Past Short-Term Projects
This is the second part of a two-part Ex/Im project focusing on Isaac Julien's Lessons of the Hour. Lessons of the Hour is inspired by episodes in the life of freedom fighter Frederick Douglass (1818–1895). The film depicts Douglass as one of the most powerful voices and visionaries of the 19th century – from his demands to abolish chattel slavery to his aesthetic theory on photography – and demonstrates how his trenchant analyses continue to resonate. The acquisition and exhibition of Lessons of the Hour by the SCMA is timely. Smith’s Year on Democracies campus-wide focus in 2021-22 is powerfully animated by this piece. Julien’s focus on the key women in Douglass’s life, transatlantic exchange, the environment, and the history and theory of photography make this work ideal for courses in many departments and for this in-depth examination.
In December 2021, SCMA will open an exhibition of Isaac Julien’s Lessons of the Hour in its New Media Gallery. Julien is one of the most important artists working in time-based media (film and video) today. Lessons of the Hour is a deeply researched single-channel video installation that dramatizes episodes from the life and writings of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895). Julien’s focus on the key women in Douglass’s life, transatlantic exchange, the environment, and the history and theory of photography make this work ideal for courses in many departments. This first part will focus on discussing the work and different ways in which it could be incorporated into interterm and/or spring 2022 courses and programming.
Racialized Medicine, Past and Present: Teaching and Research in the Spaces Between STEM and the Humanities (short-term, June 2021)
Some forms of protest, such as the anonymous calling-out of faculty members on social media, have been a matter of concern. While as faculty we support our students’ activism, we would like to explore the terms of engagement when our own work is its object.
This short-term Kahn seeks to identify the obstacles and impediments that stand in the way of students and colleagues from traditionally underrepresented groups who have chosen careers in STEM.
December 7-8, 2018
The advent of the Digital Age (or the "Information Age") has thrown scholars across a variety of academic disciplines—especially those relying on textual and experiential evidence—into an existenial crisis. This short-term Kahn project seeks to engage scholars across all three divisions in an exploration of what this growing emphasis on machine learning means for scholarship, pedagogy, and knowledge production more broadly.
September 28-29, 2018
This short-term project seeks to understand drones in a broader context with scholars who can prime our discussion through a comparative analysis of emerging technologies. Who owns the right of transit less than 400 feet above the ground?
Social Ecology: Rethinking the Interdependence of Individuals, Communities and the Environment (short-term project Feb. 2020)
February 21-22, 2020
Social Ecology, which originates with the theories of radical ecologist Murray Bookchin, considers the political organization of societies in relation to the natural world. Bookchin’s theories are most aptly expressed by his dictum: “the domination of nature by man stems from the domination of human by human.”
October 17, November 15-16, 2019
What inherits us. What we leave to others. How we accept (or refuse) that which is bequeathed. These themes—and their implications—anchor this short-term Kahn project.
A Kahn Institute Symposium
A 200th anniversary celebration of one of literary history’s most enduring and generative novels, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, published anonymously by 20-year-old Mary Shelley (1797–1851) on January 1, 1818.
The purpose of this short-term Kahn project is to discuss antisemitism in its historical and contemporary dimensions. The very word antisemitism was coined in Germany in 1879 to denote an ideology that considered the integration of European Jews in rapidly changing nation-states highly problematic.
In 2018–19, we are excited to welcome a series of visitors focused on Buddhism and contemporary literature, titled Putting Pen to Palm Leaf: Buddhism and Contemporary Literature. This series brings four eminent writers whose work explores or is inflected by themes deriving from Buddhism to Smith and the Five Colleges for one- to two-week visits to share their ideas and practice with our students, faculty and the wider community.