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., 07/06/2022
E.g., 07/06/2022
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Led by Julia Kriventsova Denne
Virtual
Mikhail Vrubel, a genius of fin-de-siècle Russian art, interweaves beauty and treachery, capturing disorientation and the threatening nature of the modern world in the manner of the Symbolist and Art Nouveau artists. The seminar will follow the structure of the recent Vrubel’s retrospective at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow as a network of evolving interlinked motifs.
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Led by Barbara Lanctot
In Person
In the mid-1900s, a new kind of detective story emerged. Instead of a gifted amateur detective or a tough private eye, a team of police detectives did the investigating. What are the characteristics of this form, and why was it so successful? Together, we’ll investigate two classic TV episodes and two influential novels to find our answers.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Led by Steven J. Venturino
Virtual
Creation, destruction, and science; imagination, art, and personal tragedy—this seminar explores the remarkable source of a worldwide cultural legacy by returning to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein for weekly progressive readings.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Led by Caron Primas Brennan
Virtual
Take a tour of the underutilized FamilySearch.org website to see what it has to offer genealogy researchers. This course will include a review of this free resource and all the research opportunities it offers, along with other tools useful for genealogists and family historians.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Led by Bryan LeBeau
Virtual
Americans have long taken pride in being a nation of immigrants, pointing to the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty taken from the poem by Emma Lazarus. This seminar will explore the history of these two competing ideas and the search for a middle-of-the-road of accommodation and acceptance of various minorities and their place under the “sacred canopy” of being Americans.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Led by Caron Primas Brennan
Virtual
Take this whole three-part series and build your genealogy research toolbox. Register below for all three seminars or select the individual seminars that appeal the most to you.
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Led by Colleen Delegan-Sichrovsky
Virtual
It isn’t just amateur writers who struggle with writing and honing their work. Even the world’s greatest scribes need to practice their craft and constantly revise, rework and edit their story. So if you are feeling stuck getting your story to the next level, this interactive workshop will help clear the obstacles that often keep us from finishing our work.
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Led by Diane Dillon
In Person
This seminar will explore Chicago’s riches in the realm of public art, including murals, commemorative statues, architectural sculpture, and commercial decorations. Sessions will consist of walking tours, enabling us to study the works of art first hand.
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Led by Toby Altman
Virtual (Full - Register for Waitlist on Learning Stream)
Intermediate Poetry is an opportunity for experienced poets to build their knowledge of their craft, receive detailed feedback from thoughtful peers, and develop a strong writing community to support their work.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Led by Joseph S. Harrington
Virtual
When Illinois legislators sought to revise the state’s constitution to allow slavery, a spirited response by Gov. Edward Coles and other anti-slavery voices barely prevented this from happening. This seminar will review arguments made on both sides, and the role Coles and others played in promoting antislavery nationalism.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Led by Dr. Annette Bochenek
Virtual
Learn about the film industry’s early days in Chicago, including the silent film studios in Chicago, film stars who worked in Chicago, and the legacies of these studios and stars today.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Led by Jeff Nigro
Virtual
Rome in the years around 1500 saw a flourishing of the visual arts that represented the culmination of the Renaissance ideals of humanism and classical beauty, despite the corruption of the papal court. Lectures, readings, and class discussion will unfold this dazzling and complex artistic moment.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Led by Margaret Farr
Virtual
Experience the world of late 19th-century Paris through the paintings of the Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte, artist of the renowned Paris Street, Rainy Day. This seminar will explore his pivotal artworks by considering his relationship to the newly modernized cityscape, along with an analysis of concomitant developments in art criticism and Realist literature.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Led by Caron Primas Brennan
Virtual
So, you think you know Ancestry? We will take a tour of the Ancestry.com website to see what it has to offer genealogy researchers. We will include tips and tricks on how to get the most from the website.
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Led by Emilie M. Brinkman
Virtual
This six-session seminar explores the lives and legacies of early modern British queens from Elizabeth of York, the first Tudor queen, to the Georgian consorts. Come learn about different forms of queenly power and discover how queens regnant, consorts, regents, dowagers, and other royal women have shaped British politics, culture, and society, even to today.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Led by Bill Savage
Virtual
Nelson Algren’s masterpiece, The Man with the Golden Arm, won the first National Book Award in 1949. In vivid vernacular American English, Algren depicted the world of Damen and Division as Chicagoans experienced “the new way we got of doin’ things” after World War II. In this seminar we will explore the world of Frankie Machine.
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Led by Dr. Richard Bell
Virtual
The revolutionary war was fought on battlefields, in forests, and on the homefront—and the contributions of American women shaped the fight at every turn. They did this in every way imaginable, and while some prospered and thrived when the war came, others faltered and fell. Many American women fought for the patriot cause while almost as many others fought to stop them.
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Led by Caron Primas Brennan
Virtual
If you have exhausted your old standby resources and need some new records to review, here are some other databases to check out. Maybe you have heard of these sites, but never visited them. We will review Fold3.com, a primarily military site; Newspapers.com; American Ancestors; and FindMyPast.
Saturday, July 9, 2022
Led by William Swislow
Virtual
Chicago’s Lake Michigan shore is lined with thousands of rock carvings, made by ordinary people, that individually are often magnificent and together constitute a collective work of art that is unique in the world yet mostly unknown. We’ll explore this public gallery of largely anonymous art and learn about its history and the people who created it.
Saturday, July 9, 2022
Led by Laurel Harig-Khan.
Virtual
Arabic is the native language of over 350 million people worldwide. It is also the religious language of nearly two billion Muslims. This course is designed for complete beginners or heritage speakers who want to learn the basics of reading and writing in grammatically correct Modern Standard Arabic. We will begin with the alphabet and the short vowel system of Arabic.
Saturday, July 9, 2022
Led by Katrina A Kemble
In person
Experience the majestic beauty of Mont Blanc in the French Alps, join an exquisite ancient tea ceremony in Japan, and come face-to-face with a Hindu goddess in a cave temple this summer in this seminar on women’s travel writing. In this seminar, we will explore the history of female travelers and read about their trailblazing experiences.
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Led by Joseph Heininger.
Virtual (Full - Register for Waitlist on Learning Stream)
James Joyce began his remarkable career with the stories of Dubliners (1914) and the publication of a novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). We will discuss a selection of eight Dubliners stories that create realistic portraits of the economic, religious, and gender relations that predominated in the Dublin of Joyce’s time.
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Led by Mark Larson
Virtual
This course will draw from the 100+ interviews I have conducted to date with American workers across the country and economic spectrum for my book in progress, a 21st century take on Studs Terkel’s classic, Working, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024. We will use clips from interviews and draw comparisons with Terkel’s Working.
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Led by Dr. Caroline Malloy.
Virtual (Full - Register for Waitlist on Learning Stream)
We all have a story to tell, but how many of us see our story as part of History? In this three-part course, Dr. Caroline Malloy will lead participants through a series of challenges and exercises to embrace the historical significance of their own life story. Both as a Book Coach and Historian, Caroline encourages writers to understand how and why History needs their story.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Led by Mary Kettering
Virtual
The 2020 election boasted the strongest field of female candidates in American history. As the political glass ceilings are shattering, one may ask, when did this change begin? This seminar provides an intentional focus on the overlooked political career of Jeannette Rankin. Each session will contextualize the history that shaped her politics and activism.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Led by Harrison Sherrod
Virtual
Our so-called “age of anxiety” is also the age that, much to its peril, has dismissed the humanities (especially the discipline of philosophy) as an impractical academic pursuit with little utility as a career path or as a guide for living well. Yet anxiety has been a central concern for thinkers from Epictetus and Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Lacan.
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Led by Rozalinda Borcila
In person
While decades ago histories of Chicago predictably opened with the arrival of French colonists Marquette and Joliet, today’s popular accounts are more likely to begin with the last Ice Age. By investigating how knowledge about glaciers was produced, circulated, taught and mobilized, we will trace the political history of glaciers as a distinctly colonial imagining.
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Led by Steven J. Venturino
Virtual
Since the Victorian era, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s book-length poem “In Memoriam” has consoled countless readers through loss. Participants in this seminar will read “In Memoriam” in weekly installments, progressively addressing the poem’s language and structure, range and depth, and lasting challenges. Each session will also include relevant background readings and works by other poets.
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Led by Daniele Macuglia
Virtual
In this course we will cover the life and works of Galileo, motivating participants to do archival research at the Newberry Library. The idea is to familiarize participants with the figure of Galileo in the context of the Copernican Revolution.
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Led by Lucas Bensley
Virtual
“Of Play and Prudery” is a cultural history course on public entertainment and censorship politics in Chicago from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Mid-Twentieth Century. This course is intended to introduce casual and lifelong learners to cultural history and to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the history of Chicago.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Led by Julie Benesh
Virtual
This seminar combines information and practice in reading as a writer, establishing an inspiring reading, writing and revising practice, and submitting to the most appropriate venues.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Led by Emilie Brinkman, PhD
Virtual
This one-day writing workshop provides an introduction to the art of grant writing, from identifying potential funders and grant opportunities to crafting impactful case statements and submission of full applications. Ideal for nonprofit professionals and individuals seeking funding, this workshop will empower participants with key skills and tips for writing a successful grant proposal.