Ivy Kuhrman spent five weeks exploring the art and culture of Paris, France. Her coursework included a class in contemporary French cinema, which offered insight into the lives of both native and immigrant communities in France and how their experiences are portrayed in national film of the last few decades. She also took a course in art history, which involved visiting the art museums and monuments of Paris, both well known and obscure. Both courses enabled her to hone the writing skills that will enhance her abilities as a Communications Major with a concentration in Journalism and as an Art Museum Studies Minor. Both courses required independent study culminating in oral presentations, useful practice for a student whose career interests in museum education would require verbally sharing her findings and contemplations. In addition to her studies, Ivy explored French newspapers and magazines, comparing their styles, formats, and top stories, both local and international, to those featured in US media outlets. She also worked to improve her French language skills by conversing with locals, especially with the hostess of her homestay, a retired woman with a rich personal history. On the weekends, Ivy traveled to other destinations in northern France. She visited the chateaux of the Loire Valley, the battlefields of Normandy, and the unique village of Mont Saint Michel, in order to learn about their roles in world history.
CEE Title: PREACH: Understanding Religion's Contribution to Culture
"PREACH: Understanding Religion's Contribution to Culture" was a panel discussion on the topic of religion. Representatives of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam discussed topics ranging from art and music to intolerance and misconception. Panelists included a Muslim Chatham graduate student, a Hindu father and daughter team, a Buddhist monk, and a woman who has adopted the practice of Buddhism. Not only did the discussion highlight the uniqueness of each of these religions, it also shone light upon their similarities. Chatham students, faculty, and staff--as well as other local community members like a pastor, an Imam, and another Buddhist Monk--came to listen. By the end of the discussion, it was clear that differing religious views did not have to lead to conflict. In fact, spirituality associated with any faith can bring people together. The evening also consisted of a six-word-memoir activity. Each audience member received a card on which they could write a six-word phrase about what religion or religious tolerance meant to them. The room was already decorated with cards that had been filled out during the weeks prior to the CEE by people on Chatham's campus. At the end of the discussion, the panelists and a few brave audience members shared their six words with the group. We are currently in the process of photographing the cards so that they can be uploaded to our CEE's website: http://preachproject.tumblr.com.