Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Speakers and Events

A big part of the campus experience is listening, discussing, and wrestling with ideas. Throughout the year we host global leaders in fields ranging from dance to environmental law.

You'll get a chance to hear what these leaders have to say, and you’ll connect with them in master classes, public lectures, and small-group discussions. We want you on the podium, too—we have on-campus organizations and events that create opportunities for students to present their own ideas; topics can range anywhere from cross-cultural relations to space exploration, and everything beyond.We'll also make sure you can access the local happenings of Great Barrington and the Berkshires, which have a vibrant and world-class cultural and arts scene.

At Simon’s Rock, our passion for learning goes well beyond the classroom. You’ll be part of a community, that regularly gathers to learn, engage, and inspire.

W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture

NAACP President Speaking

We honor the memory of this native son of Great Barrington with the W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Lecture—to be given each year on or near Du Bois's birthday, February 23—which is presented by a distinguished African American whose own achievements are in the tradition of Du Bois.

In further recognition of Du Bois's legacy the library is home to the W.E.B. Du Bois Collection in African American literature and history, and we have established W.E.B. Du Bois Scholarships for students of color who are underrepresented in higher education and have a record of academic achievement.

Uncommon Journeys

Brooke Skinner Ricketts

Uncommon Journeys is a speaker series that celebrates the unique paths and exceptional successes of Simon’s Rock alumni.

Brooke Skinner Ricketts ’97

Ricketts returned to campus September 2016 to talk about how she turned a BA in Politics and Art History from Simon’s Rock into a successful marketing career. She has become a highly sought-after brand strategist for some of the most exciting companies in the world, including Twitter and financial-technology start-up Avant.

Photography by Alumnus Jan Staller '70

Famous for his study of urban and industrial landscapes in the Greater New York area, Jan Staller '70, in conjunction with an exhibit of his work at the Hillman-Jackson Gallery at Simon’s Rock, offered a talk on his life and work entitled “Regarding the Disregarded.”

Book One Lecture

Book One Fall 2017- The Meaning of Michelle

Every year Simon’s Rock selects a book that promotes interdisciplinary conversations about the intersection of cultures. The author comes to campus to speak and offer insight into the inspiration for, thinking behind, and creative process that resulted in the book, as well as to give students, as well as the entire community, the chance to ask questions of the author.


The Book One lecture is one of many Simon's Rock campus traditions. Find out more about other campus traditions that run the gamut from somewhat conventional to downright quirky.

Symposium on Social Justice and Inclusion

Simon's Rock students attend a Teach-In during Symposium Week

Symposium week is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to take time to reflect, discuss, and act on recurring and relevant issues related to social justice and inclusion. The annual program, sponsored by the Council for Equity and Inclusion, offers special events and workshops that lead to student-driven conversations on issues such as race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, immigration, sexual harassment, and bullying, among others.

Faculty Forums

Chris Coggins

Faculty forums offer faculty a stage to share their interests and pursuits outside of the classroom.

Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands

Chris Coggins, professor of Geography and Asian Studies, discussed his contribution to a book based on his field research in western China from 2004 to 2011. Mapping Shangrila advances a view of landscapes as media of governance, representation, and resistance, examining how they are reshaping cultural economies, political ecologies of resource use, subjectivities, and interethnic relations.

Paintings in Song: Visions of Norman Rockwell

Composer John Myers, Stephanie Plunkett, chief curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum, and Christine Gevert, Crescendo’s artistic director present “Paintings in Song:‘Visions of Norman Rockwell,’” a multimedia work with choruses, instrumentalists, and graphic animation.

Listening with the Refugee

Asma speaking

An interactive workshop hosted by the class Fugue States: The Politics of Refuge, Exile, and Fugitivity. Participants in this workshop explored narratives surrounding the current “refugee crisis” through practices of attentive listening. By the end of the workshop, participants produced their own recorded stories in response to what they have listened to.


thinkFood Conference

ThinkFOOD started in 2014 and is a forum to bring thinkers, activists, entrepreneurs, and community members together for discussions on a range of topics. The event is a collaboration between the Center for Food Studies at Simon's Rock and the wider Berkshire community.

 Find out more about thinkFOOD

Women and Leadership Summit

The Women and Leadership Summit, held at Simon’s Rock, connected students from Bard College, Bard Microcollege Holyoke, and Simon’s Rock with ground-breaking women leaders from western Massachusetts. The day-long program explored urgent questions about women’s role in contemporary politics and everyday life.

 Read more about the Women and Leadership Summit