- Beyond the Classroom
- Speakers and Events
A big part of the campus experience is listening, discussing, and wrestling with ideas.
So, we host global leaders throughout the year in fields ranging from dance to environmental
And you'll get a chance to hear what they have to say. You’ll connect with them in
master classes, public lectures, and small-group discussions. We're also interested
in the local happenings of Great Barrington and the Berkshires, and we'll make sure you can access them. 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.
W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture
Simon's Rock honors the memory and legacy of this native son of Great Barrington by
creating W.E.B. Du Bois scholarships for outstanding minority students and sponsoring
a regular W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture Series.
Listening with the Refugee
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.
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
The Book One program at Simon’s Rock asks incoming students to read the first book
of the General Education program and their college careers over the summer. Each year,
a book is selected based on suitability for promoting interdisciplinary conversations
about the intersection of cultures. The author comes to campus to speak during the
first week of the fall semester to offer insight into the inspiration for, thinking
behind, and creative process that resulted in the book, as well as to give incoming
students, as well as the entire community, the chance to ask questions of the author.
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 a book to which he contributed
a chapter based on multiple rounds of field research in western China between 2004
and 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.
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.