The seminar series "She Shot Him Dead: Husband-Slaying in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago" will take place Tuesdays Feb. 11-March 10, 6-7:30 p.m. at Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St.
Rachel Boyle, a public historian and co-founder of Omnia History, is the instructor.
Well before the infamous cases that inspired the musical Chicago, dozens of Chicago women on trial for murdering their husbands secured acquittal by casting themselves as respectable, vulnerable women victimized by their own hysteria. This strategy succeeded for many women until the 1910s, when it came under attack by Progressive Era suffragists, lawyers and journalists.
Among the many other events, exhibitions and seminars offered this quarter at Newberry are:
"Jun Fujita: American Visionary" ( Jan. 24-March 31 ): This exhibition, co-presented by the Newberry Library and the Poetry Foundation, focuses on the accomplishments of 20th-century Japanese-American poet/photojournalist Jun Fujita. There will also be special events in connection with this exhibition.
"Six Modern Masterpieces" ( Thursdays, Feb. 13-March 26, with no class on March 5 ): This seminar explores six modern masterpieces by Edouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Maya Lin and Kerry James Marshall. ( Note: This seminar is full. Call or email be added to the waitlist. )
"Best Addressed: Notable Residential Streets in Chicago" ( Saturdays, March 28-May 30, 2-4 p.m. ): This series of walking tours will explore some of Chicago's "best addresses"residential streets known for significant domestic architecture, notable residents, or historical events. Tours will focus especially on streets and neighborhoods near the lakefront, including Prairie Avenue, the Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Hyde Park, Streeterville and Lake Shore East.
"The History of the FBI: America's Secret Intelligence Bureau" ( Tuesdays, Feb. 11-March 17, 5:45-7:45 p.m. ): Among other things, the seminar series will cover the uses and abuses of power by the FBI in its attempts to capture terrorists, spies, criminals and anyone deemed subversive. Tom Irvine, chief information officer at the Chicago Community Trust, will instruct.
"A History of French Royal Food and Feasting" ( Saturdays, March 14-April 4, 2-4 p.m. ): This seminar will trace the flavors and traditions of French cooking to the royal courts of medieval and Renaissance France.
"Toni Morrison's Beloved" ( Thursdays, March 5-April 9, 2-4 p.m. ): Attendees will read and discuss Morrison's complex novel, placing it within the historical, social and cultural climate of its times. Also, the class will discuss the literary techniques used by Morrisson to explore themes like maternal and self-love, the trauma of slavery and its effects on survivors.
"The Kiss of the Vampire: Vampires in 19th Century British Literature" ( Thursdays, Feb. 13-March 19, 5:45-7:45 p.m. ): In this seminar, attendees will read a variety of vampire literature from the Romantic and Victorian periods and explore why the vampire was so popular during these eras. The class will also explore European vampire folklore and myth and its influence on British literature.
Seminar series such as "She Shot Him Dead" and "Best Addressed" have fees; find out more information at Newberry.org .