Club Turns Chaos into Deep Conversation

Last spring, Clara Kolker ’22 and Mia Romanoff ’22 were trying to make sense of the fractured cultural response to the pandemic and other news during an eventful year.

They realized they could do this by analyzing media in unique ways and that is how the Zeitgeist Club was born.

Kolker and Romanoff soon began holding virtual meetings. “By reading books and articles, watching movies, listening to music or podcasts, and examining all forms of media, this club aims to facilitate discussions about our current culture even as we continue to experience new things during these unprecedented times,” explained Kolker.

Zeitgeist has evolved since the spring, moving the focus from books to viewing films and other media. From politics to pop culture, discussions vary and are centered around a monthly theme. “We discussed the influence of meme culture in white nationalist circles after watching the documentary ‘Feels Good Man,’” said Kolker.

“Personally my favorite discussion we had was when we were reading “Flowers for Algernon.” There was a bit of a debate within the group about how traditional intelligence corresponded to emotional intelligence and how it was necessary to have both to function in our society,” said Romanoff.

They have also watched excerpts from the TV show "Euphoria" to discuss mental health, teen drug use, and the representation of different groups in the media.

“Clara and I thought that Masters would benefit from having a space in which we could dissect the media we were interacting with especially with the increase in media consumption with COVID,” added Romanoff.

“Our meetings are on an event-to-event basis, so we’ll have to see what 2021 brings!” said Kolker.

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