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

2015: Practical Wisdom: The Theory and Practice of Doing the Right Thing
2014: Civil Liberties vs. National Security
2013: The Ethics and Politics of Drone Warfare
2012: Occupy Wall Street
2011: The Arab Spring
2010: The Coloniality of Knowledge
2009: The Literature and Politics of the Depression
2008: 1968
2007: Prisonhouses of Democracy
2006: Challenging American Exceptionalism
2005: The Return of the Sacred: Fundamentalism and Politics
2004: Ideologies of Terrorism
2003: Race Matters