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September 15, 2016 : "Rehearsing Empathy" - Kennedy Lecture Series


2016Kennedy Lecture Series - Rehearsing Empathy


Honoring 70 years of Culture and Memory, a theme for the Ohio University Chillicothe campus this year, OUC will hold its annual Kennedy Lecture on Thursday, October 6, 2016. The Lecture will take place at 1PM in Bennett Hall Auditorium.


Dr. Matt Saltzberg, theatre director and educator, will give a lecture titled “Rehearsing Empathy.” The talk will explore educators’ relationships with students, highlighting empathy as the means of strengthening those connections.


Saltzberg believes that educators need to be more aware of and attuned to their physical presence, their bodies, and the bodies in the room with them, especially in how they relate to students. He says, “in the Western world we’re so removed from our body,” as products of Enlightenment thinking influenced by Rene Descartes’s proposition “I think, therefore I am.” But empathy is in the body, according to Saltzberg.


For the theatre director and educator, an act as simple as greeting students by name on their way into the classroom can make a significant impact not only on the relationships between student and teacher, but also on the student’s outlook on her day and life in general. Educators have a responsibility to their students preceding even sharing and creating knowledge with them: “We have to treat students like people,” Saltzberg says.


The annual Kennedy Lecture at OUC aims to attract nationally recognized speakers who share expertise from diverse fields. Funded through an Ohio University grant, previous speakers include: author Dr. Miki Crawford, who presented work from her book Japanese War Brides in America: An Oral History, historian Dr. Charles McKinney, who spoke on recent civil rights issues, and Russian-American political scholar, Dr. George Hudson.

Teachers, students, and community members are welcome to the free lecture. Seating in the auditorium is first-come, first-served.


Deb Nickles
Assistant Professor
Cultural Committee Chair
Ohio University Chillicothe
101 University Drive
Chillicothe, OH 45601