on the basis of a seminal collection of short stories, novels, and film scripts. In this two-session course, we will discuss a selection of Chandler’s pulp magazine short stories, as well as his first novel, The Big Sleep
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Led by Laurel Harig. 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.
Sunni. Shi’ite. Sufi. Isma’ili. Alawite. What do these terms mean? This course will introduce students to the diverse historical and modern worlds of Islam. Since its beginning in 7th-century Arabia, the religion of Islam has never ceased to shape and be shaped by the complex historical events occurring around it…