The Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute supports collaborative research among Smith and faculty, staff and students, Five College faculty, and visiting scholars—all without regard to the traditional boundaries of departments, programs and academic divisions. Each year the institute supports long- and short-term projects that are proposed, planned and organized by Smith College faculty. Kahn Fellows work together on topics that are broad enough to encompass a variety of disciplinary perspectives and focused enough for a meaningful investigation.
Kahn Institute Updates
Long-term Project Student Applications Due
Students, Would you like to pursue your own research with scholars across campus? Apply for one of the 2024-25 long-term projects—fall 2024 Long-term Kahn Project, “Vegetal Forms: Knowing Place and Time Through Plants” and spring 2025 Long-term Kahn Project, “Possible Futures: Al and Human Experience”—by February 20, 2024. The link to the application is at the bottom of each project description page. Learn more about being a student fellow on our Fellowships page.
Propose a Long-term Project on a Wide-ranging Topic
Long-term projects are built around broad topics that are investigated in depth throughout an entire academic semester or year. Long-term project fellows meet once a week at the Kahn Institute for two hours of discourse and/or other activities, and always share a meal, provided by the Kahn, either before or following their weekly colloquium. Email Suzanne Gottschang with your proposals.
Propose a Short-term Project on a Pressing Concern
Short-term projects provide new contexts for Smith and Five College faculty to explore topics of common intellectual concern that bear on their own research and may serve as seeds for future long-term projects. Short-term project formats are flexible, but typically take place within an abbreviated timeframe. Short-term projects often include public events, panels or forums, film screenings, workshops, field trips and other activities over the course of two to three days, a weekend, or a series of daylong symposia. Email Suzanne Gottschang with your proposals.
Explore the Kahn Institute
About the Kahn Institute
About the Director
Suzanne Gottschang is a medical anthropologist whose work contextualizes how individuals navigate governance and knowledge systems at the intersections of health, science, and medicine. Her research and writing are rooted in China and the US and cross anthropology, East Asian studies, gender studies, public health, and science and technology studies. Her current research focuses on the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases in horses and how horses, their caregivers, and veterinarians deal with the uncertainties of treatment and care by drawing on experiential and anecdotal knowledge and practices as well as those of evidence-based veterinary medicine.
Her book, Formulas for Motherhood in a Chinese Hospital, is the first ethnography about how a Chinese hospital’s staff, new mothers, and their families navigated the UNICEF-WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative’s policies and practices to promote breastfeeding at a time of unprecedented social and economic change. Relations between biomedical practices and heightened expectations of femininity and sexuality demanded by consumer culture, alongside international and national agendas to promote maternal and child health, revealed new agents of maternal governance emerging at the very moment China’s economy heats up. The ethnography provides insight into how women’s creative pragmatism in a rapidly changing society leads to their views and decisions about motherhood. Gottschang has published in such journals as Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Technology and Culture the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
She is committed to collaborative projects in her research, writing, and teaching – ranging from a three-year collaborative research project on everyday technologies in East Asia at Hong Kong University to coaching a student team in Smith College’s Engineering Design Clinic.