Empowering the Poor through the Humanities: Reflections on the Worldwide Clemente Course in the Humanities

Stuart Hall, Room 101

The Clemente Course in the Humanities was founded by a product of the Hutchins College at the University of Chicago: Earl Shorris, who would in due course win the National Humanities Medal for his efforts to make a first class humanities course freely available to low income adult learners. According to the Clemente Course website, today 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.” The Humanities Division's Civic Knowledge Project has long worked in collaboration with the Illinois Humanities Council to bring the Clemente Course to the South Side of Chicago, where it is known as the Odyssey Project.  Please join us for a very special discussion of this effort, featuring the faculty, students, and graduates of the Clemente Course/Odyssey Project reflecting on how and why the humanities can flourish even in the most difficult of circumstances.