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.

Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive updates on Newberry programming.

E.g., 06/04/2020
E.g., 06/04/2020
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Led by Frank Biletz. Ten sessions. 1 - 3 pm (Section A) or 5:45 - 7:45 pm (Section B).
These classes are full. Please call (312) 255-3700.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 transformed world history, ending the Romanov dynasty and initiating an ideological struggle between communism and liberal democracy. Topics to be treated in this course include the reign of Nicolas II; the Revolution of 1905; Russian involvement in the Great War; the March Revolution and …
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Led by Daniele Macuglia. Three sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm.
2019 is a special year for admirers of Leonardo da Vinci, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. This seminar will celebrate Leonardo by focusing on the wonderful machines documented in a selection of materials held at the Newberry. In particular, we will explore…
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Led by Rachel Boyle, PhD. Five sessions. 2 - 4 pm.
“Biler Avenue” was the nickname for a two-block stretch of Pacific Avenue in late nineteenth-century Chicago made notorious by “women without husbands” who “got ‘biling drunk,’ and were in a state of constant riot and effervescence,” according to the Chicago Tribune…
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Led by Mary Kettering. Two sessions. 2 - 4 pm.
This class is full. Please call (312) 255-3700.
Frida Kahlo’s life was steeped in political action, but her politics are often deemphasized in favor of standard female tropes like marriage and motherhood. This seminar focuses on the often-overlooked political content of Frida Kahlo’s work. Each session will contextualize the history and cultural influences that shaped Kahlo’s paintings…
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Led by Nina A. Wieda. Eight sessions. 2 - 4 pm.
Online registration has closed. Please call (312) 255-3700.
Russia remains an important, albeit enigmatic, player on the international stage. This seminar seeks to illuminate Russia’s relationship with its neighbors and other world powers from the point of view of regular Russians, whose perspectives sometimes clash with the interests of the ruling elites…
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Led by Bill Savage. Six sessions. 6 - 7:30 pm.
Online registration has closed. Please call 312-255-3700.
Whether from Vienna, Bari, Mississippi, or Michoacán, immigrants have brought their foodways, along with their work ethic, to Chicago. In this seminar, we will explore the history of Chicago’s diverse street food cultures in order to discuss Chicago history more broadly…
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Led by Alexis Culotta, PhD. Three sessions. 1 - 3 pm.
This seminar is full. Please call 312-255-3700.
What explains the metamorphosis of the Gothic into the Renaissance style? In order to answer this question and others, this seminar offers an exciting look at the revolutionary figures of 14th- and 15th-century European art…
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Led by Sarah Kernan. Five sessions. 10 am - 12 pm.
Food and books have long been an enticing pairing. In this seminar, we will explore their convergence in early modern England. Focusing on print and manuscript primary sources, we will delve into the cookery genre through discussions of book production, the household, authorship and readership, ingredients and kitchen technologies, and the meal…
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Led by Katrina A. Kemble & Rachel Michaels. One session. 1 - 4 pm.
Online registration is closed. Please call (312) 255-3700.
In 1933, thousands from all over the country flocked to Chicago for the World’s Fair. One of the most popular attractions was Sally Rand’s infamous fan dance. Sally Rand and her fans are credited with saving the fair and the city from financial ruin during the Great Depression…
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Led by Susanne Dumbleton and Fred A. Wellisch. Seven sessions. 1 - 3 pm.
This seminar has been canceled.
In Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean memorably describes her challenging role as spiritual advisor to two death row inmates and witness to their executions. Her memoir was turned into an award-winning film (aided by a powerful soundtrack) starring Susan Sarandon. Composer Jake Heggie then shaped the story into a poignant opera…
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Led by Frank Biletz. Ten sessions. 10 am - noon.
This class is full. Please call (312) 255-3700.
Political and social turbulence, as well as an architectural and artistic efflorescence, characterized late 19th-century Paris. Topics to be treated in this exploration of Paris during the Belle Époque include the Second Empire; Baron Haussmann and the remaking of Paris; the Paris Commune and the troubled foundations of the Third Republic…
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Led by Tom Irvine. One session. 9 am - noon.
Wherever there is commerce, there is fraud. Even so, America seems to do fraud bigger, more boldly, and with more flash than other countries. In this one-day session, we will trace American fraud from the simple oversell of the 19th century through some of the more complex instances of contemporary fraud…
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Led by Brooke Heagerty. Eight sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Online registration has closed. Please call (312) 255-3700.
William Morris (1834-1896) is best known for his Victorian-era designs, textiles, and art work. But Morris was also a social visionary who advocated the right of everyone to meaningful work and a peaceful and cultured life. In this course, we will explore Morris’s artistic and political journey from Pre-Raphaelite romantic to pathbreaking designer to international socialist…
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Led by Diane Dillon. Six sessions 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Go behind the scenes of the Newberry’s Fall 2019 exhibition What is the Midwest? with curator Diane Dillon. This seminar will explore the history and culture of the Midwest region, examining how the Midwest has been defined over time and considering what makes it distinctive from a range of perspectives…
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Led by Dagmar Herrmann. Seven sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
This seminar is full. Please call 312-255-3700.
From their debut in Berlin in the 1780s to their appearance in 1930s California, women’s salons served as welcoming havens where women of all classes and creeds could openly debate art, music, literature, and politics. In this seminar, we will explore the history of a selection of salons—including salons frequented by Americans in 19th- and early 20th-century Paris…
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Led by Lee Minnerly. One session. 9 am - noon.
Since the fifth century BCE, Western philosophers, theologians, astronomers, literary figures, and many others have written about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. Where does it exist? What is it like? And what, if any, is its relationship to us, our world, and our beliefs? This one-day seminar will selectively survey the 2,500-year-old history of…
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Led by Harrison Sherrod. One session. 11 am - 4 pm (lunch break 1 - 2 pm)
This class is full. Call (312) 255-3700.
The ghost is one of the most enduring motifs in storytelling, and is ubiquitous across epochs and cultures. Just in time for Halloween, this single-day interdisciplinary seminar will trace the history of the ghost in literature, film, and theater with an emphasis on examining how its symbolism has changed over time. We will unpack stories by…
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Led by Joseph S. Harrington. Four sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
After three centuries of enmity, Great Britain and the Catholic Church embarked in the mid-1700s on an awkward, halting reconciliation that supported British rule in Canada and Ireland, resisted revolutionary France, shaped the course of Italian politics, responded to industrial unrest, and endured clashes over religious doctrines and cultural issues…
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Led by Jeff Nigro. Three sessions. 1 - 3 pm.
In late 18th- and early 19th-century Europe, a group of gifted women artists rose to prominence, thanks to the opportunities afforded by the upheaval of the French Revolution and simultaneous cultural shifts toward more “feminine” values like sensibility and domesticity. Despite facing many of the same obstacles and sexist assumptions that women artists have faced throughout history…