University of Wisconsin's Odyssey Project Documentary
Inspired by the Clemente Course and Berea College
Announcing the release of The Art of Freedom: Teaching Humanities to the Poor by Earl Shorris.
Remembering Earl Shorris
If you would like to share memories of Earl or the Clemente Course, please send them through our CONTACT page.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to:The Clemente Course in the Humanities®
7 Kingman Road
Amherst, MA 01002
There is also a PayPal donation button in the right column of every page on this web site
"The world improves when each one of us becomes better. The Odyssey Project achieves one of the kindest acts: it encourages us to look within ourselves, to seek a better world and the most important, it gives us hope to find it."
2013 Odyssey Project graduate, Chicago, Il
(A Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities)
The Clemente Course in the Humanities® is a unique educational institution founded in 1995 to teach the humanities at the college level to people living in economic distress.
The course works in conjunction with faculty from leading colleges and universities on five continents. Students learn through dialogue about moral philosophy, literature, history, art history, critical thinking, and writing.
More than ten thousand students worldwide have attended a Clemente course, and over fifty percent have successfully completed it.
The aim of the course is to bring the clarity and beauty of the humanities to people who have been deprived of these riches through economic, social, or political forces. While the course is not intended as preparation for college, many students have gone on to two- and four-year colleges.
There is no tuition; books are provided, and the college credits offered in most courses are readily transferable to other institutions.
In addition to free tuition and books, access to child care and transportation is provided without charge.
Earl Shorris meets with students and faculty from the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2010.
Orientation at the Children’s Village/Bard College Clemente Course for the Humanities in Harlem, September 2013
... The philosopher Socrates spent his entire life actively wondering why it was that he was regarded the wisest man in all of Athens as he admitted to not knowing anything. Ironically it is because of his admittance and awareness to not knowing anything that declared him wise, because he chased after the "why." At the Clemente, students are encouraged to impose questions upon themselves and to think in a manner that allows one to understand the brightest historical figures and most misunderstood writers alike. Socrates professed that it's best to venture into the things we don't understand, and much like his students, we are enlightened ever so on a weekly basis to do the same
As a student to the course of the past four months I can say there is a certain flare our teacher's passions spark that becomes something of a forest fire over the minds of their students that drive them further on the subjects of humanities.
A personal favorite occurrence of mine that I've come to enjoy is watching my classmates argue with one another. It's something I've grown to love watching for the sake that the arguments here are never over pointless scuffles, instead we have two sides of the room discuss a debate to challenge each other's beliefs in a very constructive manner. From small group sessions to a full class debate, it's always a sight to see when we share our diverse ideas and passions aloud.
In Essence, the Clemente Course is truly a monument to the virtue of humanism. At first glance we are simply a room of people sitting in a box, but if you ask any of us in the most honest of words what it is we do; we learn, we think, and we write.
Juan Baldera, Clemente Course, Harlem
Hear from graduates of Bard College's Jefferson Clemente Course in Washington State