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Kahn Liberal Arts Institute

Photo of three students meeting at the Kahn Institute

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. 


"The Third Founding: The Struggle for Multiracial Democracy—and the Authoritarian Reaction Against it," a lecture by Steven Levitsky, co-author of How Democracies Die

Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller How Democracies Die, will speak in conjuntion with the Kahn yearlong project Coping with Democratic Precarity and the Prospects for Democratic RenewalRead more...

"Belonging: A Voice at the Table," an interactive installation at the Kahn Institute by Multimedia Artist Yu-Wen Wu

"Belonging: A Voice at the Table," is an interactive installation of symbolic cloth bundles on display at the Kahn Institute on April 28, 2:30-5 p.m. The display is a culminating event of the yearlong project, "Voice, Visibility and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asian/Asian Americans at Smith College, a collaboration between Yu-Wen Wu and Smith community members. Read more...

Kahn Student Fellow Charlie Diaz '22 Named Inaugural Smith Alliance for Justice and Equity Fellow

Charlie Diaz '22, a fellow in the Kahn yearlong project Democracies Redux: Resumptions, Resilience, Reconciliation, and Restoration, was recently selected as one of 14 inaugural Smith Alliance for Justice and Equity Fellows partly in recognition of his activism in promoting educational opportunity and equity for students with disabilities. Read more...

Kahn Fellow Erin Oppel '22 Profiled on the Gate

Erin Oppel '22, who is bound for a year in Taiwan for intensive study of Mandarin, was recently profiled on the Gate. Oppel, a fellow in the yearlong project Coping with Democratic Precarity, will present her research this Friday, April 29, as part of the Kahn Student Fellows Presentation showcase


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