May 14 – 16, 2020

Celebrating 50 Years of
Writing the Midwest:
A Symposium of Scholars and Writers

The Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610

We are honored and thrilled to be celebrating 50 years of SSML at a prestigious institution in a world-class Midwestern city.

“Free and open to the public since 1887, the Newberry is an independent research library whose world-famous collection is available to scholars, genealogists, and lifelong learners alike. Anyone who is at least 14 years old can sign up for a reader’s card and, in just minutes, have history right at their fingertips–whether it’s in the form of a medieval manuscript, an atlas of hand-colored maps, or a selection of letters between two American authors.” The Newberry regularly offers free exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, and theatrical and dance performances.

Housing info . . .

Unlike our traditional symposiums in East Lansing, and because the Society is growing, this year in Chicago we will need to hold sessions all day (8 AM to 5 PM) on each day, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Evening events will be off-site. Please make travel arrangements accordingly.

We have reserved blocks of rooms at two hotels close by. Room availability is limited, so book early if you want to secure a spot at one of these hotels at these rates.

Raffaelo Hotel, 201 East Delaware Place, Chicago, IL 60611  (about 5-6 blocks from the Newberry)
Our contract is for king rooms only.  $154/night (does not include taxes). The online booking link:
The Raffaelo requires a deposit of $180.80 at the time of booking (applied to the eventual billing rate for one night). The deadline for receiving a refund on your deposit is May 10, 2020.
The deadline for reserving rooms at the Raffaello is Monday, April 13, 2020.


Talbott Hotel, 20 East Delaware Place, Chicago, IL 60611 (about 2-3 blocks from the Newberry)
There are double queen rooms for $259/night and king rooms for $249/night (neither includes taxes).  Mention SSML. The online booking link:
The deadline for booking rooms at the Talbott is Friday, March 13, 2020.

Upcoming . . .

We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Liesl Olson, director of Chicago Studies at the Newberry Library, has won the 2020 MidAmerica Award for Distinguished Contributions to Midwestern Literature. Among her many scholarly contributions, Olson is author of Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis (Yale University Press, 2017). It earned a starred Kirkus Review, which noted the book was “a valuable, perspective-shifting work of both cultural and Midwestern history.” Olson has led several seminars sponsored by the NEH focused on Chicago art, literature, and culture. We can think of no better way to celebrate the Chicago location for our 50th anniversary celebration than by recognizing Olson and her contributions to Midwestern literature and Chicago studies.

Previously . . .

Programs from previous years’ conferences are available here.

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