Yale for Life
Yale: An Eclectic History
June 9-15, 2019
This spectacular program will be an eclectic intellectual ramble through Yale itself: a course that can only be taught here on-campus at Yale! We will explore (literally, bring your walking shoes!) Yale’s social history, its stunning art and architecture, its maps, photos, literature and its many treasures, collections… and secrets. This field-trip-centric, “movable feast” of Yale will dazzle you with Yale’s depth and scope, its immense impact, its romance and tumult, and the amazing richness that an institution can achieve over more than three centuries. We will learn about relations between Yale and Yale people — from Ezra Stiles and Noah Webster to Cole Porter, Henry Roe Cloud, and Maya Lin. And we will examine Yale’s (ongoing) centrality within American society and culture — Elihu Yale and the global eighteenth century; Benjamin Silliman and the emergence of American science; Walter Camp, Dink Stover, and the all-American boy; Henry Luce and the information age; faith and ideology in postwar Yale and America. Until you spend this week with us, you really don’t know Yale! We are delighted to have as our week-long lead faculty: Edward (Ned) Cooke, Charles F. Montgomery Professor of the History of Art, Director of the Center of Study in American Decorative Arts and Material Culture, and Professor of American Studies; and Jay Gitlin, Senior Lecturer History & Associate Director Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers & Borders, who teaches the extremely popular, and always over-enrolled, undergraduate history seminar, “Yale and America.” They will be joined by impressive slate of guest faculty and leaders of extraordinary field trips and special events.
Our Lead Faculty:
Our seminars with lead faculty are supplemented by additional seminars with amazing guest instructors. These scholars bring a variety of different perspectives to our subject, from Yale’s architecture to the lore of the Secret Societies, and more. Yale for Life continues its emphasis on interdisciplinary study, not only through the variety in the core syllabus, but through these world-class leaders of Yale’s intellectual portfolio.
Several more exciting guest professors will be announced very shortly!
All Yale for Life courses actually start months before our June meeting. After registration, you will receive all books and scholarly articles for the course, and will immerse yourself in great works curated by our faculty. “The Dark Arts of Civilization” is no exception, with works ranging from contemporaneous writings to great books written by your own Yale for Life professors. Primary sources will mix with authoritative texts to produce night after night of joy as you prepare for your return to the life of the mind.
One of Yale for Life’s unique and most beloved features are our Special Events; sessions at a number of Yale’s well-known (such as the Yale Art Gallery) or less-known (such as a 2012 session at the not-yet-processed Kissinger Papers) centers of collection and learning. “The Dark Arts of Civilization” is no exception. We are keeping some surprises up our sleeve, but here is a taste:
Yale’s legendary Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the largest Rare Book library in the world, will open its vaults to Yale for Life, with a dazzling array of treasures reflecting themes of our course. Just a taste: how about a 1603 copy of Montaigne, or a Shakespeare First Folio? Kathryn James, Curator of Early Modern and Osborn Collections, will be our guide as your breath is taken away.
Yale’s Map Collection is without peer, and we just happen to have the leading expert on Renaissance-era maps, Professor Ayesha Ramachandran. She will bring her unique insights, as detailed in her award-winning book on the subject, and you will see these maps “in the flesh,” now armed with a new “perspective.”
Beyond the Classroom
Everything that happens during the Yale for Life program is colored by the fact that it takes place at Yale. Learn more about the experience!