What is Chautauqua?

Eastern Kentucky University's Chautauqua Lecture Series is entering its seventeenth year. Like the original Chautauqua Institution in New York, it has the goals of:

  • Refreshing minds
  • Renewing intellectual curiosity
  • Encouraging individual expression
  • Promoting civil discourse.

President Theodore Roosevelt said that Chautauqua was "the most American of institutions," and John Vincent wrote that it was the aim of the Chautauqua Institution to "take people on all sides of their natures and make them new, more intelligent and thoughtful in a world of ideas." We agree. Adding to this original vision, we also:

  • Explore a single, significant idea
  • Educate by engaging people
  • Challenge individuals to explore their assumptions
  • Provide a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

The 2016-2017 Chautauqua Lecture Series at Eastern Kentucky University explores the challenging and age-old theme of “Order and Chaos,” in relation to a wide and interdisciplinary variety of interests and approaches, including philosophy and psychology, national and global politics, personal struggles and cultural identities, artistic and musical expression, evolutionary theory and cosmology. This year, we welcome sixteen distinguished scholars, critics, scientists, journalists, poets, artists and musicians—from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, from across the nation, and from across the ocean. Plus, of course, the always fascinating National Juried Art Exhibition on the series theme. Join us for a year of stimulating ideas, eye-opening explorations, and engaging discussions.


All Chautauqua Lectures are Free and Open to the Public.

Lectures are at 7:30 PM in O'Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building. See full 2016-2017 schedule for dates and locations.

Meet & Greet with Chautauqua Speakers in Crabbe Library 201, 5:00-5:45 PM on day of lecture.

Free Parking is available on campus in Employee and Visitor lots: See campus map.

Open