Faculty from Miami University of Ohio will join Chautauqua Institution this summer as part of a new collaboration aimed at building a long-term relationship between the two organizations.
The program kicks off with a post-lecture conversation lead by Faculty Fellow James Tobin from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, in Smith Wilkes Hall. Tobin is a journalism professor specializing in literary journalism and narrative history.
“We think this will provide Chautauquans with an additional intellectual resource to support their investigation of the topics and perspectives of our speakers,” said Emily Morris, vice president of marketing and communications and chief brand of officer.
Morris hopes the post-lecture conversations act as a “programmatic supplement” for Chautauquans.
“We think it may also provide an opportunity for new Chautauquans to meet others and create connections,” she said.
In addition to leading discussions in the community, the Faculty Fellows are charged with developing a model to incorporate the Institution into their university.
“At Miami, there wasn’t much knowledge about what Chautauqua is or what it does, so if we were to establish a collaboration, there had to be a core of faculty who understood the purpose and mission of Chautauqua,” Tobin said.
What that collaboration entails is still up in the air. For now, the focus is on actively engaging in the “Chautauqua Experience.”
“We are hopeful that (the fellows) will be able to share their experience directly with other faculty and also envision ways that more Miami students might experience Chautauqua,” Morris said.
Tobin hopes to bring more faculty onto the grounds.
“I know that the benefactor and the Institution is looking at something that will benefit the faculty, too, and something that might even extend outside of the grounds as well,” he said. “It might be Chautauqua programming that takes place at Miami.”
The program evolved after a Chautauquan and Miami University alumnus introduced Miami Dean of Arts & Sciences Christopher A. Makaroff to the Institution last summer.
“We had the opportunity to discuss some of our common goals and values, and we decided to further investigate ways that we could collaborate,” Morris said.
The Faculty Fellows became a reality after a generous donation. Tobin is the first of three Faculty Fellows scheduled throughout Weeks One, Two and Five.
Kimberly Hamlin will lead the post-lecture conversation from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on July 5 and July 6 in Hurlbut Sanctuary. Week Five’s discussions will be led by Steven Conn on July 25 and July 26 at the same time and location.
Tobin will hold his second discussion from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27 in Smith Wilkes Hall.
“I hope by the end of next week I will have the start of some good ideas about what we’d like to do between Miami and the Institution,” Tobin said. “We have to take a ‘sky’s the limit’ approach.”