This is a moving slideshow with audio featuring two students from the MA Humanities Clemente Course.
In the News
Just south of the University of Chicago, at the AKArama Center in Woodlawn, a dozen or so people gather in a seminar room. The room is reminiscent of those in which Nobel laureates and eager college students swap ideas, giving the UofC its reputation as a center for intellectualism. It is sparsely adorned, its tables pushed together to form a hollow square. It is a room designed for focused discussion, for digging into texts, and for exchanging ideas. But the students here are different. Their average age is thirty-nine. Most of them are women. All live at least 150% below the poverty line.
In "The Art of Freedom," Earl Shorris describes his efforts to establish a set of courses that would teach the core texts of Western civilization to people living in poverty, whose school experience had scanted the canon or skipped it entirely.
Plato's "Euthyphro" can be tough going for anyone. Amy Thomas Elder struggled last year to make the case that the thorny philosophical text had anything to do with the lives of South Side high school freshmen.
Civic Knowledge Project - The mission of the Civic Knowledge Project is to develop and strengthen community connections, helping to overcome the social, economic, and racial divisions among the various knowledge communities on the South Side of Chicago. We believe that the free and reciprocal flow of knowledge is empowering. Working with our many local collaborators, we (1) Provide educational and humanities programming linking the University of Chicago to other knowledge communities surrounding it; (2) Develop institutional policy for the exchange of knowledge among different local knowledge communities; and (3) Serve as an educational and organizational resource for our community.
Poverty, Promise and Possibility - Initially launched as a new program for the 2010-11 academic year, Poverty, Promise, and Possibility promises to become an ongoing cooperative effort by the Civic Knowledge Project and its partners. The aim will be to build on the progress made in this first phase of the program by continuing to bring together University and community expertise in addressing the most pressing social problems confronting us here on the South Side of Chicago. Working with the Office of Civic Engagement, the School of Social Service Administration, the Urban Education Institute, the Graham School of General Studies, and a wide range of community partners, we promise to produce accessible, first-rate and useable knowledge and educational materials that will measurably improve the quality of life for our communities for generations to come and underscore the vital role of the humanities in making life worth living.
Poverty, Promise and Possibility Blog - The Clemente Course in the Humanities®/Odyssey Project is a crucial partner in the Poverty, Promise, and Possibility initiative. The public discussion by Earl Shorris on Poverty and the Humanities, and the continuing education course with that title by Bart Schultz, have generated an intense interest in this model for deploying the humanities in antipoverty efforts. Moreover, working in collaboration with Dovetta McKee and the University’s College Prep program, Shorris, Schultz and representatives from the Illinois Humanities Council, AKArama sorority, and Office of Civic Engagment are actively pursing a plan to adapt the Clemente Course model for disadvantaged local high schools on Chicago’s South Side.
Words Without Borders - translates, publishes, and promotes the finest contemporary international literature. Our publications and programs open doors for readers of English around the world to the multiplicity of viewpoints, richness of experience, and literary perspective on world events offered by writers in other languages. We seek to connect international writers to the general public, to students and educators, and to print and other media and to serve as a primary online location for a global literary conversation.