Studying IPHS at Kenyon
As a student in Kenyon’s oldest interdisciplinary program, you will explore how different cultures have answered life’s fundamental questions. What makes a good life? How do we live in a community? Why do we have art? What defines our humanity? You will consider these questions from multiple perspectives, studying with faculty from across the curriculum.
Explore human ideas, creations and inventions that have defined our present.
Focus on real-world challenges.
Artificial Intelligence is poised to surpass us in abilities we associate with being human. Can we program humanity by using AI to analyze text and produce art? Or will we be programmed through predictive policing, social media manipulation and surveillance? This class bridges the gap between humanities and technology.
Galileo to Einstein
Galileo helped establish modern scientific thought. Centuries later, Einstein helped transform it. The influential ideas of both ignited controversy beyond the bounds of their scientific disciplines. We’ll explore relationships between observation and imagination, genius and ethics, science and religion.
Odyssey: Pursuit of Wisdom and Understanding
Explore themes of love, justice, purity and power, reading from the Bible, Plato, Dante and more. Later, we focus on themes of law, disorder, harmony, entropy, and modernity, including study of Shakespeare, Darwin and Marx. At the same time, we examine connections between the visual arts, literature and philosophy.
Aristophanes: Politics and Comedy
Comedians like Trevor Noah and John Oliver are a mainstay of our culture. But while their insights are astute, they don’t add up to comprehensive political teaching. To see the heights and depths possible in comedy, we study four plays by Aristophanes, the master of combining comic vulgarity with philosophic wisdom.
Digital Humanities at Kenyon
Identify new avenues of research using unexplored datasets of text, image and sound, and embrace new computational frameworks that are increasingly powerful and easy to use. Students interested in digital humanities are encouraged to take the introductory course "Programming Humanity." Advanced courses include "A.I. for the Humanities."
Professor of Humanities and Comparative Literature Katherine Elkins recently participated in a conversation for the Al Jazeera's program "The Stream" that explored the question "Is AI better at making art than humans?"