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2016-17 Academic Year


Block 1: Opening Convocation

Opening Convocation marks the beginning of Colorado College’s academic year and helps to welcome new students, the Class of 2020 


Block 2: Marlon James

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. In the work, James combines masterful storytelling with brilliant skill at characterization and an eye for detail to forge a bold novel of dazzling ambition and scope. He explores Jamaican history through the perspectives of multiple narrators and genres: the political thriller, the oral biography, and the classic whodunit confront the untold history of Jamaica in the 1970’s, with excursions to the assassination attempt on reggae musician Bob Marley, as well as the country’s own clandestine battles during the cold war. James cites influences as diverse as Greek tragedy, William Faulkner, the LA crime novelist James Ellroy, Shakespeare, Batman and the X-Men. Writing for The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani said of A Brief History of Seven Killings, “It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting—a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.” In addition to the Man Booker Prize, A Brief History of Seven Killings won the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.


Block 3: Marc Hetherington

Marc Hetherington is a Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. He studies the American electorate, with a particular focus on the polarization of public opinion. He is the author of three scholarly books, the most recent of which is titled Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2015), co-authored with Thomas J. Rudolph. This book won the Alexander George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology, as the best book in the field of political psychology published in the previous year. In addition, Marc has published numerous articles in a wide range of scholarly journals and won several college and university teaching awards.

Block 4: Richard Ross
Block 5: Russell Rickford
Block 6: A.O. Scott
Block 7: TBD
Block 8: Honors Conovation