Classes at Kenyon College are on hiatus for the summer but learning opportunities on campus still abound, thanks in large part to the Kenyon Institute’s 2016 Summer Seminar: “Great Books, Great Experiences.”
In addition to exploring books that changed the world and having top authors shed light on fascinating historical figures, “Great Books, Great Experiences” will deliver a diverse selection of hands-on experiences to remember. Among the 10 Summer Seminar courses offered this year are experiential classes dealing with drawing in nature, cooking with spices, and baseball’s role in American culture.
“Our expanded course offerings embrace the essence of the liberal arts,” said Institute Director Sarah Kahrl. “In addition to reading and discussing important books, our students will gain a multi-dimensional understanding of their subject through terrific experiential activities –everything from cooking with friends, drawing in nature to critiquing a live baseball game. It’s a perfect summertime adventure.”
In “Drawing From Nature,” longtime Kenyon College studio art professor Martin Garhart will lead a workshop for drawers of all skill levels focusing on the ways the visual language of drawing can be used to develop ideas that present themselves when one is drawing from nature. Each day will start in the classroom with a presentation, a review of the prior day’s work, and a discussion of the day’s objectives. The class will then transition out into the field for drawing, with one-on-one instruction tailored to the individual’s skill level.
Co-taught by Kenyon College history professor Wendy Singer and Cleveland-based restaurateur Douglas Katz, “Savoring the Spice Road” will explore the origins, transmission, and uses of spices. With India and Indian cuisine at the center of discussions, students will learn about the spice trade, the different forms in which spices are found, and the various ways of using them in cooking. In addition to readings and discussions, there will be opportunities to savor and understand the phenomenon of spice by collecting local ingredients and preparing group meals.
Professor Peter Rutkoff, an award-winning novelist and commentator on the sport, will take students through an examination of “Baseball and American Culture,” exposing its complex cultural relationship, its role as an American signifier, and the range of its representation in American culture. In addition to watching films and games and discussing meaning and cultural significance of novels and plays, students will "experience" baseball by studying (and playing) its original form in the "Massachusetts" rules of 1858 Town Ball, and enjoying an evening out at a local minor-league game.
The Summer Seminar program of 10 courses will be offered in morning and afternoon sessions, featuring favorite Kenyon professors, noteworthy authors, and experts in the fields of medicine and the culinary arts all discussing their fields of expertise.