History Speaks Lecture Series

Every school year, from September to May, Naper Settlement’s History Speaks Lecture Series showcases a variety of prominent historical figures and topics. Lectures are held one to two times per month based on scheduling.

2019-2020 Lecture Series Schedule

Reshaping Immigrant Fiction, An Indian American Author’s Journey

Sunday, September 15

Sonali Dev, award-winning author of books with a Bollywood Beat, shares her insight into writing about Indian culture.

Perspectives on Indian Culinary Delights

Sunday, October 13

Explore contemporary Indian “fusion” cuisine with chef Vikram Singh, founder of Kama Bistro, along with perspectives on traditional Indian foods. Followed by a food tasting.

A Peek into the American Indian Way of Life Through Their History and Oral Traditions

Sunday, November 10

Presenter Kim Sigafus (Ojibwa) will drum, sing, and present Native culture, past and present.

The Hidden History of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Sunday, December 8

Author and presenter Rochelle Pennington shares the stories and history behind this Christmas classic.

HERstory Speaks: The World of Juliette Kinzie

Sunday, January 12

When Juliette Kinzie first visited Chicago in 1831, it was anything but a city. In the decades that followed, not only did Juliette witness the city’s transition to an industrial center, but she was instrumental in its development. Ann Durkin Keating, one of the foremost experts on 19th century Chicago offers a moving portrait of a trailblazing and complicated woman.

HERstory Speaks: An Evening with Harriet Tubman

Sunday, February 9

Kathryn Harris will present a first-person historical program as Harriet Tubman - the abolitionist, humanitarian, and civil rights activist who guided enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. Following her presentation as Tubman, Harris will answer questions from the audience about the program and historical interpretation.

HERstory Speaks: Rosie Wins the War

Sunday, March 8

During WWII, as millions of men left for battle, American women stepped up to fill the void in building needed war materials, Dr. Catherine Forslund looks at women’s roles in wartime manufacturing including the problems recruiting them, the jobs they did, how most were summarily fired at the war’s end, and how that experience affected women’s employment ever after.

Chicago’s Finest Hour: Local Manufacturing During WWII

Sunday, April 5

For much of the 20th century, the Chicagoland area was a manufacturing mecca due to its central geographic location and ready access to rail and water transportation. Author Austin Weber traces the origins of manufacturing in Chicago and explores the city’s proud history of making steel and shaping metal. He also provides extensive coverage of the golden age of manufacturing in the region including Chicago’s unique contribution to the arsenal of democracy during WWII.

A City at War (Documentary Screening)

Sunday, May 10

When America entered WWII, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) called on the country to become "an arsenal of democracy" and produce war materials to help defeat the Axis powers. this film explores how a mutually beneficial relationship between FDR and Chicago’s powerful Democratic Mayor Ed Kelly helped to win the war. Following the showing, participate in a discussion with the film’s Executive Producer John Davies.


Location & Reservations
All programs are held in the Century Memorial Chapel (unless otherwise noted). Reservations for all presentations are recommended but not required. Call us at 630.420.6010 to reserve your seat.

All programs are from 4-5 PM unless otherwise noted.


Non-Member: $10 per adult, $9 per youth (4 to 12) or student
Member: FREE
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