What is a Letter? History of the Book Lecture Series


Join visiting professor Peter Stallybrass and the History of the Book Program for a presentation and reception on

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Lecture 6 pm; Reception 7 pm
Ruggles Hall
Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street

Free and open to the public

Peter Stallybrass begins with a very simple proposition, although he hopes that it will have some surprising implications. The proposition is that the vast majority of letters written between the 1530s and the 1920s consist mainly of blank paper—and that they are designed to do so. This will seem particularly surprising to those of us who have repeatedly emphasized the cost of rag paper, which was often the single most expensive item in the production of the great majority of printed books before the introduction of wood pulp paper in the later nineteenth century.

To put his proposition at its bluntest, letters throughout Europe and America for about four centuries were designed to waste as much paper as possible. Why? Because the more paper you waste, the shorter the letter you have to write. His argument is that letters, despite the endless rhetoric about the significance of long letters, usually aspired to be telegrams, postcards, or emails.

A reception will follow the program.

Learn more and register online.

Some Reminders, Sweet Deals, and Upcoming Events

Here’s a quick reminder for you research-loving undergraduate students: the deadline to apply to the upcoming Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar is tomorrow, Friday, October 18. Get those applications turned in ASAP!

The DePaul P.O.E.T.S. (or, as their close friends prefer to call them, Presenters of Enlightenment Through Spoken-Word) will be holding their very first open mic of the year on Monday, October 21 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the Brownstone’s Annex! Come and perform your own poetry, rap, music, and more — or just come and listen while the P.O.E.T.S. peeps spit some spoken-word magic. And did I mention there’s free food involved?

1.th_.th_.ve_.GoodmanTheatreAnd finally, as all of us DePaul students already know, Chicago is known for many awesome things, but two in particular come up again and again: Chicago is home to the world’s best pizza and a fantastic theatre scene. On Wednesday, October 23, the Goodman Theatre, one of Chicago’s absolute gems for live stage performances, is inviting college students to come and enjoy both — pizza and a play— for only $10 per ticket! From 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., enjoy some Chicago pizza and pop in the Goodman’s 2nd floor lobby. Then, at 7:30, settle into your seats and enjoy the Goodman’s production of Pullman Porter BluesTake a music-fueled trip with back in time to the luxurious Pullman trains of the 1930s and see classic blues favorites like “Sweet Home Chicago” come to life with a live onstage band.

Don’t miss out on your chance to join the Goodman gang as the world-class theatre kicks-off its students-only 10Tix College Night season. Use promo code COLLEGE for online tickets or call the Goodman Theatre box office at 312.443.3800. A student ID must be presented at the event. For more information or to purchase your ticket, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/CollegeNight today!


Applications Available for the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar


The time to apply is now if you’d like to be a part of the upcoming Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar.

The topic of the 2014 seminar will be Representing the American Civil War: Art, History, and Literature, 1820-1890. The first part of the course will be devoted to investigating topics related to this theme and working with the Newberry Library’s amazing resources. Students will then be able to conduct an in-depth research project under the guidance of the seminar instructors using primary sources at the Newberry.

Dr. Margaret Storey from DePaul’s Department of History will join Dr. Marcy Dinius from the Department of English on Tuesdays and Thursdays, January 14 through May 8, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Newberry Library to team-teach this unique seminar.

The Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar is a semester-length experience, which may have DePaul students who are used to the quarter system scratching their heads. But those who complete the seminar will earn 9 credit hours (4.5 for Winter and 4.5 for Spring), hours that will count towards course requirements in two departments. Student seminar applicants are advised to register for Winter quarter classes as usual. Those who apply for the seminar and are accepted should be prepared to drop one course and leave Tuesdays and Thursdays free. And no worries: the course will also fulfill the Junior Year Experiential Learning (JYEL) requirement for students who need it.

Applications for the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar are due Friday, October 18, 2013. Applicants will be notified by Thanksgiving if they are or are not accepted into the program. A total of twenty students will be selected to participate — five students each from DePaul UniversityLoyola University Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Roosevelt University — so be advised that admission to this seminar is competitive.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of this exciting and intellectually challenging opportunity — especially if you are considering pursuing graduate studies in the future.

Any questions? Feel free to contact Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Depaul’s Department of Modern Languages, Dr. Glen Carman, at GCarman@depaul.edu, or one of the professors who will be teaching the seminar — Dr. Margaret Storey (MStorey@depaul.edu) or Dr. Marcy Dinius (MDinius@depaul.edu).

End of October DePaul Literary Events (10/22/12)

To round out the month of October, we an array of great Writing & Literary Events on campus!
In case you didn’t already know, check these out:


A World Away: Book Reading & Signing by Professor Nancy Grossman
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 6:00pm
Barnes & Noble DePaul Campus Loop Store, State and Jackson
Nancy Grossman will be present for a reading and signing to celebrate the publication of her first novel, A World Away. A reception will follow the event. Copies of A World Away will be available for purchase.

For more information, contact Jennifer Kosco at jkosco@depaul.edu.

“Q and Ale” Trivia Night for Undergraduates at the Newberry
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Newberry’s Ruggles Hall, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610
If you’ve ever considered thinking and drinking mutually exclusive, take note of Francois Rabelais, who once said, “When I drink, I think; and when I think, I drink.” If that’s not convincing enough, prepare for the ultimate rebuttal. Serving up beer and braininess in equal measure, the event is part of the Newberry’s celebration of its 125th anniversary.
WGN Radio host Rick Kogan will emcee and Half Acre Brewing will supply the beer—although non-alcoholic drinks will be available for those under 21. Snacks will also be served.  All you have to do is show up. Match wits with your peers, and vie for the ultimate prize: bragging rights in perpetuity and a t-shirt.

Q and Ale” will be held in the Newberry’s Ruggles Hall; since seating is limited and we are holding our list of attendees to 250, please RSVP to attend. To RSVP, please email Q&Ale@Newberry.org. We hope to see you soon for some spirited thinking and drinking. For more information about the Newberry, check out: http://newberry.org

James Arthur Baldwin: Legacy
Friday, October 26th, 2012, 2:00pm-4:30pm
Schmidt Academic Center (SAC) 161, DePaul University

Click on image for event flyer!

A roundtable on the impact of thought, writing, and activism of James Baldwin of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Another Country and Down at the Cross and 25 years after his passing. The keynote speaker is Randall Kenan from University of Carolina, Chapel Fill. Panelists include: Ernest Hardy, writer; Laura Harris, Pitzer College; Tracey Hucks, Haverford College; Bill Johnson Gonzalez, DePaul University; Daniel McNeil, Ida B. Wells Barnett University Professor, DePaul University.
Co-sponsored by LGTBQ Studies Program and Department of English. FREE AND OPEN TO PUBLIC.
For more information, please contact: bjohns58@depaul.edu or dmoore1@depaul.edu

Career Panel: How to Become an Editor
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 6:15pm-7:15pm
Arts and Letters Hall, Room 308, DePaul University

A Reading for Kathleen Rooney
October 30th, 2012, 6:00pm
Richardson Library, Room 115, DePaul University

Don’t miss out on these free and awesome events/opportunities!