Request Info
June 19 - June 25

Kenyon Summer Seminar

The 2015 Program: Great Books, Great Ideas

Yours for a summer week: the exhilaration of exploring books that changed the world, on one of the world’s most beautiful campuses.

Take a vacation with Dante, Darwin, Descartes, Charlotte Brontë, Shakespeare, and other immortal authors. Guided by brilliant professors with a passion for teaching, you’ll discover—or rediscover—writing that shaped civilization. In small seminars, with like-minded adult learners, you’ll discuss ideas 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 twelve 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.

Interested in registering for the Summer Seminar and also participating in the Cycle Seminar morning rides? It can be done! See the Registration page for details.

A Typical Day

8:00 am

Breakfast at Peirce Hall

9:00 am

Morning Seminar Class Time


Courses Offered:


"Dante's Divine Comedy" (Tim Shutt)


"Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy" (Rebecca Lloyd Waller)


"Douglass North and the New Institutional Economics" (Richard Trethewey)


"Jane Eyre: Romance, Rights, and Rebellion" (Sarah Heidt)


"Movies that Made the Movies" (Peter Rutkoff)


"Thucydides and The Peloponnesian War" (Fred Baumann)

10:00 am

Suggested Pairings Workshop

12:00 pm

Lunch in Peirce Hall

1:00 pm

Afternoon Seminar Class Time


Courses Offered:


"Darwin's On the Origin of Species" (Ray Heithaus)


"Grave Matters: The Languages of Death and Dying" (Royal Rhodes)


"Madison and Tocqueville" (John Elliott)


"Politics, Sexuality, and Women's Masterworks from Latin America" (Clara Román-Odio)


"Shakespeare and Politics" (Pam Jensen)


"Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain" (Michael Evans)

2:00 pm

Suggested Pairings Workshop

5:30 pm

Faculty Lecture, followed by wine and cheese

6:00 pm

Dinner in Peirce Hall

8:00 pm

Evening Activities (coffee house, Summer Seminar Night at the Village Inn, etc.)