The first Summer Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies has come to an end. On Sunday, June 29th, the students flew home, armed with knowledge of the graduate school process, connections to mentors and other people in their field, and a semester’s worth of literary and cultural studies crammed into one month.
The last week started with a fun weekend. On Friday everyone went to the bowling alley, where we discovered a few students were secretly bowling pros. On Saturday evening, a bus took the students into Providence to see Waterfire. Waterfire is an event that happens in Providence every week or two in the summer, where braziers are lit down the middle of the river and music plays while gondolas take people through the water.
Sunday morning everyone headed out to Providence again, this time to the Save the Bay Center right on Narragansett Bay. A small boat took everyone on a tour of the bay and a visit to the salt marshes of Prudence Island.
Though there were no classes during the last week of the Institute, there were lecturers every day. Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Dr. Herman Beavers, Dr. Deyonne Bryant, Dr. Shawn Christian, Dr. Dennis Foster and Dr. April Langley all spoke to the students throughout the week. President Ronald Crutcher and Dr. Betty Crutcher also had a meeting with the students on Monday morning and hosted a dinner at their house Monday night.
On Friday, representatives from Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, Tufts University, Southern Methodist University, University of Missouri Columbia, and the University of Delaware arrived on campus for a graduate school fair. Students had individual interviews with the Directors of Graduate Studies from each university.
Saturday, the students had their symposium, where they presented their papers as if they were on a panel at a conference. This was the culmination of all of their work at the Institute and was an astounding success. Afterwards everyone met for a formal dinner on their final night together at the Institute, where they were presented with certificates marking their accomplishment.
By now everyone is back home, recovering from their action-packed month. Next year will bring with it a group of new students, and hopefully this year’s students will be able to come back and visit. Keep an eye on this space in the fall for more program profiles and the launch of our official SILCS podcast, where we will showcase some of the lecturers who spoke in June.