Recent events in Cleveland, Ferguson and New York City, and the unfolding national conversations that they provoked, deserve attention here in Gambier.
Posted in Pop Culture
One of my fears about coming to Kenyon was that I would feel "imprisoned" on this hill for months at a time until I could reach civilization again. While I weirdly came to love the community that you build by isolating yourself in Wiggin Street Coffee or roaming the bookstore, getting off campus is just as common. While I've been to many-a-concert at The Horn on campus, this was my first time jetting off to Columbus to see a big name.
How will the era of big data affect the world of the residential liberal arts college? Kenyon is as a complex network of knowledge resources, expertise, and opportunities. Technology may open the door to tools capable of visualizing the Kenyon knowledge network in order to deepen the learning and intellectual experience of our whole community.
Mr. López has reminded us of the importance of taking a firm stand on one’s principles, even in the face of severe consequences.We often neglect the value of dissent on our campus – the importance of cultivating an atmosphere in which difficult topics are rigorously engaged, where opinions (including those held by people in positions of power) are openly challenged, and where members of the community feel empowered to take strong stands in a press for change. A place such as Kenyon – indeed, any college – should foster and support the spirit of dissent; this is in keeping with our commitment to free exchange and engagement with ideas, as well as with our mission to encourage students to bring ideas from the classroom and library into regular practice.
Imagine discussions of Toni Morrison’s Beloved in the context of a nation facing ethnic and religious strife, or reading Thoreau and Emerson in the context of a nation struggling with both existential questions and defining for itself concepts of justice and equality. As the leader of an academic institution, I consider this an excellent example of the potential transformative power of the liberal arts, raising questions and generating discussions that both transcend time and place and also brightly illuminate current issues. Regardless of one’s views on the political solutions to Israeli/Palestinian relations, the cultural transformation needed to find peace in the region will require strong academic institutions with free and unfettered exchange of ideas with scholars from around the world. Collaborations among individual scholars and among institutions have the potential to support and nurture this cultural transformation.