10 o’clock list: Kenyon Courses that Require Your Entire Brain

via specialneedsmomslikeme.blogspot.com

via specialneedsmomslikeme.blogspot.com

This post was co-written by Olivia Grabar Sage ’15, Elizabeth Norman ’16 and Emma Specter ’15.

Sometimes, there is just not enough room in your brain to balance all of your work; how do you even fit twenty more pages of Habermas in there with trying to understand that problem set from Economics with Calculus.* These are not classes that assign too much work–these are classes that you become so invested in that you kind of stop caring about your other work. We recommend that you take all of them. 

  1. Installation Art with Professor Claudia Esslinger, Studio Art. The all consuming nature of this class really sneaks up on you, beginning with the realization that you only have two actual installations to complete for the whole semester. “Only two?” you think. “Nice.” Then you realize. Only two installations. Meaning that your entire semester is essentially spent working on only two projects, the first of which is finished by the end of September. You have to make original, meaningful, site-specific installations that you pour your heart and soul into, with the knowledge that a significant population of people: a. won’t get your art, b. won’t think your art is art and c. might actually destroy your art, and that is technically part of the experience.
  2. Meanings of Death with Professor Rhodes, Religious Studies. This class makes you want to sit in a hammock and think about life/death/love/friendship/everythingthat’severmatteredtoyou all day long–be prepared for existential crises left and right that Professor Rhodes’ soothing voice will talk you down from as you write your own eulogy. (Ed. Warning: this class usually fills at least a full semester in advance). 
  3. Politics of Transitional Justice with Professor McAllister, Political Science. This class will make you be all “Aaaah, what even is justice how should we deal with individuals/groups who commit atrocities how does this tie in to the “peace versus justice” debate but wait is it even possible to have peace without justice don’t you first need to establish truth but like What Is Truth” and then all of a sudden it’s 3:00 a.m. and you’ve done none of your work for your other classes because you were so busy tackling The Big Questions.
  4. The Screenwriter with “The Department,” Film. Of course you’re not taking this class because you want to be a writer or whatever. You’re just trying out something a little new, a little different. And then as soon as you actually start writing your screenplay you realize that it’s impossible to not put all of your self-worth into this extended piece of creative writing that could be your chance to finally prove your hidden genius to the world! But, you know, not in an annoying way.
  5. Transnational Feminisms with “The Department,” Women and Gender Studies. OK, so maybe you took the class because it sounded like a nice, compact summary that would make you sound smart at Thanksgiving, but this class will change your understanding of modernity and power dynamics across cultures and kind of blow your mind.

*Economics and calculus together in one course! It’s real!

11 responses

  1. no English? What about McMullen’s Joyce class? What about anything in IPHS or CWL with Kate Elkins? What about physics?

  2. Wow, no english? No Lewis Hyde, no Laycock, Garcia, Pashmina, Mason, Sergei, Macmullen Clarvoe? I’d say that every class I took with these Professors “required my entire brain” but thats probably because I applied myself up to their actual standards instead of just coasting by….Oh wait, this is an entirely subjective thing anyway, as most classes require as much as a student is willing to invest.

    • The Kenyon website often highlights and pulls from other Kenyon publications. Sometimes from the Thrill, sometimes from the Collegian, sometimes from the Alumni Bulletin etc.

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