Newberry Library

What is the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar?

The Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar (NLUS) is an interdisciplinary program that involves students from multiple Chicago universities: DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Roosevelt University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

This intensive seminar offers undergraduates an opportunity to produce an original research project using the world-renowned collections of the Newberry Library. Students enrolled in the seminar also receive a $1250 stipend.

The seminar spans from January to May and students will register for the credit equivalent of two full courses. Please speak to your advisor for questions about credits earned and how the seminar can fit into your degree plan.

Under the guidance of instructors on site at the Library, students will use primary sources to investigate that semester’s topic as they develop their major research paper. Seminars are team-taught and topics vary from year to year. Each class is limited to twenty participants (5 selected from UIC), who are assigned individual study areas and are encouraged to work closely with Newberry staff.

Please contact Dr. Ellen McClure in the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics with questions and to submit the application.

Phone: (312) 996-5076
Email: ellenmc@uic.edu

Application due: October 26, 2018

Modern Literature and Art in Chicago: 1900-1960

This seminar examines modern literature and art in relation to Chicago’s unique history, neighborhoods and demographics. Besides surveying major works produced in this city, the course will examine how Chicago’s creative production arose from its identity as a rail and mail order hub, meat processing center, architectural innovator, site for world’s fairs, and as a flashpoint for racial and labor tension. As such, the course will be divided into units focusing on popular, populist, and avant-garde movements in art and literature. Topics within these units will include the Chicago Black Arts movement, local writing on literature, art, and architecture, little magazines, and major exhibitions such as the Armory Show (1913) and the Negro In Art Week (1927).

The course has four primary objectives: students will come away able to think critically about the formal and aesthetic properties of early to mid-twentieth-century Chicago art, architecture, and literature; they will gain an understanding of connections between art and broader cultural issues; they will learn how to use an archive to do historical research; and they will learn how to incorporate what they find to produce a substantive, graduate-level research paper.

Spring 2019 Brochure