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Kahn Liberal Arts Institute

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Since 1998, the Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute has supported collaborative research among Smith and Five College faculty, Smith students 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. 


A Note from the Director: The Kahn Institute's Role in Changing Times

Where are Institutes like the Kahn amid today's pandemics, of both coronavirus and global systemic injustice and inequity? The Kahn Institute has worked beautifully in its usual way for a long time, but these times are unprecedented, and our support response must match it. We will almost all be working with constrained resources and conditions going forward, but in the wake of these pandemics, the urgency of repairing and restoring our human networks is a high priority. The Kahn is ready to reshape itself to meet the needs of the faculty and the Smith community however it can.


Kahn 20-21 Yearlong Projects Imagining Climate Change and Technophilia/Technoskepticism to begin in September

Planning for the Kahn Institute’s 2020–21 projects, Imagining Climate Change and Technophilia/Technoskepticism, will continue through the summer. Both projects will begin in September as scheduled. Read more details. The Kahn is currently accepting proposals for short-term projects for 2020-21.

Important COVID-19 Information

All events on campus have been canceled for spring 2020. For updates on Smith’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page.


Research Without Boundaries

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“The Kahn Institute is unique. No other college has anything quite like it—an incubator for cross-disciplinary research, debate and colleagueship, and a haven for free speech.”
Marjorie Senechal, Kahn Institute founding director

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“Being a Kahn student fellow had a huge influence on me and ultimately inspired me to pursue a doctorate in history.”
Rachel Johnson ’12



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“As a first-generation college student, the Kahn gave me an inside view into the scholarly process that I may not have gotten otherwise, and it was an incredibly valuable experience.”
Maric Kramer ’04


Kahn Liberal Arts Institute

21 Henshaw Avenue
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: 413-585-3721
Fax: 413-585-4294