Art and Culture

Fall 1999 ACM/GLCA Newberry Library Seminar

Quick Facts
Sisyutl board (Kwakiutl)
Sisiyutl board (Kwakiutl)

An Off-Campus Study Program mainly for Juniors & Seniors (this year's Sophomores & Juniors).  Most colleges require that students apply very early for off-campus study, especially if financial aid is involved. Colleges have deadlines for applying to use financial aid in off-campus  programs.  Please check at your home campus.

The Topic -- Art and Culture.  This course studies how cultures create, communicate and seek to enforce the kinds of gendered behavior they desire from men and women. Students in the humanities, fine arts, and some social sciences may find the seminar a valuable part of their undergraduate programs.

What happens in the seminar.  The semester begins with many orientations: to the library and staff, to several of the special collections, to each other (for the participants), to the topic, and to the city of Chicago. Within a few weeks, students - with help from faculty and staff - are looking for likely topics, and by the middle of the semester, research and drafting of a good-sized research essay are under way. Faculty are aware that researching primary materials and producing a long essay are new experiences for most students; therefore, they provide continuous guidance, through a series of "small" research and writing assignments, leading toward  the final seminar essay. Though the seminar essay is a major outcome of the course, also important are the several processes we go through in producing the essay:  getting to know each other and the various projects students choose, developing strategies for research and writing, learning about some interesting materials, and learning to do research at a major research library works.

Typical Uses of the Seminar.   Seminar participants usually share these desires --
     * an academically challenging off-campus study experience;
     * working in a scholarly institution like the Newberry;
     * an exciting location in a major city;
     * studying with a like-minded group of about 20 students and two guest faculty members;
     * coordinating study and research together on a broad but engaging topic
     * an opportunity for work-study jobs in the library.
A number of students have some interest in graduate study or in professional library work, though they may not be committed to such futures. This seminar is an excellent way to prepare for and/or learn about graduate school.  Some students find an honors thesis topic and do substantial work on it during the seminar, though most college requirements for a thesis make it necessary to complete this work at the home campus.  The Newberry Library Seminar is an ideal opportunity to be introduced to scholarship using rare, specialized, primary materials at a great research library.

Komokwa mask (Bella Coola)

Location.  The Newberry Library on Chicago's near North Side. The neighborhood is a rich mixture of upscale and middle-class residences, educational, cultural, entertainment, and shopping centers. Within 10-15 minutes one can walk from the library to the Chicago campus of Northwestern University, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Terra Museum of American Art, the Chicago Historical Society, Oak Street Beach, the Rush Street theaters and restaurants, North Michigan Avenue shopping, the Hancock Center, and many other interesting parts of the city. The Loop is about a 25-minute walk, and easy to reach by bus or subway..

Program length & Credit.  August 31 - December 11, 1998
Though colleges' credit policies vary, students usually receive a full semester of credit for this full-time course of study.
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