By Missy Parkinson.
Later this summer, New Harmony will be the site of the inaugural Summer Forum for Inquiry + Exchange. Thirty-five participants will gather July 21-28 to engage in an extended dialogue centered on the theme “Community, Utopia, and the Individual.”
Summer Forum is being organized by Chicago artist Sara Knox Hunter. As Founder and Director of Summer Forum, Hunter is exploring the creation of spaces for the exploration of culture and ideas. To find out more, visit www.summerforum.org.
Summer Forum will consist of a primary and secondary discussion each day, along with evening programming provided by one of five invited guests. A text or set of texts will be the basis of each discussion.
The dialogue generated during the week is the focal point of the Forum, empowering the engaged community and legitimating the spontaneous collaborative scholarship created in the space. The strength of the dialogue lies in the disciplinary diversity of the participants along with the concerted move away from specialization and instead toward generalized study.
Evening programming will be determined largely by the invited guests – Linh Dinh, Lucky Dragons, Timothy McCarthy, Marisa Olson, and Randall Szott – with most of it taking place in the Atheneum. These events will be open to the residents of New Harmony and the University of Southern Indiana community. Summer Forum is cosponsored by Historic New Harmony.
How did Hunter decide on New Harmony as the host space for Summer Forum? A friend told her about a visit made to New Harmony as part of an architecture class with Ben Nicholson at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hunter contacted Historic New Harmony and visited last spring. She was especially drawn to the utopian project of social reformer, Robert Owen. In Hunter’s words, “That community was committed to educational reform, scientific research, philosophy, and art – [New Harmony] seemed like the perfect place to try a similarly minded experiment almost 200 years later.”
Historic New Harmony is a unified program of the University of Southern Indiana and the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, www.usi.edu/hnh.
By Missy Parkinson.
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