Kenyon professors’ doors are open to talk about your interests and offer guidance — starting now. Hear directly from faculty about learning at Kenyon in a live panel and sit in on a class discussion. This virtual event is open to high school seniors and transfer students. Parents are also invited to attend.  

Program Schedule

Welcome and Virtual Faculty Panel (45 minutes)

Our admissions office welcomes all guests to this virtual event. Faculty members will reflect on teaching and learning at Kenyon through an interactive discussion. 

Classroom Session and Current Student Panel (45 minutes)

Prospective students will join breakout rooms to attend the model class for which they pre-registered; parents/guardians will attend an interactive panel with current Kenyon students to discuss life inside and outside of the classroom. 

Class Descriptions

The Emotional Power of Music in Barry Jenkins' Film, "Moonlight" with Professor of Drama and Film Jonathan Tazewell

This film class will examine the use of orchestral and contemporary music in the score of “Moonlight” to reveal and highlight the emotional and internal psychological world of the main character, Chiron. Through this analysis we will get an example of how image and sound function together in film.

Animal Thermoregulation with Professor of Biology Chris Gillen

Animals display a dazzling diversity of responses to variations in environmental temperature.  In this class, we'll explore the costs, benefits and mechanisms of animal thermoregulation.  

Poetry for Life with Associate Professor of English Sarah Heidt                      

This discussion-based session will focus on settling in and getting comfortable with poetry. Students will have opportunities to read aloud and/or listen to a poem, to talk with each other about that poem's structure and meanings, and to consider the ways a poem might live in and through our lives. 

India in the World with Professor of History Wendy Singer

Maybe being a "superpower" is not all it is cracked up to be. India is the most powerful nation in South Asia with an economy (despite the pandemic) growing at about 7% this year. In recent meetings at the UN, it is part of the QUAD — U.S., Australia, Japan and India — strategic partners considering ways to compete with China in the Indian Ocean/Pacific Region. India is also the world's largest producer of pharmaceuticals and Bollywood is the world's largest exporter of entertainment. Beginning with India's global cultural influence, from Bollywood to yoga, and its economic/political role, we will rethink "India in the World."

Duke Ellington: His Paths to Six Decades of Success and Innovation with Professor of Music Dane Heuchemer

Duke Ellington is regarded as one of the most influential figures in jazz. Ellington was active, from the 1920s until his death in 1974, as a bandleader, composer, arranger, and pianist, and he performed and recorded throughout his long career, developing and adjusting his style along the way. His leadership style and the approach he used in managing his ensemble, however, are often overlooked.  He maintained an affirmative working environment that resulted in a highly creative atmosphere and engendered considerable loyalty among his musicians — and helped make Ellington one of America's most important artists. 

Register for Oct. 17

Disease Ecology: How Biodiversity Can Help Keep Us From Getting Sick with Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Iris Levin

Disease ecology is a highly interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand and mitigate infectious disease through ecological knowledge of the system. Infectious diseases are inherently ecological systems, as they involve interactions between two or more players (hosts and disease-causing agents). This class session will introduce you to the field of disease ecology and use a case study of Lyme Disease to understand the role of biodiversity in reducing disease risk.

How Do Stories Work? with Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities Kate Elkins and Visiting Instructor of Humanities Jon Chun

Come learn how cognitive and computational models are changing our understanding of the way stories work. From the shape of a story — as unique as a fingerprint — to the role of emotion in narrative, Kenyon faculty and students have been working collaboratively to unlock the secrets of stories. In this sample class, we’ll teach you some of their most fascinating discoveries.

What Cow Tipping Can Tell You about Politics and Democracy with Professor of Political Science Pam Camerra-Rowe

Imagine you get to write the rules for a new political system. Can you create a system that gives everyone equal voice and produces consistent and stable outcomes over time? How would you do it? What if it is not possible?  What does this tell us about politics and democracy? In this talk, we explore what to do on a Friday night in Gambier in order to illustrate the role political institutions play in shaping electoral and policy outcomes. 

Pandemic and Partisanship in Ancient Greece with Professor of Classics Adam Serfass

Plague and factionalism devastated the city-states of ancient Greece, in a time when they were already debilitated by war. In this class, we will consider how the historian Thucydides' masterly account of pandemic and partisanship in classical Greece, though written millennia ago, can help us make sense of and respond to the circumstances in which we find ourselves today.

How to Sound Smart and Vulnerable: A Guide to Interior Life with Professor of Creative Writing Ira Sukrungruang

So much of creative writing revolves around old adages like Show, don't tell, but the truth is that good writing relies on both; the trick is knowing when to let your characters do their thing and when to enter as the author to guide readers to higher levels of understanding. In this sample class, we will look at various ways authors enter a piece without disruption of narrative tension.

Register for Nov. 13

Neanderthals: Too Stupid to Live? with Professor of Anthropology Bruce L. Hardy

Once known as Homo stupidus, Neanderthals are typically seen as the dimwits of the stone age who died out once we, the mighty Homo sapiens, showed up. Is this an accurate depiction? This lecture will present the latest data addressing this ongoing us vs. them battle. Can we finally say Homo stupidus no more?

Climate Emergencies with Assistant Professor of English Orchid Tierney

What is climate justice? How do we model climate hope? This class will engage these questions and consider the strategies that contemporary experimental writers are deploying to tackle the urgency of climate change.

Time has Meaning: What the Night Sky Tells Us About Particle Physics with Associate Professor of Physics Thomas Giblin

We often hear that "observations" of the universe lead us to certain scientific models. We will talk about how physics derives consequence from observations — and discuss how this gives evidence that the universe is old, that it used to be hot and why we should care.

Music and Place with Professor of Music Reginald Sanders

This class will explore the beauty and significance of several compositions written for or associated with a particular place. The discussion will include Guillaume Dufay's "Nuper Rosarum Flores," which was written for the dedication of the Cathedral of Florence in 1436; Joseph Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony, which was written for performance at the Esterhazy summer palace in 1772; and Igor Stravinsky's “Rite of Spring,” which premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris in 1913.

Register for Dec. 9

Modern American Short Story with Professor of English David Lynn

The short story is not simply an abbreviated stretch of fictional narrative in contrast to the novel, but a distinct genre of compression and power. Writing short stories for commercial venues such as the Saturday Evening Post and the New Yorker offered financial support for many authors in the 20th Century, while they were also developing longer novels or screenplays. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Hurston are just a few examples. In this class we will read stories by masters of the form, including more recent examples of fantasy, experiment, and daring innovation. Students will learn to read for how stories work — recognizing the choices authors make in technique and form — as well as what they signify.

A Visual Introduction to Topology with Professor of Mathematics Judy Holdener

Some of the most creative and interesting aspects of mathematics aren't apparent until college-level coursework. Sometimes described as "rubber sheet geometry," topology is the study of the properties of a geometric object or shape that are preserved under stretching, bending, or twisting. Initially studied by mathematicians for the sake of mathematics, topology is now used to understand such things as the evolution of disease, the structure of a neural network and the space-time structure of the universe.

An Exploration of Film Acting in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest" with Associate Professor of Film Jonathan Sherman

Alfred Hitchcock once famously remarked that "Actors are cattle." But look beyond this provocative insult and you can begin to understand his complex theory of film acting. Taking his cue from the Russian conception of "montage editing," Hitchcock believed that meaning is created in cinema by the juxtaposition of shots rather than from the performance of a single actor. We will look at scenes from "Rear Window" and "North by Northwest" to understand how Hitchcock could craft such indelible performances without allowing actors to "act."

Time has Meaning: What the Night Sky Tells Us About Particle Physics with Associate Professor of Physics Thomas Giblin

We often hear that "observations" of the universe lead us to certain scientific models. We will talk about how physics derives consequence from observations — and discuss how this gives evidence that the universe is old, that it used to be hot and why we should care.

Writing Lyrics for Musical Theatre: Love Songs with Associate Professor of Drama Anton Dudley

In this class, students will study the form and style of ballads, how the content of a love song is woven through this form, analyze existing ballads, and be given prompts to begin work on their own lyric for a ballad. No musical experience is necessary, only an interest in writing words.

Register for Jan. 9