In Critical Encounters, we read Plato’s Symposium in which various Athenian luminaries, including Socrates, have gathered to feast, drink and celebrate the tragedian Agathon’s recent victory in Athen’s annual drama competition. After dinner, they decide (instead of drinking to get drunk) to give speeches about the nature of love. Based on this model, modern symposiums bring together various specialists to deliver short prepared addresses on a particular topic or theme. As part of Critical Encounters, students have their own symposium dinner with their CE Recitation group and deliver their own Symposium speeches.
Building on this common experience, Andrews Hall has a tradition of holding 1-2 public symposiums per year in our Common Room. The Symposium Student Committee selects a group of students (usually one from each year plus a 5th student), along with a faculty guest, to present their ideas on a selected topic.
Past topics have included…