How do novelists and historians write about war, empire, and power? How do they translate deep research into compelling narrative? How do they think about evidence—and the absence of evidence—as they write? Are there lines between educating readers and providing them with gripping stories?
This installment of “Conversations at the Newberry” brings together two writers, Nicholson Baker and Daniel Immerwahr, who explore themes of American empire. Though they approach their work through different lenses and write in different styles, both Baker and Immerwahr dig into the complex histories of US foreign relations. In this conversation, they’ll think together about how literature and historical writing have shaped understandings of American power.
Pop-up books go back centuries. Since at least the 1100s, readers have been lifting flaps, spinning dials, and opening elaborate three-dimensional spreads in the pages of books. The earliest interactive texts were intended for scholars. Over time, pop-up books found new audiences and grew in popularity, engaging a wide range of users from emperors to mathematicians to children.
Featuring books, maps, and ephemera from the Newberry collection, Pop-Up Books through the Ages traces the extensive history of hands-on reading. Tactile, interactive components can be found in everything from a 1483 astronomical calendar and a 1775 battle map to a 1932 edition of Pinocchio. Viewing these different items in one place, visitors will see how the art, science, and business of pop-up books evolved over hundreds of years.
In addition to exploring the past, the exhibition highlights the present and future of pop-up books, including the work of contemporary book and paper artists who are pushing the form in new directions. Two of these artists, Hannah Batsel and Shawn Sheehy, have even designed a pop-up version of the Newberry that you can take home and construct yourself!
Pop-Up Books through the Ages is generously supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Professor James H. Marrow and Dr. Emily Rose, Alan Templeton, Diane and Richard Weinberg, and The Movable Book Society.
Tuesday – Thursday
10am – 7pm
Friday and Saturday
10am – 5pm
Admission for Newberry exhibitions is free. No advance registration required.
GUIDED PUBLIC TOURS
Visit for a free docent-led tour of Pop-Up Books through the Ages.
Join us as historian Kaya Şahin, author of Peerless among Princes: The Life and Times of Sultan Süleyman, and art historian Elizabeth Rodini discuss the sixteenth-century ruler, during whose reign the Ottoman Empire became a truly global power.
Süleyman presided over a multilingual and multireligious empire that promised peace and prosperity to its subjects while he clashed with the Catholic Habsburgs in Europe and the Shiite Safavids in the Middle East. His poetic output, his appearances during public ceremonies, his charity, and his patronage of arts and architecture enhanced his reputation as a universal ruler with a well-rounded character.
Behind that public façade, Süleyman led a complicated life. He grew up with an overbearing father whose legacy was an advantage and a burden. Defying established practice, he married a concubine named Hürrem whose love and affection became his true refuge. Toward the end of his life, facing both debilitating sickness and the agitations of his sons, he struggled to remain on the throne.
Copies of Peerless among Princes: The Life and Times of Sultan Süleyman are available for purchase from the Newberry Bookshop, and Dr. Şahin will sign books after the program.
Academic historians have sometimes struggled to understand how local and family histories illuminate national histories. Are they just exceptional, or can they provide new insights into some of the most challenging historical questions? Leslie M. Harris is among a group of historians who have turned to their own family and personal experiences as inspiration for writing history. The Newberry’s collections on local history and genealogy provide a productive intellectual context for her work.
In this program, Dr. Harris will discuss with the Newberry’s Daniel Greene what it means for her, as a professional historian, to turn to her own and her family’s life as an inspiration for writing history.
The David L. Wagner Distinguished Lectureship for Humanistic Inquiry Series is funded by David L. Wagner and Renie B. Adams.
This program will be held in-person at the Newberry. Advance registration required.
Join military veterans and poets Erika Renee Land, Monty Little (Diné), Dunya Mikhail, and Carlos Sirah for an evening of poetry exploring the disparate impacts of war and the search for a path toward solidarity.
This event will also provide a closer look at the Newberry exhibition Surviving the Long Wars: Residues and Rebellions. The exhibition coincides with the second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit, held this year in Chicago. The exhibition at the Newberry is open February 28 – May 27, 2023.
About the SURVIVING THE LONG WARS Project:
From the US “Indian Wars” to the “Global War on Terror,” SURVIVING THE LONG WARS explores the multiple overlapping histories that shape our understanding of warfare, as well as alternative visions of peace, healing, and justice generated by diverse communities impacted by war.
Inspired by the powerful artwork of Indigenous and Native American artists responding to the US “Indian Wars,” and artists of the Greater Middle East reacting to the “Global War on Terror,” the second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit focuses on how these artistic responses complicate and entangle with the artistic practices of veterans. The featured artworks, projects, and programs create opportunities for people to deepen their understanding of the impact of war.
The project began in September 2022 with a virtual scholarly seminar series at the nexus of critical ethnic studies, Native/Indigenous studies, and Middle Eastern Studies on the histories and futures of Native rebellion alongside contemporary US militarism and warfare. The project culminates in the spring 2023 second Veteran Art Triennial and Summit at the Chicago Cultural Center, Hyde Park Art Center, and Newberry Library.
Related Exhibitions and Programming:
Veteran Art Summit: March 16 – March 19, 2023
Hyde Park Art Center Exhibition: March 16 – July 9, 2023; Opening Program: March 17, 2023
Chicago Cultural Center Exhibition: March 4 – June 4, 2023; Opening Program: March 18, 2023
SURVIVING THE LONG WARS is organized by Aaron Hughes, Ronak K. Kapadia, Therese Quinn, Joseph Lefthand, Amber Zora, and Meranda Roberts with support from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Institute for the Humanities Innovation Grant, UIC Award for Creative Activity, Chicago Cultural Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Newberry Library, DEMIL Art Fund, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Dialogues on the Experiences of War Grant. NEH Veteran Fellows include Gina Herrera, Monty Little, Gerald Sheffield, Anthony Torres, Eric Perez, and Natasha Erskine.