Two decades ago, a group of high school sophomores ventured to Bloomington, Indiana for the first-ever Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar (TASS). In the years since, we’ve seen hundreds of students take part in the life-changing experience that is a summer at TASS, moving on to become leaders among their peers and in their communities. With 20 years of TASS seminars achieved and many more to come, the Telluride Association believes we have something to celebrate. On October 18th -20th, 2013, TASS alumni, former professors, administrators, and others gathered at Indiana University to commemorate the 20th anniversary, to discuss the future of the TASS program, and to celebrate what has – and what can be – accomplished.


The 3-day program featured a variety of activities, including keynote speaker Duke University Professor Karla FC Holloway, panel discussions, exhibits, and a reunion of fellow program alumni over food and drink! Specific activities included:


  • A moderated panel discussion of the past and present of TASS.
  • An exhibit of images and interviews from participants over the past 20 years
  • Opportunities to network
  • Opportunities to mix and mingle with fellow alumni over dinner, at parties, and on outings


Photographs from the TASS@20 Celebration: TASS at 20


TASS@20 | Speakers


Karla FC Holloway
Karla FC Holloway
Karla FC Holloway is James B.Duke Professor of English at Duke University. She also holds appointments in the Law School, Women’s Studies and African & African American Studies. Her research and teaching interests focus on African American cultural studies, biocultural studies, gender, ethics and law.


Professor Holloway serves on the boards of the Greenwall Foundation’s Advisory Board in Bioethics, the Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, and the Princeton University Council on the Study of Women and Gender. She is an affiliated faculty with the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life and the Trent Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities. She has served as Dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Chair (and member) of Duke’s Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee, and as an elected member of the Academic Council and its Executive Council. She is founding co-director of the John Hope Franklin Center and the Franklin Humanities Institute.


Professor Holloway is the author of eight books, including Passed On: African-American Mourning Stories (2002) and BookMarks–Reading in Black and White, A Memoir (2006), completed during a residency in Bellagio, Italy as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.BookMarks was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for non-fiction.


Professor Holloway spent Spring 2008 as Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at Harvard University’s DuBois Institute. The book she completed during that fellowship, Private Bodies/Public Texts: Race, Gender, & a Cultural Bioethics, was published in 2011 by Duke U Press. Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literatures will be published by Duke Press in 2013.


Professor Holloway was recently elected to the Hastings Center Fellows Association–a selective group of leading researchers who have made a distinguished contribution to the field of bioethics. She currently serves as a member of Duke University’s Board of Trustee’s Committee on Honorary Degrees.


Read an interview with Professor Holloway


TASS@20 | Program of Activities


Friday, October 18
Location @ IU Art Museum | 1133 E 7th St, Bloomington, IN 47405


7:00p Welcoming Reception
7:30p Opening Remarks
8:30p TASS Retrospective Exhibit
9:00p Opening Reception


Saturday, October 19 
Location @ W. W. Wright Education Building 201 North Rose Avenue Bloomington, IN 47405

9:45a – 11:30a

Panel: Past and Present of TASS @ Wendell W. Wright School of Education AuditoriumRosamond S. King, SP91 CB92
Brittany Smith, SS06
Vernon Mitchell, SS95
Diana Louis, SS01
Tiffany Yizar, SS01, SP02
Esa Tilija-Indiana , SS13

11:45a- 12:45p


1:00p – 2:30p

Race Films in a ‘Post-Race’ America Film Studies and Critical Spectatorship at TASS@20

2:45p- 4:45p

Black History Mobile 101
4:15p – 5:15p

Campus Tour

Location @ Holiday Inn 1710 N. Kinser Pike Bloomington Indiana 47404

6:00p – 7:00p


7:15 – 8: 30p

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Karla FC Holloway, James B. Duke Professor of English and Professor of Law at Duke University

Q & A

9:00p -12:00am

Post-keynote address reception/party


Sunday, October 20
Location @ Holiday Inn 1710 N. Kinser Pike Bloomington Indiana 47404 


9:30a – 11:30a

Reflection and Farewell Brunch Event
The Future of TASS: Conversations on (Re) engaging, and (Re) committing
participants will be encouraged to not only consider the future of TASS, it’s relationship to other parts of Telluride Association, but also their individuals contributions to the TASS program going forward.


TASS@20 | FAQs


Why is the reunion being held at Indiana University?
Indiana University is the inaugural site for the TASS. To recognize this history, and to honor the long- standing commitment of Indiana University to TASS, this location seems most appropriate.


How much is the reunion going to cost me?
Telluride pays for half of hotel cost (plus, of course, food during the program). There are limited travel scholarships, so apply early if you nee d it! If you’re flying in, the closest airport is Indianapolis International, 46 miles away.


What should I wear to the reunion?
Business Casual.


Will you help me encourage people from my cohort to attend?
Yes, in addition,we encourage everyone to change their Facebook or other social media avatars to the avatar attached to this email. Also, the avatar can be downloaded from this one pager, and/or can be saved from our Facebook page.



TASS@20 | Logistics


The events of the weekend will be held at three locations: Indiana Art Museum (directions here), Holiday Inn-Bloomington, Indiana (directions here), and the W.W. Wright Education Building: 201 North Rose Avenue Bloomington, IN 47405.


We will provide shuttle transportation to and from each location at designated times.


For those who plan on flying, the closest airport is the Indianapolis International Airport, which is approximately 60 minutes away.


Ground Transportation

BloomingtonShuttle.com (812-332-6004 OR 800-589-6004):
The Bloomington Shuttle offers service from the airport to Bloomington from 6:40am to 10:40pm and costs $15 for one-way fare. Check the Bloomington Shuttle website for more information about this service, a shuttle schedule, and frequently asked questions. The Bloomington Shuttle provides direct service from the airport to three locations on IU’s campus: McNutt Center, Willkie Center, and the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU). Select the Indiana Memorial Union.


(812-876-7851 OR 1-800-933-0097):
Star of America offers service from the airport to Bloomington from 6:20am to 10:20pm and costs $15 for one-way fare. Check the Star of America website for more information about this service, and a shuttle schedule. Star of America provides direct service from the airport to four locations on IU’s campus: McNutt Center, Read Center, Eigenmann Center, and the Indiana Memorial Union (IMU). Select the Indiana Memorial Union.


Once you have made your shuttle arrangements be sure to contact thomas.marshall.miller@gmail.com to arrange pick up.


*Telluride may be able to pay some of your travel costs (the amount depends on your TASS cohort, and whether you were a student, tutor, or faculty). Please let us know as soon as possible, and in any event by September 15, if you plan to attend the Celebration. 


To make your room reservation please call the Holiday Inn directly or copy and paste link: http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/bloomington/bmgkp/hoteldetail?groupCode=TEL 


Telluride Association will pay for half of the room costs once you turn in your receipt. Lodging Information:
Holiday Inn Bloomington 1710 N Kinser Pike | Bloomington, IN 47404
Office: 812-334-3252 $109/night for two queen beds.
Reservations must be made by 9/18/2013 


Hors d’oeuvres will be served on Friday. On Saturday, Telluride is hosting lunch and dinner, and brunch on Sunday.


TASS@20 | Support TASS





To make a gift to Telluride Association in celebration of TASS@20, please click here.


To earmark your donation for a particular purpose, please specify the following choice in the “Designation” field of the online interface:


TASS at 20 Fund (expanding TASS)


We also welcome contributions by mail, payable to Telluride Association, Inc., and sent to:

Telluride Association, Inc.
1735 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


If you prefer to contribute anonymously, the online interface provides that option, and we will preserve the anonymity of donations by mail upon request.


Thank you for helping us bring Telluride to a new generation of students.

TASS@20 | Interview with Dr Karla FC Holloway


TASS @ 20 Interview with Dr. Karla FC Holloway


interviewed by Theo Foster, SS03 SP04 TA09


Theo Foster (TF): What is worthwhile about a commemorative event such as TASS@20? The year 2013 is a pivotal one for anniversaries with the city of Birmingham, AL commemorating “Fifty Years Forward” since its crucial role during the Civil Rights Movement and also in August of 2013 a commemoration of the 1963 March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom will take place in Washington D.C. Thirty years after 1963, a non-profit educational organization initiated a summer program that would bear the fruits of that social movement with a commitment to and interest in diversity at its core.


As we reflect on this moment twenty years since the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar began offering seminars in African American Studies to youth of color across the United States and world, what are your thoughts on this trajectory? From social movements commemorated fifty years later in 2013 to a Telluride program that exists because of the demands for greater diversity, inclusion and opportunity, how do we assess and remember the impact of these movements and programs? 


Professor Karla FC Holloway (KH):

Mindfulness is particularly important to me. And it doesn’t just mean a contemporary awareness, but a consistent reflection on how our present has been shaped by the past. For me, this 50 year anniversary of major events in the Civil Rights movement comes with very poignant memories of that era, not just the national moments we all recall, but the shifts in culture and opportunity that are telescoped by that moment and an anniversary such as the one TASS celebrates. Seen as a touchstone of that movement, and placed into that context, TASS is both responsive to the events of the Civil Rights era and responsible to it. So an anniversary like the one you celebrate means an opportunity and a responsibility for critical assessment, looking at goals and objectives, seeing how they match not only the original goals, but how they reflect the contemporary moment. Being mindful of the past places us into a necessarily courageous critique of our contemporary situation. So TASS@20 is a time for appropriate celebration, a consideration of your place in the tributaries of Civil Rights activism, and a contemplative assessment of how the activities of today match that history. Bur also means a frank assessment of today’s political cultures, and what that will mean for TASS.



(TF):TASS@20 will provide an opportunity for former participants of the Telluride Association Sophomore Seminar to reconnect years after the shared experiences of hot and humid Indiana and Michigan summer living on campus, intense intellectual exchange in and outside of seminar and a host of transformative teenage experiences. With twenty years of TASS cohorts that have since become dynamic young professional educators, lawyers, entrepreneurs, doctors, actors and more, this is a unique opportunity to fellowship once again.


For hundreds of youth, Telluride Association has certainly enabled students to develop their potential for leadership and public service. As professors, students and tutors reconnect, what questions and thoughts do you have as someone who has observed Telluride Association’s programs indirectly?


(KH):I’d be interested in knowing how you archive these experiences, how you make certain that your communities are not only memories but have some way of helping future TASS scholars understand that leadership, friendships, mentoring has a long history that has to be nurtured. I wonder if students have changed their minds about anything they were absolutely certain of when they were a TASS scholar, and if they’ve noticed that, what that tells them about certainty. And I wonder what’s the last book you’ve read. (Me? My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor).



(TF):In 2013, we acknowledge the immense progress that has been made in relation to greater diversity, inclusion and opportunity throughout various public and private sectors in our communities. However, new and ongoing challenges present many barriers for youth of color that TASS continues to counter through full scholarship opportunities for youth in non-traditional areas of study that directly engage difficult questions of race, gender, and class in an interdisciplinary manner. In the face of a growing sense of colorblind ideology, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the systematic dismantling of affirmative action, what is the importance of recommitment to programs, opportunities and discussions that interrogate the diversity of the Black experience and issues of race, gender and inequality? Having been an educator, scholar and administrator in higher education, how do you view the future of opportunities such as TASS?


(KH):I disagree with your premise that studying race, class, gender, (and I would add sexualities) are non-traditional areas of scholarship. Of course they were in the sixties and probably through the eighties. However, I’d argue that the late twentieth and twentyfirst century institutionalization of these areas of scholarship opens the question of how the newly (re)emergent fictions of “post-racial,” “color-blind” etc. are wistful reactions to that institutionalization. So I’d want to interrogate the politics of the contemporary narratives of post-racial. (I do this in my forthcoming book, Legal Fictions). I have to say I’m not particularly compelled by a politics of “Recommitment.” It feels like legitimization. That’s a politics from a past. I’d spend my time claiming the authority of the present. The future of TASS would mean, I think, making these discussions normative rather than exceptional.