Oct 5th 2019

What Is the Midwest?

@ Newberry Library

60 W Walton St, Chicago, IL 60610

Opening Saturday, October 5th, from 10AM - 12:30PM

How can we define “the Midwest”? Is it a delimited geographic region? Does a Midwestern identity exist? What can region tell us that urban/rural or state divides do not?

These questions are at the heart of our new multidisciplinary project and exhibition, What Is the Midwest? Offering perspectives beyond stereotypical portrayals of the Midwest as the nondescript “middle” of the country, the project explores the unique confluence of environmental and human factors that have defined the region and made it distinct. Led by the Newberry in collaboration with our scholarly and cultural partners, What is the Midwest? will pursue these themes through programs, digital resources, and a gallery exhibition.

In this opening symposium, five scholars will bring the frameworks of their distinct fields and disciplines to bear on the question, “What Is the Midwest?” In a conversation moderated by Liesl Olson, the Newberry’s Director of Chicago Studies, the scholars–Toby Higbie, Jon Lauck, Erik McDuffie, Jean O’Brien, and Sujey Vega–will explore what makes the Midwest unique.


10:00 – 10:30 – Coffee and Continental Breakfast

10:30 – 11:15 – Session 1

Welcome remarks by Brad Hunt, Newberry Vice President of Research and Academic Programs, will be followed by a panel discussion.

11:15 – 11:45 – Break

11:45 – 12:30 – Session 2

Panelists will continue the discussion and open the floor to audience questions and comments.

For more information, and to register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/roundtable-what-is-the-midwest-tickets-67600066619

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