Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Academic Talk with Professor Steve Swayne

At the end of the summer term, Tri-Kap held a talk with Steve Swayne titled: "What Ferguson Means/How Ferguson Feels: The Thoughts of a First-Generation African-American College Kid Who Became a Dartmouth Professor." This talk lasted 3 hours and was attended by almost the entire active summer brotherhood, other undergraduate students, graduate students, and a college administrator. 

Professor Swayne, Chair of the Music Department and a Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music, discussed the current state of affairs in Ferguson and why that impacts everyone, even students far away at Dartmouth College. Professor Swayne, who grew up facing discrimination as a gay black man, told stories of his life and at multiple points was close to tears.

A packed house listening to Professor Swayne

His talk started by going around and having everyone in the room introducing themselves. Then he spoke for about 45 minutes before opening it up to become more of a conversation. After about another hour the formal aspect of the conversation ended and some people left, but still about 10 people stayed for another hour and talked further with Professor Swayne about this and tangential issues. 

Professor Swayne, in an email after the event, said it felt like one of the more important things he has done while at Dartmouth. 

Yours in Kappa,
Brian Chalif '16
Summer Academic Chair

No comments: