A few of the guest speakers included in the 2019 College of the Atlantic Champlain Institute are, from left, Imbolo Mbue, Sheila Canby, Julián Zugazagoitia, Ashley James, and John Wilmerding.A few of the guest speakers included in the 2019 College of the Atlantic Champlain Institute are, from left, Imbolo Mbue, Sheila Canby, Julián Zugazagoitia, Ashley James, and John Wilmerding.

Curated around a different topic each year, the Institute invites scholars, writers, and thought leaders to weigh in on the most pressing issues of our time. This summer’s speakers include award-winning novelists Imbolo Mbue and Christina Baker Kline, Tribeca Film Festival Executive Director Nancy Shafer, New York Times food editor Sam Sifton, and others.

“For the first two years of the Champlain Institute, we used the lenses of democracy and foreign affairs to survey the current political landscape,” said COA Dean of Institutional Advancement Lynn Boulger. “This year, I’m excited to use the power of artistic expression as the lens through which we explore the ways soft power, government surveillance, social uprisings, and religious understanding can change minds and influence movements.”

Africa Pop Studio curator Hannah Traore speaks with Ashley James, curator of the Brooklyn Museum, during their presentation "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Time of Black Power" during the 2019 COA Champlain Institute.Africa Pop Studio curator Hannah Traore speaks with Ashley James, curator of the Brooklyn Museum, during their presentation "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Time of Black Power" during the 2019 COA Champlain Institute.

The 2019 Champlain Institute opens on July 29 with ”Bloomsbury: Private Consciousness and Social Conscience,“ an exploration of art and dissent with artist and writer Julian Bell and Washington Post senior editor Frances Stead Sellers. Multiple events follow each day, featuring guests such as U.S. Department of State director of film, TV, and digital media programs Catherine Brown Collins, historical scholar Ted Widmer, filmmaker Bryn Mooser, former Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Patti Cadby Birch, art historian John Wilmerding, Brooklyn Museum curator Ashley James, Africa Pop Studio curator Hannah Traore, and Nelson-Atkins Museum director and CEO Julián Zugazagoitia, and Humanity in Action founder Judith Goldstein.

All Institute events will be held in the Champlain Institute tent at the Kathryn W. Davis Center for International & Regional Studies on COA’s South campus. Registration for the free series of events is now available to COA Champlain Society members and opens to the general public June 1. For more registration information and a complete schedule of events, click here.