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Kenyon Institute in New York—Coming in January

September 23, 2016

Start your new year right! Come back to the classroom with this one-day sampler from the Kenyon Institute, brought to you on January 7 in association with the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement in the heart of Manhattan at the offices of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment at Madison Avenue and 24th Street.

Four seminar classes led by top Kenyon professors will offer varied perspectives on an issue of national importance: understanding immigration, the notion of migration in history, and how both affect today’s global community. Take a deep dive into the topic of your choice, complete with suggested advance readings that will prepare you for a lively exchange of ideas with fellow Kenyon alumni and parents (and friends are welcome, too!) Your registration fee also includes lunch, when the entire group will gather for a chance to connect and converse while catching up with a just-for-you news bulletin from The Hill.

Choose a morning or afternoon course—or both. A single course (morning or afternoon) and lunch are available for $100; or you can register for both a morning and afternoon course and lunch for $175.

Space is limited, so register today! It’s a great gift for yourself, or for that favorite Kenyon person whom you’d like to surprise at the holidays. And, if you’re considering coming to the 2017 Kenyon Summer Seminar on June 18-24, you’ll receive $100 off the registration fee just for participating in this one-day program!

Registration is now closed.

Kenyon Institute in New York
Saturday, January 7
William Morris Endeavor Entertainment Offices
11 Madison Avenue (at 24th St.)
New York, NY 10010



9-9:30 a.m. – Registration and check in

9:30 a.m.-noon – Morning Courses

Migration and the Quest for Justice
Nancy Powers, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Assistant Director, Center for the Study of American Democracy
Political debates about immigration tend to shed more heat than light, because many democratic societies lack a tradition or consensus about admissions (“who gets in?”) and citizenship (“who belongs?”). With some 230 million human beings now living outside their country of origin, developing a framework for understanding immigration is more important than ever. Working from within the rights-focused tradition of philosophical liberalism, Joseph Carens has spent his career pondering these questions. In this seminar, you’ll consider Carens’ arguments in The Ethics of Immigration (Oxford 2013). This thought-provoking book is an overwhelming favorite of students in Kenyon’s course on “Immigration, Citizenship and National Identity” and a valuable guidebook to today’s discourse on this controversial topic.

African American Music and the Great Migration
Peter Rutkoff, Professor of American Studies
Blues, R&B, jazz, and gospel; jump blues, electric blues, Motown, swing, funk, and bebop all form the rich body of African American music in 20th-century America. All these musical styles had their origins in West Africa and then in the work songs, shouts, arhoolies, and spirituals of slavery in the American south. During the Great Migration (1917-60), African Americans transformed their traditional music into the unique creative expression of American musical genius. Let's spend a few hours together listening to our music and as we appreciate it try to understand where it came from.

Noon-1 p.m. – Lunch

1-3:30 p.m. – Afternoon Courses

European Explorers and the Invention of “Africa”
Steven Volz, R. Todd Ruppert Associate Professor of International Studies
Global expeditions changed more than 19th-century maps: they transformed knowledge about the natural world and social orders, and no continent was more intriguing than Africa. Launched at the height of Europe’s Industrial Revolution, the African voyages of explorers David Livingston and Henry Morton Stanley stimulated new ways of thinking about variation and evolution, not just in organisms but also in human societies. You’ll examine how these journeys changed both the explorer and the explored, drawing on historical expedition accounts as well as fictional interpretations such as Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. How do these portrayals persist in perceptions of today’s Africa: chaotic and impoverished or a romantic, untamed wilderness?

The Odyssey of Homer
Timothy Shutt, Professor of Humanities
The Odyssey of Homer is very probably the best-loved and most widely read work surviving from antiquity. And the wanderings of Odysseus, the man "of many turns," have become as proverbial as Odysseus' own resilience and cunning. And yet, despite the familiarity of the Odyssey, the poem, on closer acquaintance, or reacquaintance, often turns out to be a bit different than we recall. The travels of Odysseus take up only one-sixth of the poem, and we hear about them only second-hand and from the mouth of Odysseus himself. How might he be shaping his account of the adventures, which assured that he, and he alone, survived from the contingent that departed with him from Ithaca so many years before? And for what purposes?

Registration is now closed.

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