Scholarship in the Sun: Newberry Summer Institutes Return | Newberry

Scholarship in the Sun: Newberry Summer Institutes Return

Newberry Summer Institutes traditionally bring graduate students, teachers, independent scholars, higher education faculty, and others together at the Newberry for intensive, multi-week engagement with the Newberry’s collections and staff. For the past two years, however, Newberry Summer Institutes have been delayed or adapted to virtual formats in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to announce that this summer, these important scholarly gatherings will return to our building at 60 West Walton.

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Scholars in an NCAIS Summer Institute pore over archival materials.

Between June and August, the Newberry will welcome more than 80 participants to five Summer Institutes on a diverse range of topics. Participants receive stipends, housing assistance, and reimbursement for travel expenses to ensure that people from across the country can participate.

“We are thrilled to welcome our educator and scholarly communities back into the building,” says Vice President for Research and Education Laura McEnaney. “Our staff adapted very well to pandemic conditions, but there is something unique and magical about bringing people together in a room to learn and collaborate. I think we have all missed that kind of intellectual fellowship.”

Newberry Summer Institutes have long received praise from alumni. “The Newberry Library is a gem, a treasure. I loved every moment I spent looking through its collection in the company of my peers and on my own,” said a former participant. “This was one of the most enriching experiences of my career,” said another.

Such experiences are made possible by the support of donors like you, who fund all aspects of the Newberry’s work and help our community of learning thrive. Below you’ll get just a taste of what’s in store for our visiting scholars this summer.

2022 Newberry Summer Institutes

Chicago Designs: New Approaches for Teaching Politics, Commerce, and Culture

The study of design—including typography, fashion, interior decoration, industrial design, and more—explores not only the arts but also the history of American consumer culture, movements for political change, and experiences of everyday life. Chicago, a home for leading design schools, practitioners, and clients and patrons of design, offers numerous case studies and resources for bringing design history into the classroom.

Over the course of an intensive four-day workshop, twenty university teachers, museum and library professionals, and graduate students will explore methods and strategies for incorporating design history and theory into classroom teaching. The course will pay special attention to the ways in which key migrant and immigrant communities in Chicago shaped the development of the city as a major center for design activity.

Read more about Chicago Designs.

Land, Water, and the Indigenous Archive: Art and Activism in the Mississippi River Network

Carte de la decoverte faite l'an 1663 dans l'Americque septentrionale VAULT Graff 4122.jpg

Carte de la decoverte faite l’an 1663 dans l’Americque septentrionale (Map of the discoveries made in 1663 in North America) [VAULT Graff 4122]

This four-week course for graduate students will center on long-held Indigenous relationships to land and water along the Mississippi River Network, as well as on recent Indigenous art, activism, and scholarship addressing issues of climate change and sovereignty.

This seminar is presented as part of the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS), which offers educational and professional development opportunities to the 21 universities and colleges in the consortium. The NCAIS Summer Institute has been held annually since 2009.

Read more about the 2022 NCAIS Summer Institute.

Mapping the Early Modern World

Over the course of four weeks, twenty-five higher education faculty will explore interdisciplinary approaches to the study of maps, in the context of the intellectual, cultural, and geographical transformations of the world between 1400 and 1700.

This Summer Institute is the result of a collaboration between the Newberry’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and the Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies.

Read more about Mapping the Early Modern World.

Italian Paleography

Fifteen participants, including graduate students, junior faculty, independent scholars, and museum professionals, will use the Newberry’s excellent holdings in premodern Italian manuscripts to learn how to read and transcribe old Italian handwriting—a vital skill for anyone studying medieval or Renaissance Italy.

Italian Paleography is the latest in a long-running series of paleography institutes, with previous iterations exploring Spanish, French, and English paleography.

Read more about Italian Paleography.

Making Modernism: Literature, Dance, and Visual Culture in Chicago, 1893–1955

Making Modernism will explore Chicago’s vital contributions to the modernist movement from the turn of the century through the aftermath of World War II, asking how the city’s cultural output during these decades is connected to local, national, and international influences.

Making Modernism will draw on the Newberry’s excellent Chicago studies collection and its connections with other organizations throughout the city, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the South Side Community Art Center, Hull House, the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection, and Red Clay Dance Company.

Read more about Making Modernism.


This story is part of the Newberry’s Donor Digest, Spring 2022. In this newsletter, we share with donors exciting stories of the work made possible by their generosity. Learn more about supporting the library and its programs.