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Tulane Honors Program

Friday, August 25, 2006

Looking for HOT TOPICS!

It is truly exciting times here at Tulane! The quiet of summer has given way to the marching band practicing on the quad, the arrival of freshmen on campus, and even the arrival of the slick new pool table and Popular Mechanics electronics at Butler Hall. Today was the first of three open houses held at the office of the Honors Program. A number of the incoming freshmen with their parents stopped by and it was a thrill to meet everyone and to talk about the future of the program.
Now that the semester is truly gearing up, I write specifically to invite all Honors students to begin thinking about topics and/or faculty that they would like to see in the upcoming season of roundtables to be held at Butler.
Beginning in September, we will host two roundtables per month and instead of bringing in a single faculty member, we hope to bring together 2-3 faculty members to discuss a central issue with students. The Honors Program is proposing two overarching topics that can then be enhanced even further by suggestions from you. The two topics are "The Savvy Spectator" and "Corporation and Community." In the first case, we envision a number of roundtables that will address pop culture. We are currently in the process of organizing a first roundtable on cinema. Future topics could address any type of cultural expression from hip hop to sporting events to sitcoms and the ways in which these media reflect, influence and challenge cultural norms and social structures. In the second case, we expect to generate a series of roundtables that will consider the relationship between business and society. Immediate general topics that come to mind include company responsibility in light of environmental issues and, of course, the great debate surrounding the global economy. I'm sure that many of you out there have plenty of ideas about how to flesh out these two themes and I hope you have other topics beyond these themes that you would like to propose.

Consider this a call for hot topics. We are looking for Honors students interested in proposing and organizing one or more roundtables on topics of interest to them either under the umbrella of the proposed themes or outside of them -- you decide! I am also interested in working on new ways to assure that a true and lively dialogue occurs between students and faculty during roundtables. Maybe students should be moderators of the roundtables? Maybe one or two should be included as members of the roundtable? Maybe students should meet to discuss a given topic BEFORE the actual roundtable occurs? Only you can tell us what would be most effective and most interesting. Maybe a mixture of the above, maybe something we haven't yet imagined. I look forward to hearing from you.

And don't forget: NEW AND RETURNING STUDENTS ALONG WITH FACULTY ARE INVITED TO THE HONORS PROGRAM OPEN HOUSE ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 31 AND FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 FROM 3-4:30. Drop by for coffee, juice, cookies and discussion. Share with all your ideas about the future format and content of the roundtable series!


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    By Blogger mark, at 2:12 PM  

  • wow, comment spam.

    Anyway, the roundtable on cinema especially really interested me. I'd love to help you make that happen in any way possible.

    By Anonymous Hannah Trostle, at 11:15 PM  

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