Perkins students Katie Lewis and Pavielle Jenkins blog about their experiences in Cape Town during this week’s Perkins immersion trip to South Africa: Today was our first day in Cape Town, and all of us are in awe of how beautiful this city is. We started our day with a tour of Parliament and learned the similarities and differences between our government and South Africa's government. From there, we went to worship at Central Methodist Mission, where several Perkins students had the privilege of helping lead worship. One of the highlights of the service was the singing How Great is Our God together, with Bryson on the piano and lead vocal, Nicole on the violin, and the CMC worship [...]
Nicole Melki, a Master of Arts in Ministry candidate at Perkins, shares with us her experiences on an immersion trip to South Africa: “Our Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” – Nelson Mandela Music transcends when words are at loss. It has the power to heal, liberate and awaken the soul in a mysterious way – expressing the deepest pains and the deepest joys of the soul in unison. On Sunday, March 12, the immersion group from Perkins School of Theology had the privilege of visiting the Regina Mundi Catholic Church located in Soweto, South Africa. As the church began to sing, my soul and my heart became mysteriously filled with both pain and joy. I could [...]
An update from Amanda O., a first-year studying history and political science: I’m excited just to write about the past two days here! Yesterday we started our adventure by walking the National Mall, visiting the Washington Monument, and visiting the Supreme Court. Today it was time to get down to work. We got to the Library of Congress this morning after trudging through the first major winter storm this season. Before we even started digging into the papers, we were given a short guide on the ins and outs of using the collections at the Library. We looked at samples of primary sources (handwritten letters to George Washington, memos discussing Brown v. Board of Education (1954), decrees that document the [...]
An update from Michael R., a senior majoring in political science and English: It is axiomatic to say that architecture is an ennobling art form that helps people to live a better life by inspiring them through beauty. Part of the benefit of the research trip to Washington D.C. is the opportunity to tour the Supreme Court and the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Both buildings inspire us to be better researchers. The friezes inside the hearing room of the Supreme Court are flanked with the intellectual giants of the law and philosophy: Hammurabi, Solomon, Solon, Draco, Octavian, Justinian, Hugo Grotius, William Blackstone, and John Marshall. Chiseled into marble these representations remind us that our work about [...]
An update from Destiny Rose M., a sophomore triple major in political science, English and philosophy, and double minor in public policy and international affairs and human rights: Today was our first day researching in the papers of the Justices, and I am happy to report that I have come out alive on the other side! I was terrified when I requested my first boxes, and the fear did not leave me until about five boxes in. I have been preparing for this trip since my first semester at SMU, so I was incredibly nervous that I would finally get into the primary documents and suddenly have no idea what I was doing or how to move forward. Thankfully, Chief [...]
An update from Emily Anne O., a junior double majoring in marketing and political science: Washington D.C. has welcomed us with a winter wonderland! We arrived in DC last night to a flood of warnings about a big storm that was supposedly on its way. After making it safely to our hotel, we dropped our luggage and set out to tour the Library of Congress and the surrounding area before the weather hit. We took a quick peek into the Manuscript Reading Room in the Madison Building (one of the three buildings in the Library of Congress), which is where we are conducting our research, and registered our reading cards. We also stopped by the Jefferson Building and tooled around [...]
An update from Hailey B., a junior with double majors in Political Science and Public Policy, and minors in Business Administration and Law and Legal Reasoning: Yesterday I walked 10 miles. Today I walked through inches of snow. I also saw Thomas Jefferson’s hair and a recipe sent to George Washington describing how to cook beaver tails. Needless to say we have experienced so much in two short (or maybe long) days. Our trip began bright and early Monday morning with a 6 a.m. departure. We made it into the city with time to register for our readers’ cards at the Library of Congress and make the quick trip over to the Supreme Court. After spending so many hours pouring [...]
Associate Professor of Political Science Joe Kobylka and the students in his Honors Program class “The Supreme Court Seminar” are spending six days in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., doing research in the papers of former Supreme Court Justices. Each student has developed a unique research topic, question, and design, and will use the justices’ papers to find evidence to help answer the question and write a culminating original research paper.