While politically-oriented programming is often a big part of the Summer Institute series at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, this year politics takes even more of a center stage. Chairman of the institute Joseph Bower said that the subjects and speakers arose naturally during a planning process that began last summer.

Summer Institute chairman Joseph Bower. — Mark Lovewell

“Well, not surprisingly, at the end of the summer of 2016, we thought it would be important to reflect both on the election and also where things were headed.” Mr. Bower added that the speakers invited this summer represent a variety of political orientations. “We try very hard to present a balanced program,” he said.

The series begins on July 6, with Washington Transformation: Politics, Policies, Prospects. The event will feature a panel discussion with economist Allen Sinai, Stanley Fischer, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Kenneth Adelman, a defense policy analyst, who served as arms control negotiator during the Reagan administration.

“Compared to the typical Vineyard audience, these are relatively conservative speakers, so I think in some sense it’s going to be quite provocative,” Mr. Bower said, noting Mr. Adelman’s affiliation with the Reagan administration.

The August 3 lecture dissecting the 2016 election will also highlight diverse political perspectives, featuring Beth Myers, who was a campaign manager for Mitt Romney, alongside David Plouffe, who helped to manage Barack Obama’s campaign.

Harvard professor Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. speaks July 20.

Mr. Bower said that the final lecture in the series, Thieves of State, delivered by Sarah Chayes, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, reporter, and former advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should offer “a devastating discussion of corruption around the world and the costs that we pay because of it.”

He also mentioned “new neighbor” John Kerry who will be discussing his thoughts on the United States’ position in global affairs.

“I think his intent is to reflect on just the remarkable changes that are going on around the world and the role of the United States in these challenges,” Mr. Bower said.

Mr. Kerry will speak on July 27. The title of his talk is The Secretary’s Perspective: The US Role in a Tumultuous World.

Though Mr. Bower labeled this summer’s series “quite political compared to the previous summers” two lectures are not explicitly political in nature.

Stanley Fischer, vice chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve system, speaks July 6 as part of a panel.

On July 13, Helen Boaden, past director of BBC News and BBC Radio, will present a talk titled In Search of Unbiased Reporting. Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. will discuss personal histories in Roots: Understanding our Past on July 20.

All lectures are on Thursday evenings and will be followed by question and answer sessions and light receptions. The Institute will also offer a film series with screenings on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. at the Hebrew Center from July 9 to August 20. Taken together, Mr. Bower called the Institute “a contribution to the intellectual life of the Island during the summer.”

Mr. Bower said that the speakers in past years were impressed with Vineyard audiences.

“The people really are interested in the audience,” he said. “What they remark on is the Q&A period. They think the Vineyard audience is really much better than what they are used to, and that their questions are quite intelligent and thoughtful, probing.”

The first talk of the season, Washington Transformation, will occur on Thursday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Harriet B. Freedberg Learning Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center. The first film screening will be My Hero Brother on Sunday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.

For tickets and a full list of speakers and films, visit mvsummerinstitute.org.