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News & Events

Fear project graduation 2020
The Kahn 2019-20 project Fear hosted an anticipatory graduation celebration for Student Fellows in early March during a weekly colloquium at the Kahn Institute before students departed campus. The Kahn projects Fear and TranslationS have continued weekly seminars online this month.

What’s Happening at the Kahn

The stories and updates formerly featured in our printed newsletter, the Kahn Chronicle, will now be featured on this News & Events webpage. Check back regularly to read profiles of students and faculty, notes from the Kahn staff, and to learn more about Kahn projects and events.

Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the 21st Century

Hélène Landmore, Professor of Political Science, Yale University, will lecture on "Open Democracy: Reinventing Popular Rule for the 21st Century," as part of the Kahn yearlong project Coping with Democratic Precarity and the Prospects for Democratic Renewal.

Presentation by Boston Multimedia Artist Yu-Wen Wu

Boston multimedia artist Yu-Wen Wu presented "The Space Within: Private and Public Narratives," as part of Voices, Visibility, and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asians/Asian Americans at Smith College, a short-term visit amplifying Asian and Asian American presence at Smith through an artistic lens. View a Zoom video of this event.

Kahn Student Fellows for 2021-22 Yearlong Projects

Nine students have been awarded Kahn Fellowships in the 2021-22 yearlong projects Democracies Redux: Resumptions, Resilience, Reconciliation, and Restoration and Coping with Democratic Precarity and the Prospects for Democratic Renewal.

Focus on Fellowship: Zoe Birnhak ’21

Zoe Birnhak ‘21 recently participated in the Kahn short-term project The Notorious RCG: Race, Class, and Gender in STEM. She was one of two student fellows among some 25 faculty research fellows in the project, and discussed with the group her experience in STEM classes at Smith.

Not THOSE Birds and Bees

Director’s Note (Spring 2021)
Alex Keller, Director, Kahn Institute
We’re fully into many kinds of spring. We have sprung forward, there’s a spring in our step, things that sprang to mind now spring to life beyond it.

Focus on Fellowship: Espy Thomson ’21

Espy Thomson ’21, a fellow in Technophilia/Technoskepticism, has spent much of her final spring semester at Smith researching the reproductive technology industry, including interviews with some of her 65 half-siblings.

Focus on Fellowship: Amanda Jiang ’20

Amanda Jiang ’20 has been working on a new protocol to explore the efficacy of an alternative-based intervention to reduce stress and improve the quality of life for COVID-19 healthcare workers.

Spring Short-Term Projects at the Kahn

More than 150 Faculty Fellows participated in the following short-term projects.
Click on each project to read descriptions and see participants.

The Notorious RCG: Race, Class and Gender in STEM
Organized by Rob Dorit, Biological Sciences, and Mary Harrington, Neuroscience
March 10-12, 19

Curriculum: Protest and Process
Organized by Darcy Buerkle, History, and Frazer Ward, Art
April 9

Thinking Post-Nationally, Teaching Transnationally
Organized by Anna Botta, Italian Studies, and Joel Westerdale, German Studies
May 17-18

Is Inclusivity in My Classroom the Same as in Yours?
Organized by Alex Keller, Director, Kahn Institute, and Sara Pruss, Director, Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning
May 26

Excavating the Image, Part I: Isaac Julien's Lessons of the Hour (2019)
Organized by Emma Chubb, Charlotte Feng Ford '83 Curator of Contemporary Art, Smith College Museum of Art, and Alex Keller, Film and Media Studies and Director of the Kahn Institute.
June 2

Racialized Medicine, Past and Present: Teaching and Research in the Spaces Between STEM and the Humanities
Organized by Suzanne Gottschang, Anthropology, and Kathleen Pierce, Art
June 11 and 14

Kahn Past Events

Beyond Big Data: Communicating Climate Change Through Indigenous Voices & Art

An online conversation between Indigenous scientist/artist James Temte and special guest, Alaska native Ahtna Elder Wilson Justin. Temte, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who leads the NSF Navigating the New Arctic Community Extension Office, will share a conversation with Ahtna elder Wilson Justin on the topic of Indigenous knowledge, connection to the land and the role of art in communicating the realities of climate change beyond the Arctic. This public conversation is presented as part of the Kahn Institute yearlong project Imagining Climate Change: From Slow Violence to Fast Hope. 


On Rising Together: Collective and Creative Responses to the Climate Crisis

Elizabeth Rush, award-winning author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, speaks on her book and related themes as a guest of the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability (CEEDS) and the Kahn Institute’s yearlong project Imagining Climate Change: From Slow Violence to Fast Hope. Rush's most recent book, Rising, a Pulitzer finalist, lyrically documents the transformation of shorelines around the United States as a result of climate change and rising seas.


Reversing Knowledge Loss

What does it mean to regain knowledge and practice of lost technologies? Why do some successful technologies disappear? MacArthur Fellow Sven Haakanson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Washington, works with the Alutiiq in Kodiak, Alaska, and other communities in preserving and relearning languages and cultural practices. Haakanson received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work reviving Alutiiq language and culture. He recently worked with Kodiak communities in relearning, building and using angyaaq again. He lectured as part of the yearlong project Technophilia/Technoskepticism.



Year on Democracies Logo

In 2021–22, Smith College will host an ambitious set of programs and events under the organizing theme “Year on Democracies.” Everyone in the Smith community is invited to participate and collaborate in this collegewide initiative.