A History of Sexuality: Chicago and Berlin, 1893-1933 (In Person)

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - Wednesday, July 19, 2023

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Six Sessions


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Course Description

This class seminar begins with sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld's visits to Chicago in 1893 and 1931 to trace a history of homosexual activism, especially in Chicago and Berlin. In January 1931, the Berlin sexologist, dubbed “the Einstein of Sex,” returned to Chicago to speak at the Dill Pickle Club. Arguing that science was the pathway to justice, Hirschfeld founded the first homosexual rights organization in Berlin in 1897, inspiring gay rights advocates like Henry Gerber, who founded the first US gay rights organization in Chicago in 1924. In 1928 Hirschfeld co-founded the World League of Sexual Reform that advocated for homosexual rights, sex education, and birth control, among other issues. At his Institute in Berlin, Hirschfeld also oversaw some of the first transgender surgeries as early as 1926. Focused on Chicago and Berlin in the early 20th century, this course provides an historical understanding of today’s LGBTQ movement.
Six Sessions: $268/$241. Led by Pamela L. Caughie

Registration Fees

Registration is $268

We offer a 10% discount to seniors, students, and members of the Newberry (Associates at the Author level and above).

Contact Us

The Adult Education team is available Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm. Email is the best form of contact: adulteducation@newberry.org. You can also reach us by phone at 312-255-3700. Please allow 24-48 business hours for a response.


Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610
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