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June 19 - June 25

Kenyon Summer Seminar

The 2016 Program: Great Books, Great Experiences

A summer week to remember: the challenge and delight in exploring books that changed the world. Fascinating topics illuminated by top authors and hands-on experiences to remember. All on one of the world’s most beautiful college campuses.

Take a vacation with Shakespeare, Virgil, Beethoven, and other immortal authors, philosophers, and historical figures. Or take a deep dive into a new experience, whether it’s learning to draw in nature, traveling the Spice Road (and cooking along the way), or exploring American baseball culture. Guided by brilliant professors and authors with a passion for teaching, you’ll discover—or rediscover—ideas that changed our world. In small seminars with like-minded adult learners, you’ll discuss concepts that challenge you, language that inspires you, and questions that remain profoundly relevant. And you’ll have plenty of time to read, write, relax, and socialize on a campus renowned for its beauty.

You can choose one or two seminars from 10 offerings. Our professors have designed these week-long courses around works that they love and they consider central to their fields—indeed, to the life of the mind.

Seminars meet for three hours either in the morning or afternoon, for six days. During your free time, you can read or work on short assignments, take advantage of the many recreational opportunities the campus has to offer, and enjoy “Suggested Pairings,” from trips to workshops. At dinner, you’ll be able to meet the professors and participants from other seminars.

A Typical Day

8:00 am

Breakfast at Peirce Hall

9:00 am

Morning Seminar Class Time


Courses Offered:


"The Aeneid of Virgil" (Tim Shutt)


"Drawing from Nature" (Martin Garhart)


"Shakespeare: Love and Politics" (Pam Jensen)


"Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America" (Stephen Knott)


"Baseball and American Culture" (Peter Rutkoff)

10:00 am

Suggested Pairings events (hikes, fitness classes, bike rides, tours)

12:00 pm

Lunch in Peirce Hall

1:00 pm

Afternoon Seminar Class Time


Courses Offered:


"Savoring the Spice Road" (Wendy Singer and Douglas Katz)


"Plagues and People/Microbes and Metaphors" (Jeff Bowman and John Fangman, MD)


"Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph" (Jan Swafford)


"The Politics of the Bible" (Fred Baumann)


"Three Renaissance Utopias and Then One" (Michael Evans)

2:00 pm

Suggested Pairings events (hikes, fitness classes, bike rides, tours)

4:30 pm

Faculty Lecture, followed by wine and cheese

6:00 pm

Dinner in Peirce Hall

7:30 pm

Evening Activities (wine tasting at the Brown Family Environmental Center, Beethoven concert, films, coffee house, and more!)