A Colgate First: Humanities Conference

Lauren Breitenother

This spring, Colgate University will host an Undergraduate Conference in the Humanities focusing on Human Ideals and Cultural Expression. Director of the Division of the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy Jon Jacobs has been working with a student committee to create the multidisciplinary conference. The student committee, comprised of seniors Maura McClelland, Jonathan Arsenault, Eli Rubin and junior Suzie Taffe, will help select the 12 papers to be presented at the conference. At the conference, the 12 chosen papers will be presented, with questions and a discussion time to follow. Two papers will be presented simultaneously to allow students a choice of topics. The conference is intended to initiate dialogue between students from Colgate and various other universities. Jacobs was inspired to plan this broad-ranging conference to engage students across the humanities disciplines in intellectual conversation. “Hopefully, this colloquium will give Colgate students a chance to appreciate their own work not for the sake of a grade, but rather simply recognizing its own merit,” Rubin said. The conference, scheduled for April 1-3, will begin with keynote speaker Professor Michael V. Moses from Duke University. Moses is widely published in various fields including English, political philosophy and economics. His books include Modernism and Colonialism: British and Irish Literature, and he has written articles for South Atlantic Quarterly, The Weekly Standard and Modern Fiction Studies. In the past, Jacobs has organized Philosophy Colloquiums with students from a diverse range of schools including Harvard, New Hampshire and the University of Virginia. For this Conference, “A Call for Papers” has been extended to approximately 30 schools, ranging from small liberal arts schools to large universities. Ideally, students from many colleges will join Colgate students in creating a forum with diverse ideas and students. “This [event] is really an opportunity for Colgate students to discuss topics of interest among themselves and students from other schools,” Jacobs said. Jacobs and the student committee hope to attract papers from many students in various disciplines. The papers, due February 15th, should take about 20 minutes to read, which is equivalent to approximately 10 written pages. Selections will be based upon relevance to the topic of Human Ideals and Cultural Expression, interest and quality. “Students don’t have to write a new paper for this conference,” Jacobs said. “They can use papers from their courses.” All students are encouraged to submit papers or help in the organization of the conference. Anyone interested in participating can contact Jacobs or other members of the committee. Papers should be sent to Humanities Conference, Division of the Humanities, Lawrence Hall through campus mail.