Summer Symposium

The Summer Symposium is a weekly series of lectures and presentations by resident and visiting scholars. Along with student-led seminars, the Symposium engages students with a broad range of topical issues and encourages discussion and debate. The Symposium is open to the greater Dartmouth community and is a highlight of the summer term.


  • All MALS at Dartmouth students are required to enroll in one Summer Symposium as part of the academic curriculum.
  • Students are assigned to a discussion group, and each week a different student group will facilitate the symposium discussion.
  • All students are expected to read the assigned selections carefully before the Wednesday they are to be discussed, and to note the major discussion questions. You will write your questions on the Canvas discussion page.
  • The group facilitating each week’s discussion will review all questions from other students, and select the key points to discuss.
  • The Program Chair, or other faculty members, will serve as a resource for the weekly meetings and may pose questions of their own to stimulate discussion.
  • To receive credit for the symposium, you must have weekly discussion questions posted, engage actively in the discussions, and participate in your group’s facilitation.

Recent Topics

 2023: Invasion of Ukraine: A Colloquy

 2022: Abolition Democracy

 2021: A Cross-Disciplinary Conversation

 2020: The 2020 Election

 2019: 1969: The Afterlives of 'The Year Everything Changed'

 2018: Race Matters @ 25 – Conference & Celebration

 2015: Practical Wisdom: The Theory and Practice of Doing the Right Thing

 2014: Civil Liberties vs. National Security

 2012: Occupy Wall Street

 2011: The Arab Spring

 2010: The Coloniality of Knowledge

 2009: The Literature and Politics of the Depression

 2008: 1968

 2007: Prison houses of Democracy

 2006: Challenging American Exceptionalism

 2005: The Return of the Sacred: Fundamentalism and Politics

 2004: Ideologies of Terrorism

 2003: Race Matters