American Flag broken up like puzzle pieces

Alumni College 2017: Division in America

Wednesday, May 31 – Thursday, June 1

The outcomes of recent elections illustrate there is an intense difference of opinion on many critical issues facing our country. The way we use language, the way we view and interpret data, and even the way we call ourselves to action can seem worlds apart. Are these differences irreconcilable? How did we get here and where do we go from here? How can we be hopeful and rise above these differences? Alumni College 2017 took a deeper dive into these questions and seeked to find answers that create understanding, empower and educate, helped us realize empathy for the “other,” and searched for ways we can bridge the gap.

Lectures and Workshops

The Framing of the Constitution 

George Drake '56,  president emeritus of the College and professor emeritus of history 

What Now?: A Political Economy Approach

William D. Ferguson '75, Gertrude B. Austin Professor of economics

Social Action Workshop: Three Competing Views and Integrating Them

Douglas Hess '91, assistant professor of political science

Just how polarized and divided is the American electorate?

Barbara A. Trish, professor of political science

Moving Forward: Building Community through Dialogue

Johanna Solomon, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Peace Studies

Previous Alumni College Topics

Alumni College 2016

Food sustains us, it binds us to each other, it provides a foundation for us culturally and intellectually.

Alumni came back to Grinnell and examined food like they probably never had before. They explored food as culture, food as ritual, food as choice. Along the way, they looked with new eyes on the decisions made about food, the way other cultures use food to sustain and identify, and the way our food, and our interaction with it, is changing and evolving.

Alumni College 2016 Faculty

Mark Levandoski, professor of chemistry
Todd Armstrong, professor of Russian
Leslie Lyons, professor of chemistry
Mark Laver, assistant professor of music