Bard Clemente Course in the Humanities

The Clemente Course

The Clemente Course

The Clemente Course provides accredited college-level instruction to economically and educationally disadvantaged individuals at no cost. Participants study literature, art history, moral philosophy, and U.S. history in an accessible and welcoming community setting.

Our Mission

The program is based on the belief that by studying the humanities, participants acquire the cultural capital, conceptual skills, and appreciation for reasoned discourse necessary to improve their societal situation. Clemente students receive 110 hours of instruction in five humanistic disciplines and explore the great works of literature, art history, moral philosophy, and American history. Instruction in critical thinking and writing is also offered.

"The humanities are a foundation for getting along in the world,
for thinking, for learning to reflect on the world
instead of just reacting to whatever force is turned against you.
I think the humanities are one of the ways to become political..."

— Earl Shorris, Clemente Course founder, from Riches for the Poor

Deadlines 2019

The application deadline for the Kingston Fall Clemente Course is September 23, 2019. If you miss the deadline, please contact Marina van Zuylen at

The fall 2019 course begins on Tuesday, October 1 and takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY 12401. To contact the Kingston Library, please call 845-331-0507.

Applications can be picked up from the Kingston Library or downloaded here. Once you’ve submitted your application and it’s been processed, we will let you know if you’ve been accepted. There is a required Bard Clemente info/interview session that will be held on Tuesday, September 24 and Thursday, September 26 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at the Kingston Public Library. Please come to one of the two info/interview sessions and do indicate which session. 

Once the application is completed, please email it to Marina van Zuylen: or drop it off at the front desk of the Kingston Public Library at 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY 12401.