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., 10/24/2021
E.g., 10/24/2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Led by Frank Biletz
In-person
Between 1760 and 1815, Britons experienced, either directly or indirectly, the Industrial Revolution, the American and French Revolutions, and the Napoleonic Wars. This turbulent period also saw the emergence of Romanticism in the arts, a strong anti-slavery movement, and modern feminism. This seminar focuses on the responses of five significant Britons to these transformations
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Led by Bryan LeBeau. Four sessions.
Virtual
In this course, we will explore the history of witch-hunts. Because they left an indelible mark on our history, the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 will serve as a focus of this course. We will investigate this extensive history, as well as the impact of 1692 and why “witch-hunts” continue long after we stopped believing in witches.
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Led by Tony Papanikolas.
Cancelled
Recently, the language of illicit conspiracy has returned to mainstream political debates in the US. Though seemingly a digital phenomenon, the origins of these themes date back to at least the nineteenth-century. In this seminar, we will approach the idea of “conspiracy” through the lens of literature.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Led by Julia Kriventsova Denne.
Virtual
In this course, we will focus on a close analysis of Bulgakov’sThe Master and Margarita, as well as his shorter satirical work, supplementing our discussion with background and contextual information.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Led by Jeff Nigro.
Virtual
Why do we believe that the Renaissance both began and reached its supreme artistic achievements in the city of Florence? Through slide lectures by the instructor and group discussions of imagery and readings, we will explore the political, social, economic, and cultural that combined to make Florentine Renaissance art the glorious phenomenon that continues to inspire us to this day.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Led by Frank Biletz.
Virtual (Full - Register for Waitlist on Learning Stream)
This seminar will survey the Roman foundations of London and its evolution during the first 1500 years of its history. We will study the principal architectural monuments of the Roman and medieval periods, as well as key events in the city’s history, including the Norman Conquest and the Black Death
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Led by Joseph Heininger.
Virtual
Contemporary Irish poetry is among the richest and most diverse in the world. Irish poets write from the perspectives of rural, suburban, and urban lives, portraying familial ties, intimacies, and disturbances, and addressing the influx of new people and ideas to Ireland.
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Led by Lawrence Axelrod
Virtual
This seminar will examine eight works of twentieth- and twenty-first- century classical music that can be hard to approach, focusing on composers from traditionally underrepresented populations, including Ruth Crawford Seeger Kaija Saariaho, Alberto Ginastera, Toru Takemitsu, and George Lewis.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Led by Annalese Duprey, PhD
Cancelled
In the ancient and medieval worlds, certain forms of love were diagnosed—and treated—as medical illnesses.In this seminar, we’ll examine how the idea of love-as-sickness gives us insight into cultural assumptions about this nearly universal experience and provides a springboard to examine the rise and fall of diseases as medical and cultural phenomena.
Saturday, October 2, 2021
Led by Sarah Kernan.
Virtual
Sugar was one of the most precious and luxurious commodities in premodern Europe. In this seminar, we will explore the sugar industry in Europe and its colonies, including farming and processing, culinary uses, trade networks, and the widespread use of slave labor in sugar colonies.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Led by Sarah Buchmeier.
In person (Newberry and off-site)
The company town of Pullman was full of “troublemakers,” from factory employees and union leaders to George Pullman himself. This seminar will peel back the layers of trouble to examine what makes Pullman’s history unique and how that history echoes in today’s discussions of labor relations.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Led by Rosie May.
Virtual
Over the course of three weeks, this seminar will explore some of the major rivalries that transformed Rome. It will follow the stories of Michelangelo and Raphael, Caravaggio and Carracci, and Bernini and Borromini. We will also take a closer look at the patrons who fanned the fire of the competition to serve their own personal vendettas
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Led by Andrew Schultze.
Virtual
This seminar traces the development of American music from the American Revolution to the admission of California to the Union. We will explore the influence of English and European music, as well as French, Spanish, Native American, and African American cultural influences.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Led by Kellie D. Brown
Cancelled
In this course, we will focus on the stories of orchestras, composers, and musicians who stubbornly clung to music, wherever and however they could, to preserve their culture, to uplift the human spirit, and to triumph over oppression, even amid incredible tragedy and suffering.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Led by Maggie Taft.
Virtual
Why do the Shakers, a utopian sect founded in the eighteenth century, matter today? This seminar explores the Shakers as radicals who imagined an alternative way to live, outside of conventional American culture.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Led by Judith M Wilks
Virtual
In this six-session course, we will sample five works by three major figures in medieval Islamic mysticism. We will explore these mystics’ different approaches to spirituality and the quest for nearness to the divine. While our main emphasis will be on the content of their work, we will also devote attention to literary form.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Led by Emilie M. Brinkman.
Virtual
Have you ever wondered about the origins of today’s high heel? Did you know that high heels were once a male style in the Western world, worn by warriors, aristocrats, and kings? Explore the rich cultural history of heeled footwear and discover how the high heel was transformed into a thoroughly female fashion and symbol of sexualized femininity by the late nineteenth century.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Led by Margaret Denny.
Virtual
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.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Led by Sarah Kernan.
Virtual
In this seminar, conducted as a cooking demonstration and workshop, we will study, prepare, and taste early modern English recipes from manuscript and print sources. We will explore the background, methods, and meanings behind a few historic preparations for dishes with ingredients harvested or served each autumn.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Led by Richard Bell
Virtual
The American Revolution was a transformative moment in African American history, a freedom war second only to the Civil War in significance. The chaos of the war itself brought many enslaved men new opportunities for independence. But after the British surrendered and evacuated, black fortunes would diverge dramatically.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Led by Patricia Scanlan.
Virtual
In this seminar, we will survey the history of American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the Civil War—decades of dramatic upheaval that witnessed the birth of the new nation, Western expansion, encounters with Indigenous peoples, and a rapidly changing society.
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Led by Julia Bachrach.
Virtual
North Lake Shore Drive has a fascinating history. Conceived as a pleasure drive at the Lake Michigan edge of Lincoln Park, the Drive was built in stages between the 1870s and late 1950s. As the lakefront boulevard was extended to the north and south, it attracted the development of nearby residences in the adjacent Near North, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, and Edgewater communities.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Led by Kathleen Murphy Skolnik.
Virtual
This seminar examines American murals of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, including both non-government-funded murals and those produced under New Deal programs designed to assist struggling artists during the Great Depression.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Led by Katrina A Kemble.
Virtual
“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” – Virginia Woolf. This seminar will explore famous and successful women writers who hid their gender identity by publishing under gender- neutral or male names or by simply signing off “Anonymous.”