hope college  >  academic  >  english department 


Hope College
Department of English
126 E. 10th St.
Holland, MI 49423
phone: 616.395.7620
fax: 616.395.7134

  The Newberry Library Program

    The Newberry Seminar in the Humanities is a full-time, fall-semester program at the Newberry Library in Chicago, running from about September 1 to December 15.  Participants receive 16 academic credits.  Juniors and seniors, particularly those considering graduate school, are eligible.  The application deadline is March 1, but you should communicate your interest to the program advisor, Dr. Pannapacker, before January 30.  

    The next seminar topic in literary, cultural, and historical studies can be found on the Newberry Library Web site (below). In the seminar, whatever the topic, participants will draw not only on the vast holdings of the Newberry Library, but also its experienced staff, distinguished visiting fellows and numerous guest speakers. The capstone of the seminar will be an independent research project that calls upon participants to demonstrate their developing skills as writers and researchers. 

    The Newberry Seminar is a remarkable opportunity for a few talented students who are seriously considering graduate school in the humanities or possess a deep but non-professional interest in literary, cultural, and historical studies.  The topic varies from year to year, but the subject of the seminar is less important than the experience as a whole. 

    There are many advantages that prospective candidates should consider:

    1. You will get to live in Chicago for a semester-a good experience for those considering graduate schools in big cities to say nothing of the intellectual, cultural, and social attractions of Chicago itself.   
    2. You will join a group of highly-motivated, like-minded peers who will challenge your skills--perhaps more than you have ever experienced.   The friends you make at Newberry will become one of the bases of your professional network in graduate school and after. 
    3. You will be mentored by some of the most eminent professors in their fields-and you will share their pool of contacts in the profession.
    4. You will get to work in one of the great research libraries of the world, and you will become a relatively competent archival researcher in the humanities.  One cannot overstate how important this is for success in graduate school.    
    5. You will produce a substantial, documented research essay that will probably serve as your writing sample in graduate school applications. 
    6. You will be able to make a more informed decision about whether you want to go to graduate school, and, if so, what kind of school is a good match for you.
    7. You will be MUCH more competitive as a graduate school applicant.  In fact, it's probably fair to say that the Newberry experience will pay for itself many times over in expanded eligibility for graduate fellowships and access to more selective schools. 

    For any undergraduate at Hope College who is thinking about graduate school in the humanities, this is an unparalleled opportunity.

    More information about the Newberry Library can be found via the following Web page:


    Applications for the Newberry Seminar in the Humanities can be obtained from Dr. Pannapacker.